Sunday, July 7, 2019

Weekend Review: Sew...The Garment Making Book of Knowledge

Sew...The Garment Making Book of Knowledge / Barbara Emodi
Lafayette, CA: Stash Books, c2018.
255 p.

I received this book a year ago but am only getting around to talking about it now. And that's not because I haven't been using it! This is a charming and useful book by Barbara Emodi, a past contributing editor to Threads magazine, a sewing blogger at Sewing on the Edge, and regular guest on one of my favourite sewing podcasts, Clothes Making Mavens.

This book is written in a conversational tone, so much so that I feel like I can hear Barbara talking throughout. It is comprised of a series of lessons about sewing, sharing the little details and tips that you might miss if you're a self-taught sewist. There are lots of great nuggets of information here -- I learned quite a lot about a lot of different things.

What I really like about this book is the inclusion of the opening and closing chapters -- both deal with why we sew. She talks about the reasons we start sewing, and why and how to make it a satisfying practice. Once that's sorted, other chapters deal with choosing the right patterns, and the right fabrics for them; fit -- always fit! -- and alterations; sewing gear; and rules of sewing and how and when to break them, or not.

Mixed in with all this solid information are mini-lessons on little steps in sewing, ones that will affect your results if you can master them -- inserting invisible zips, topstitching, casings, necklines, matching print motifs, and more. There are lots of illustrations and guidance about the smallest parts of these techniques.

The book finishes with a sewing glossary, a list of further resources, and a list of all the patterns used to illustrate each chapter. These are all very useful additions, and I think they add a nice touch to this book.

While I wouldn't say that this is a start-to-finish, covering everything kind of book, it's still full of excellent information which is the kind of stuff someone who knows how to sew but isn't an expert can find helpful. I'd say it's the perfect book for all the new sewists out there who are ready to move beyond new beginner status. And it's casual and friendly too -- of course the author is a fellow Canadian so I think that shows :)

Definitely a great resource for curious sewists!


  1. Agree, this book is worth having. A confidence booster for a newbie who wants to advance their skills.
    I bought a copy after my Mom told me what a good read it was.
    Mary in Thailand


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