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38 Reviews
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference book
I think this is a great reference book for beginners and more advanced sewists. The majority is for dressmaking but it also includes quilting and patchwork. it covers pattern fitting and basic alterations, and near the end there's a section on tailoring techniques.

I particularly like the section about different fabrics. Over 8 pages it gives a brief intro...
Published on 25 April 2011 by GemG80

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not really complete.
I was very disappointed with this classic sewing guide.

It has no coverage of altering and making mens and boys clothes.

All diagrams and patterns are based on the female form. Hence I don't see how it can be described as "complete".

Stitches are stitches but a lot of people will require gender shaped patterns / instructions.
Published on 11 Feb. 2013 by Nick


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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference book, 25 April 2011
This review is from: The "Reader's Digest" Complete Guide to Sewing (Hardcover)
I think this is a great reference book for beginners and more advanced sewists. The majority is for dressmaking but it also includes quilting and patchwork. it covers pattern fitting and basic alterations, and near the end there's a section on tailoring techniques.

I particularly like the section about different fabrics. Over 8 pages it gives a brief intro into different types of fabric. There are specialist books out there and I have Claire Shaeffer's but I find them a bit overwhelming for beginners. This tells you just enough to know what you're looking for and why.

There are 20 'projects' in there but they're a bit of a swizz because many of them need a Simplicity pattern as well.

Illustrations are nearly all through line drawings but they are pretty clear.

Sections are as follows. I've listed the subsections I think you might find interesting but not all of them because there are too many and I'm too lazy!:

Sewing equipment and fabrics
- inc washing care symbols
Cutting
- inc fabric widths, reading a pattern, pattern alterations
Stitches and seams
- inc hand and machine sewing, seam finishes
Neckline finishes and collars
- inc facings
Waistlines and belts
- inc casings and joinings
Sleeves and sleeve finishes
Pockets
Hems
- inc decorative and faced finishes
Fastenings
- inc zips and buttonholes
Tailoring
Patchwork and quilting
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very handy book for beginners and experienced alike, 15 April 2011
This review is from: The "Reader's Digest" Complete Guide to Sewing (Hardcover)
I have recently taken up dressmaking and am attending evening classes. Whilst we have a great tutor who imparts a lot of knowledge to us I like to be able to have something that I can refer to when I am not in class which will give me the confidence to continue with my project.

Our tutor recommended this book - she has the first edition of it. We are studying the couture method of dressmaking which is quite involved and this book is ideal. It has plenty of illustrations which support the text and is very easy to follow.

All of us first timers have bought it and we are very pleased with it.

I would definitely recommend this book to those starting out in dressmaking or even those who are quite skilled in it - a very useful reference tool to have.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reader's Digest Sewing Book, 27 Nov. 2010
By 
AF (Bethnal Green, London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The "Reader's Digest" Complete Guide to Sewing (Hardcover)
This practical book is full of useful information and clearly illustrated to help all the willing and interested get on with their sewing. Some interesting ideas for projects which can be easily adapted if necessary. Great buy! The "Reader's Digest" Complete Guide to Sewing
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing, 9 Dec. 2010
This review is from: The "Reader's Digest" Complete Guide to Sewing (Hardcover)
I bought this book for my daughter for Christmas as she is very keen to start making clothes for herself and I believe that the clear instructions and diagrams in this book will help her to gain confidence with her sewing very quickly.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy sewing guide, 21 July 2011
By 
Robert Howard "Potty Bob" (Spain) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The "Reader's Digest" Complete Guide to Sewing (Hardcover)
After losing all of our reference, books which dated back to mid 1960's, when moving to Spain we needed to replace them.My wife's sewing books were particularly old as she had got them from an aunt and some were 1930's vintage. So when receiving this book she was very pleasantly surprised how everything is explained in more modern terms and how much easier the instructions are to follow than in her old books. She says that this is an excellent choice for beginners and beyond.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really useful book, 7 Dec. 2012
By 
Peasant (Deepest England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The "Reader's Digest" Complete Guide to Sewing (Hardcover)
This book has been around since 1978 in one form or another, and it dates from the days when making a garment from scratch was quite usual. Even so, it doesn't assume you already know the basics, and explains even the simpler things really well, so it is a superb buy for someone looking to go into proper dressmaking or designing their own clothes.

Use this book and you can produce properly made, couture-quality clothes at home. Or run up something for the kids using a remnant. It's your choice. The main part of the text takes you, step by step, through every aspect of making a garment, including cutting and fitting your own patterns, from underlying principles to finishing touches. There is guidance, with excellent diagrams, to all the processes involved. There are garments to make, too, with the patterns shown as diagrams for you to scale up to full size on paper.

The last section of the book is "sewing for the home" with patchwork projects, curtains, soft toys - the whole lot, including a four-foot-long cuddly Stegosaurus! But the main emphasis is on clothes.

Because the clothes are designed from first principles, the book hasn't dated; in fact, many of the 1970s clothes featured are exactly what is in the shops at the moment, which is amusing! I would recommend this book very highly indeed to anyone interested in learning to design, in taking their sewing skills beyond the basics in most recent books, or especially in following the "new thriftiness" by adapting and altering clothes or making something new from something old.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not really complete., 11 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: The "Reader's Digest" Complete Guide to Sewing (Hardcover)
I was very disappointed with this classic sewing guide.

It has no coverage of altering and making mens and boys clothes.

All diagrams and patterns are based on the female form. Hence I don't see how it can be described as "complete".

Stitches are stitches but a lot of people will require gender shaped patterns / instructions.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Brilliant!!!, 30 Oct. 2011
This review is from: The "Reader's Digest" Complete Guide to Sewing (Hardcover)
Due to being a newbie to the sewing machine and sewing world, this book is absolutely brilliant for me. It gives great overviews of everything I think I may need to know.
Best book buy i've made in while.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You'll find it all in this book, 8 Jun. 2011
This review is from: The "Reader's Digest" Complete Guide to Sewing (Hardcover)
Need to know how to sew - you'll find everything you'll need to know and bit more in this book. This is very good beginner's/intermediate's book on sewing. No couture sewing. There're project descriped in the book which might seem comfusing for some, in that case find another book og it's like.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars too complicated not for the beginner, 15 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: The "Reader's Digest" Complete Guide to Sewing (Hardcover)
I am a beginner at dressmaking and using a sewing machine, I decided to have a go at making a skirt for my daughter, I bought a sewing machine and I wanted to buy a book that would explain everything in an easy, step by step way. I had read the other reviews on this book and decided that this was the book for me. What I found was that it would probably be an excellent book if you were being taught in a class, it shows everything that you could wish for, once you have that initial grounding. I have since shown it to other friends that have had some experience in dressmaking and they have all agreed - it's an excellent book for someone a more advanced. I did managee to make the skirt it said easy on the patern 2hrs, roughly translated this means 10hrs, £20 and not quite like it looks on the picture!
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The "Reader's Digest" Complete Guide to Sewing
The "Reader's Digest" Complete Guide to Sewing by Reader's Digest (Hardcover - 25 Nov. 2010)
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