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110 Reviews
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255 of 256 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bloke's view on machine sewing
As a bloke with no sewing skills I found this book really good value. Not only does it tell and show you what things like seams and hems look like, but also how to set your 'generic' machine to sew them. It's a bit like a Haynes Manual - shows you before and after and also 'wrong' and 'right' sides. I have used it to alter trouser leg lengths and to make from a pattern, a...
Published on 3 Oct 2010 by Ian

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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Seems Great Until You Try to Follow the Instructions
When you first look through this book, it seems perfect for beginners. It's really well presented, and all the instructions are laid out in a step-by-stap way with lots of colour photos. The language is nice and simple too.

However, once you actually try to follow the instructions it's not so great. The colour photos look pretty, but they don't show what you...
Published 21 months ago by Lucky L


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255 of 256 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bloke's view on machine sewing, 3 Oct 2010
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As a bloke with no sewing skills I found this book really good value. Not only does it tell and show you what things like seams and hems look like, but also how to set your 'generic' machine to sew them. It's a bit like a Haynes Manual - shows you before and after and also 'wrong' and 'right' sides. I have used it to alter trouser leg lengths and to make from a pattern, a dressing gown.

If you need one book either for yourself or as a present for someone buying or owning a sewing machine, this is it. Fancy techniques are no good unless the fundamentals are understood - the book excells at this. It is also very readable.

Recommended.
Ian, Hampshire
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128 of 131 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great practical guide to sewing, 3 Dec 2010
This is a great book for those new to sewing. It tells you the basics of using your sewing machine and all the sewing techniques that you may stumble across in patterns that you don't yet know how to do are explained clearly. It also tells you things such as what size needles to use on different types of fabrics and the difference between a seam and a hem. Some have marked the book down because they don't like the patterns at the back, but you don't get this book for the patterns, you get it because it will help you to become a more confident sewer, the fact that there are patterns is just an added bonus. I have gained a lot from having this book.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great choice for my 11 year old daughter, 13 Jan 2012
My 11 year old daughter has been wanting to haul the sewing machine out of the garage and "have a go" for ages! The in-laws helped her get the machine running and I purchased this book based on its clear layout and good reviews. My daughter read the book through and in a weekend we made the skirt for our forthcoming holiday. The instructions are clear and apart from a couple of instances when we had to read through a couple of times, it was relatively easy. I was suprised that an 11 year old could mitre corners and put a zip in with no prior experience. We were also helped by a delightful fabric shop owner who ensured we had all the correct equipment before starting. Can't wait for the next project now! This book with its easy clear layout, good pictures and "non technical" wording has really inspired my daughter. A great purchase.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended, 20 Jun 2011
This book does exactly what its title suggests - it gives a clear beginners guide to sewing machines and explains many of the sewing terms you're likely to come across in sewing patterns where a certain level of knowledge is often assumed. The pictures are a great help in illustrating various types of hems, seams and finishes and all are shown in an easy to follow step by step guide. A really good starter manual for novices. Would highly recommend.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great idea! It's the perfect reference book., 20 Dec 2011
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S. Richter (Copenhagen) - See all my reviews
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I love this book SO much. I hadn't sewn anything for ten years, but felt like trying it out again and bought a few books off of amazon. This is my favorite amazon purchase in a long time! It explains all basic and semi-advanced techniques you need to sew properly, from seams and hems to buttonholes, and it does so in a clear and concise language, broken down in simple steps with dedicated images to every step. It looks like a teenagebook on the cover, but I can tell that I will be using this book as a reference over and over again in my future sewing. Thank you so much Kate Haxell, you did a magnificent job with this book! I finally feel confident sewing again.

Coming back to add that I made the apron in the book, just to get things started, and it turned out great. I agree with comments saying the patterns aren't the most appealing, but they are useful when you need a simple project to try out all the techniques in the book. Thank you, Kate Haxell, I love this book!
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105 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT FOR BEGINNERS, 15 Jun 2010
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When I saw this book at Waterstones, I bought it straight away because the wordings of the book and pictures are so clear and very easy to understand. This book is great for beginners. Kate made sewing very easy, interesting and understanding to follow. The book shows you step by step on how to sew from the basics to the nearly "difficult", but with Kate's explaination it is easy peasy to follow. Good book and an all rounder!!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good clear instruction, 12 Sep 2011
This book has many of the main basic problems of setting up your sewing machine once brought. It then goes on to set out the most likely basic operations you will encounter in any project at novice level. From pinning to hemming to zips etc. I especially like the photos and easy to understand diagrams that accompany the text. An exellent book to start of any potential sewing machine enthusiast. Especially if your as wet behind the ears as me!!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent layout., 8 Nov 2010
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I have other sewing manuals, but this one is laid out beautifully, simple techniques and easy to follow, clear instructions and pictures. Really helpful for a beginner and some nice projects in the back of the book. I am very happy with my purchase.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book., 17 Oct 2010
As someone who has only recently bought their first sewing machine, I was looking for a book that could help me learn the basics. My knowledge is so limited I wasn't even sure of the difference between a seam and a hem and found other books (mainly word-based) too complicated to follow. This book is a wonderful mixture of words and pictures and everything is easy to follow. I sat and flicked through this book for an hour last night and was then able to sit down with my sewing machine (and the book to refer to) and complete my first mock french seam and taped hem this afternoon. I am over the moon and feel encouraged to continue, I hope to be able to make the lovely bag on page 110 using my new skills!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Good I bought one for myself too!, 9 Oct 2011
By 
E. Gillum "lizzieg" (UK) - See all my reviews
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I bought this book for my niece, as a birthday gift, to help me teach her to use her new machine. I read the book before I gave it to her and was really impressed. It covered just about everything - sewing tools and how they work, fabrics, threads, how a sewing machine works, how to set one up, how to sew simple seams and follow a pattern, through lots and lots of really helpful information, covering every stage of learning to sew. There are clear and straighforward instructions, with good quality illustrations. While it is helpful to have an experienced sewer to show you the ropes, you really could use this book to learn to sew, though you'd need a bit of practice and determination. I think this book is excellent - even for an experienced sewer. I was so impressed, that I ordered a second copy, to keep for myself!
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