What is your go-to sewing reference?

comments (9) March 22nd, 2010     

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_nikki_ Nicole Smith, contributor
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I have a ton of sewing reference books at home. Some might argue that I have too many, but I refer to them constantly and I have a few that I go to first every time I have a question.

Where do you find your sewing advice? Do you have a favorite reference book or magazine?

posted in: SewStylish, Sewstylish conversation, sewstylish question

Comments (9)

RoseM writes: I, like many of the previous posters, have a wonderful library of books and DVDs. But I also belong to the American Sewing Guild. (www.asg.org) It is a national organization with chapters in 49 states. We have an eclectic group. We have Home Dec professionals in our group. We have Alteration Specialists in our group. We have beginning sewers. We have seasoned sewers. We have "vicarious" sewers, too. We have quilters and crafters. We also have the good fortune to have a person who taught clothing construction and pattern drafting at a local college. She has visited couture workrooms in Paris. We also have many members who visit Sew Expos and bring back information about new embellishment techniques and new notions. And I get information on the internet. I think Threads' Beginning Sewing Series is filling a niche. I am looking at the clips and enjoying them. It is good to have a review about sewing equipment, notions and how to read patterns.
Posted: 7:14 am on March 24th
georgiana writes: I use Reader's Digest Sewing book for some techniques. I also have a Classical Tailoring book which is very good. And I have all the Threads Magazines so far which have a wealth of information. I use the Threads magazine index on the Internet to get the magazine number and pages for whatever topic I want.
Posted: 11:51 pm on March 23rd
Neosha writes: I have a vintage Talbot sewing book that belonged to my mother that I still use. I also have my very first sewing book used in a continuing education class--Simplicity Sewing Book. I use back issues of Threads and have a variety of papers saved from classes, courses and sewing groups that I keep organized. There are several people that I depend on and now I am getting to help others as a resource!
Posted: 9:36 am on March 23rd
Yumjo writes: For handwork, my best resource has been my 97 y/o friend Beth Austin. In the early 1900's, she learned to do the handwork on all the clothing her mother custom made to sell and support their small family. For pattern-making and altering, Threads magazine has been so valuable over the years, but my best resource has been the experience I've gained sewing for women who came to me for clothes that they couldn't get to fit anywhere else...these women were extremely heavy to anorexic, mastectomies to deformities, and then there's the normal fitting problems that mass production doesn't ever address...I've worked with them all and they've been so patient. For techniques, my old Bishop Methods text book from my university days years ago and also from the Threads magazines. This magazine has not only helped with techniques, but there have been so many beautiful and inspiring ideas over the years. For design and creativity, my 30 grandchildren have gladly and willingly let me do some very interesting, imaginative, and non-traditional things. A creation that I think is a total failure, they and their friends end up just loving it. That's instant gratification for me.

Posted: 3:37 am on March 23rd
EvaDress writes: I reach for my library full of vintage publications for some technical how-to's or options/inspiration in finishing and detailing. They are:
~Vogue's Book of Smart Dressmaking, circa 1936,
~Dressmaking Made Easy, by the McCall Pattern Co., circa 1946
~Simplicity Good Dressmaking, circa 1945

Early in my pattern adjusting days, I made great use of Vogue Fitting, published by Harper & Row Publishers, 1984. I bought it lightly used online 8 years ago and I am sure it may still be had that way for being an out-of-print.

Otherwise, I find endless inspiration in vintage patterns themselves-they serve not only as a great tool for garment-making but also as an endless supply of possibilities!
Posted: 10:18 pm on March 22nd
ustabahippie writes: I have lots of sewing reference books but my current favorites are a really old book "Good Housekeeping Needlecraft Encyclopedia" from 1947! It has everything under the sun in it from knitting to upholstery. I also love Claire Shaeffer's Fabric Sewing Guide. For my beginning sewing students I recommend Shaeffer's book and the "Singer Photo Guide to Sewing."
Posted: 8:46 pm on March 22nd
MachineQueen writes: Lately, I've gone to Armstrong's "Patternmaking for Fashion Design" for fitting instructions and ideas. "Fitting and Pattern Alteration" by Liechty, Pottberg, and Rasband has been helpful. And, of course, the SewStylish e-newsletter.
Posted: 7:18 pm on March 22nd
Fabriculous writes: I have three. Aren't I lucky? First my dear friend Fonnell, who has 5 kids, 9 grandkids and has made everything under the sun. Second, my wonderful co-workers at Pacific Fabrics & Crafts in Seattle. Third, my well worn copy of Claire Schaeffers Fabric Guide.
Posted: 6:46 pm on March 22nd
BeckyHornby writes: My GO TO Sewing Resource is my 79 y/o mother Betty Robinson of Eureka, Utah. If she hadn't raised 5 kids, she most likely would have become a designer. From inspiration to creation- her clothing pieces are impeccable and truly awesome. She is a wonderful resource and treasure. She has taught many, including myself, various skills over the years. I will be lost when she is gone.
Posted: 6:41 pm on March 22nd
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