Sunday, May 19, 2019

Weekend Review: Clothing Care & Repair

Singer Sewing Reference Library: Clothing Care & Repair
Minnetonka, MN: Cy DeCosse, c1985.
127 p.
This is an older book -- straight from the 80s in fact! But it is a very useful book even after 30 odd years. And it's easily found in thrift stores and online if you want to check it out yourself. 

This is full of useful information; the pictures are dated, but excellent mid-80s examples of clothing choices! 

Even though there are new products now that make mending and altering clothes quicker and easier in some ways, this book has solid info on a lot of topics. And unlike most other books on mending, even modern ones, this also goes over how to care for your clothes.

As stated below, "Care Extends Wear", and we are hearing today that "the most sustainable piece of clothing is the one already in your closet." So let's learn how to care for our clothes well so we can wear them longer.

The text is broken up into 3 main sections: Care (including washing & drying, hanging & storing, even packing advice... and an extremely useful nearly 4 page spread on stain removal) -- Repair (all the usual suspects - zippers, patches, mending tears, seams or hems, and discussion of different kinds of fabrics and their needs) -- and Customizing (quick changes to styles to keep things current and wear them longer, and even though the specific changes are aimed at an 80s silhouette, the techniques are still applicable and handy today). 

Have a stain? This book will help you with that. 

There are also some tips on creative repair or customization to make something your own. Those of us who already make our own clothes to start with could really run with these ideas. 

Patch It! 

This is book is one of those "oldies but goodies" that I keep on my shelf alongside my old and much used Readers Digest Guide to Sewing. I really like the clarity of instruction and the many, many clear photos in this book. I've found the answer to nearly every wardrobe malfunction emergency in here, and really do recommend it even though it is a little older. It covers basics to more involved information, and offers ideas for mending techniques that aren't visible if you aren't into the modern trend. Really solid. Enjoy the 80s hair while you're at it.


  1. Tou are right, this is a good book. I was able to subscribe to the Singer Sewing Reference Library in the very early 90's and have almost the entire collection. They are wonderful books. They were published for Singer by a company that retained the copyrights so you can now find several of the books under a different title. The Tailoring book is one book that has been reprinted. Anyway, thanks for bringing up an oldie but a goodie.
    Theresa in Tucson

    1. I do have a couple of the others. I'm still looking for the Tailoring one :) I like this series a lot.

  2. Thanks for all your book reviews, I have enjoyed them.


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