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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Vogue Sewing Book Review

One of the joys of blogging is being able to go off on tangents from your own original intentions of what to blog. I started my blog about machine embroidery, one of my passions, but have found that I can’t separate machine embroidery from my love of quilting and sewing, so this blog is turning into a sewing blog.

My husband and I run an on line business selling books and sewing patterns at our store Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts Sales. The more patterns we handle, the more questions we get asked on line about sewing and my own personal sewing projects has lead me into a search for some good all round sewing books to recommend to sewers and would be sewers. Recently I have purchased some sewing instruction books on line, picked up some at estate sales and then got to peruse some of the newest ones at Barnes and Noble. I found some to be utterly worthless. Some books although supposedly for beginners would have left a beginner sewer sucking their thumb and babbling in a corner. I did find several good books and due to finances (wouldn’t it be nice to have unlimited funds to buy books and sewing stuff!) and actual inventory at the store, only got to bring one home.

My choice was Vogue Sewing (2000). It included several things I had personally been looking for in such a book and it is very thorough in its approach. This book included over 1800 illustrations, updated with the latest tools and notions available to the home sewer, and it is interesting. Interesting is a good thing in a sewing book as many can become as dull as dishwater.


In my first glance through the book, I found a fashion glossary. As we (mainly my husband) have been describing fashions on pattern envelopes, all the pictures and descriptions in the glossary are a great resource for us. That sold me on the book right there as I was tired off trying to remember what a particular type of sleeve or collar was called when hubby wanted to know. Now he can just look at the picture.

There is a section on body shapes and picking flattering styles. Only female shapes are used in this section. Is there a sewing or book on fashion that covers children’s and men’s shapes? There is also a color wheel with explanations about choosing colors. There is also a section on fibers and their weaves and care.

One particularly interesting article is on the process of how a Vogue pattern comes into being. I was very impressed to learn that the pattern tissues are cut 1300 layers at a time! And that a machine folds them and puts them into the envelope. No wonder it is next to impossible to refold them!

One section that I have had to refer to several times already is the sizing section of the book. I have had several customers email asking for recommendations for sizes of Vogue patterns to purchase and I’m happy to let them know Vogue’s official sizes according to body measurements. The entire size charts for Misses’, Women’s and Today’s Fit are included in this chapter as well as a discussion on wearing ease and designer ease. I had been sewing for years before I ever realized there was such a thing as wearing ease.

The book at this point goes step-by-step through the pattern envelope explaining each item and then the pattern instruction sheet and finally the tissue pattern piece. Then you find out about fitting the pattern and making the pattern up. Many, many illustrations help you to understand each sewing technique. With sections on tailoring, special fabrics and even one on sewing the Very Easy Vogue patterns, this is a very well rounded book. If you can only afford to buy one all purpose sewing guide, this should be one to consider.

2 comments:

Photostylingworkshops said...

Hi, I am trying to find out the publisher contact (Website?) for this book. I want to look into it as a possible textbook. So far I have only found it on Amazon, etc., not from the publisher. Can you help me out?

Moonwishes said...

This book was published by the Butterick Publishing Co. no website is indicated in the book but I'm sure with the publishers name you will be able to track it down. Thanks for stopping in.