This book is, as the title of my review suggests, simply wonderful! It catalogues hundreds of stitches by category, beginning each chapter or group with the simplest stitches and gradually moving onto the most complex in that category. The working for each stitch is shown and so is a completed example. I have not tried and tested each stitch but I have found the instructions to be clear so far.
The chapters/stitch categories are as follows: outline stitches, border stitches, composite band stitches, isolated stitches, open filling stitches, solid filling stitches, detached filling stitches, straight and slanted canvas stitches, crossed canvas stitches, insertion stitches, edging stitches, cut and drawn stitches and pulled fabric stitches.
Within the book there are some (perhaps half a dozen) beautiful pictures of completed needlework in different styles, most of which incorporate a variety of stitches and I found several of these to be very inspiring. I really feel that this book provides all the information needed to dive right into embroidery and to produce high quality work. I suspect that it would also be of great use to those with much more experience due to the number of stitches shown and the clarity of their arrangement.
Very comprehensive and well laid out. My only criticism is that some of the stiches could be better illustrated, but other than that the book is by far the best Stitch reference book I have found. Several of my friends will be receiving it for Christmas this year.
This book was first published in 1934 and was later updated by Jan Eaton to its current format. The book gives instructions for in excess of 400 embroidery stitches each stitch being named (with all alternative names listed), detailed and illustrated with coloured line drawings and coloured photographs. The stitches are listed and divided according to stitch type such as outline and border stitches, isolated and filling stitches, canvas and insertion stitches, edging stitches and pulled fabric stitches. There is also a full index of each stitch (and its alternative name) which is useful if looking for a particular stitch. The book also gives a great many hints and tips on the use of a particular stitch as well as giving helpful information on how to get started, such as which fabric to use, using hoops and frames and discussing needles and threads. This is the best reference book on embroidery stitches I have come across and I would recommend it to beginner and expert alike. Note: The book is as it is descibed i.e. a 'dictionery of embroidery stitches' and although it contains some lovely works of embroidery for illustration purposes it does not give specific instructions for projects.
This is the perfect book for anyone who is interested in embroidery and covers all the stitches you could ever need. The pictures are clear and well photographed and the text is very easy to follow and good for beginners and experienced stitchers. Having been a keen embroiderer for the last 40 years this book reminded me of stitches that I had forgotten and is the ideal size to keep in your sewing box.
This book is ideal for both novice sewers and more accomplished ones who may need a reminder or want to try different techniques and need a library of stitches to fall back on. The instructions are clear and the drawings aid understanding of how to carry out the stitches. It is not necessary to use it just for normal embroidery purposes - I used it to help me complete a free form piece of work using different techniques and the book gave me ideas on how to use stitches "outside the box" in order to portray different things. Worth the money whether new or second-hand (which mine was but you would never be able to tell!)
Such a classic. How could anyone manage without it! Very useful handbook but I'm afraid that I do find some of the diagrams and explanations impossible to follow - I needed to resort to a very clear website with a video for some of the more complicated stitches! Still, how could I criticise Mary Thomas who did such a service to sewing?!
Im not a very good person to be using this method of communication. Sorry I thought the book was superb and just what I wanted. I wanted to give a much higher rating, but it went too quickly for me and I missed the opportunity. I would like to give a 5 star rating, if thats possible.