The Sewing Machine Classroom: Tips, Techniques and Trouble-Shooting Advice to Make the Most of Your Machine Hardcover-spiral – 30 Dec 2011
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About the Author
Charlene Phillips owns and operations The Sew Box where she sells sewing machine feet, notions and self-designed sewing patterns. She is the author of The Sewing Machine Attachment Book and has written articles for prominent magazines such as Threads, Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery. She teaches classes at conferences and shows throughout the US. She lives in Hamilton, Ohio and her work can be viewed at www.thesewbox.com
Top customer reviews
As I read through the book I was inspired to go back to my machine and use those functions I have never tried, not forgetting those strange looking feet which have no instructions. At times I had to remind myself that the book was titled The Sewing Machine Classroom as it certainly contained much more. I have been sewing for close to 50 years but apart from school sewing classes (where I usually knew more than the teacher and often ended up co-teaching) I have never had any formal training. Reading this book I learnt the proper names for things and found the information on parts very informative. I now know the proper terms for things (if I can remember them all that is).
At the back there are some very useful tables for choosing the correct thread, needle, tension, stitch length and much more. I am eager to test my new found knowledge to see if I can improve my sewing results. I will definitely be referencing this book prior to sewing projects in the future. This one is staying on my shelf.
I'd recommend this book to all from those starting on their sewing journey to those who have travelled a long way.
Oh and forgot to say the spiral binding is a real plus as it lays flat to read the whole page without you needing to hold the book open.
This book takes through the basics. You can't start until you understand how a sewing machine works, why you need to do certain things and why it behaves a certain way with different needles, fabrics etc.
It explains bobbin tension, and thread tension and helps you trouble shoot. You have to know all these things before you can even learn about different stitches, patterns, and start producing items that you are happy with. It explains why the fabric crinkles up when you are sewing or why the thread on the reverse side goes all knotty.
I needed a book to help me begin from the beginning because I haven't used a sewing machine since I was at school. This is before I can progress to books that has patterns to follow. There are lots of lovely books available to buy but they are all useless to you unless you know how to at least use a sewing machine. It helps you through all the problems you face, and I feel more confident that I can begin sewing.
It is packed full of so much information, and you can progress further with this book.
If you don't know how to use a sewing machine I highly recommend this book.
I like the ring binding of the book and the plentiful, relevant photographs. There are lots of useful sewing tips throughout (I now know why thread sometimes twists and knots when you're hand sewing) and comprehensive glossary.
The tone of the book is friendly, explaining clearly without assuming previous knowledge. I found the detail impressive and the layout well organised.
I don't think this book would suit a beginner looking for simple projects through which to learn basic sewing skills, but as a reference for which needle to use with a fabric, which interfacing to use, how to care for your machine, or to gain a deeper understanding of the correct way to use a machine, I think it's excellent.
I am only on page 22 so far and I have already learned lots of tips and pointers that I did not even know were of any significance when using my machine.
I was recently in Dunelm Mill buying some machine needles after bending two of mine and I asked an assistant if she could guide me in buying the correct needles, she couldn't help me really so I just bought universal needles and hoped for the best. I now know all about sewing machine needles, which one is best for each type of fabric and thread and that they should be changed frequently for optimum results! I now also know that there is a correct way that thread is supposed to run off the bobbin to avoid snagging and snarling.
My questions in getting to know my machine and be able to use it to it's full potential for quality results are already being answered in this book. I have found it a font of knowledge and I've only read a little into it so far. I know far more about threads, needles and machines today than I did yesterday. I'm very glad I bought it!
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