By Alison Smith
Sewing equipment 12
Stitch essentials 86
Darts, tucks, pleats, and gathers 104
Facings and necklines 142
Waistlines, belts, and tie-backs 168
Sleeves and sleeve finishes 188
Hems and edges 226
Linings and interfacings 274
Professional techniques 280
Directory of fashion and soft
and Useful websites 394
The Sewing Book provides a comprehensive guide to all sewing techniques, whether it be for dressmaking, tailoring, crafts, or soft furnishings. If you are new to sewing, you’ll find many tips to help and guide you; if you have been sewing for many years, there will be lots of new ideas to try. I also hope the book will be a valuable reference for all students studying textiles and fashion.
Having sewn since my teenage years and taught dressmaking and fashion for all my adult life, I am truly passionate about sewing. It can be so therapeutic—relaxing and satisfying. The ability to produce a unique item of clothing or something for your home is truly rewarding.
The book is divided into three sections. The first, Tools, covers all the equipment required to sew, including sewing machines gives an up-to-date guide to fabrics— their properties, care, and how to sew them; and explains how to alter patterns to make clothes that fit you perfectly.
The next section is Techniques, with over 300 different sewing techniques to try, all in a step-by-step photographic format, covering everything from basic stitches and seams through to professional tailoring techniques. Each chapter begins with a visual directory of what the techniques are used for, be it types of pleats or pockets, necklines or sleeves, or buttonhole shapes.
The third section of the book is Projects, where you will find 18 items to make, ranging from quick and easy hats through to Roman blinds and kimonos. All the projects use techniques that appear in the second section of the book. The final section includes an illustrated directory of fashion and home furnishing styles, as well as a useful glossary of sewing terms.
Enjoy and happy sewing.
About This Book
For the photographs, we have often used sewing threads of a contrast color in order for the stitching to be visible. I recommend that you sew with a thread that matches your fabric as closely as possible.
All of the techniques and projects are graded according to difficulty, from * (simple and straightforward) to ***** (more complex and challenging). Always cut fabric on the straight grain unless the text instructs otherwise.
Seam allowances throughout are 5⁄8 in (1.5 cm) unless otherwise indicated.
On many of the fabric samples in the photographs, neatening of the seams is not shown because this can distract from the technique (seam neatening is only shown when it forms part of the technique). I recommend that you neaten your seams using your preferred technique.
Many of the techniques may vary from those given on your paper pattern, but you might like to try an alternative technique. There are many to choose from.