Sunday, December 6, 2020

Weekend Review: Ruth Singer's Fabric Manipulation

Fabric Manipulation: 150 Creative Sewing Techniques
by Ruth Singer
Exeter, UK: David & Charles, c2013.
175 p.

I picked this book up through the library and was very pleased with the inspiration inside! As noted right in the title, there are 150 ideas for fabric manipulation in this book, although quite a few use ribbon as in the image on the cover. (all images here are from the publisher).

These techniques fold, tuck, smock, gather and squish fabric to create new textures and visual impact -- the techniques can then be used in any kind of project you want. Projects are not included here but the techniques are highlighted on pillows, art quilts, and other things, and when you're reading with an interested eye you can think of many, many ways to incorporate some of these ideas into your own sewing. 

There are some gorgeous ideas for smocked velvet (luscious), and for tons of trim ideas. Any of the pleated ribbon techniques could be used as trim for skirt or jacket edges and would make a simple garment look a lot fancier. There was even the simple idea (but one which had never occurred to me) to face a pleat with a ribbon, so that when you walk, the pleats would swing and show off the contrast. I really like that one! 

Each of the techniques is clearly explained, and the accompanying photos are large and clear, showing the details well. Singer makes these tucks and folds seem approachable and non-intimidating, and starts with a simple idea that she then expands on to suggest so many more ways to use it. I loved the weirdness of lined yoyos attached to a ground fabric: they look organic somehow. 

I also really love tucks of all kinds and there are some nice ideas here for different effects using tucks -- I'm sure this is something I could easily incorporate into a garment. They are so basic but look so different depending on how you finish them. 

There is a lot of variety in this book, so I think it could be useful to quilters, garment sewists and art quilters alike. If you like to fuss around with fabric and make it into something more interesting than it was to begin with, this is definitely a reference book you'll want on your shelves. I really enjoyed it and have marked some ideas down for experimenting in the new year. Clear and colourful, this was a real find. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share your comments, ideas or suggestions here -- I am always interested in hearing from readers. It's nice to have a conversation!