I Was Going to Write a Blog Post

But I decided against it.

Seriously. I was going to write a rather long, involved post reviewing several books that I have purchased lately, but I have been so turned off by all the OMG-This-Book-Is-So-Awesome-You-Have-To-Buy-It-Now!!!! reviews that have been popping up around the blogosphere, that I can’t even.

So I’m not going to, even though one of them *cough*Sewaholic*cough* is pretty good. I just can’t because I’m sick to death of blog tours. Is that imprudent of me? Maybe, but The Pressinatrix is tapping me on the shoulder telling me what to type and I have to whack her away like Edna Mode with one of her gate guardsโ€ฆ

So my friends, I’m not going to review books right now. Maybe in a few months after all the hoopla has died down I’ll give you my (non-fangrrrrrl) opinions. But for now, let me give you the two books I keep open on my sewing table at almost all times, and if I were to tell you to go out and buy only two sewing books, these would be they:

Vogue Sewing

Mine is old, but the new versions are just as good.

I have a version from lalalalalala I’m not admitting when. Let’s just say it was a Christmas present from my parents when I still lived at home, but the current version is just as good. It’s pretty much my definitive sewing book for the home sewing enthusiast.

The second book is a textbook, which means it is priced like a textbook, which means it is expensive. But it is worth Every. Single. Dime.

Professional Sewing Techniques for Designers by Jules Cole and Sharon Czachor:

If you want to know how industry (and I’m not talking cheap fast fashion) puts clothing together, and gain a greater understanding of the construction process, this is the book I recommend.

These two books will take you from newbie sewist to well beyond intermediate. They are filled with good information well presented and they won’t rot your teeth. That was The Pressinatrix talking. Back, you beast!

Now in the interest of full disclosure, I advertise with Vogue Patterns, and Jules Cole is a friend of mine. But my ownership and admiration of both these books predate both those relationships (in the case of Vogue Patterns, by several decades and with Jules’ book by about 2 years).

If you want to learn to sew, or if you want to expand your skill, or even if you just want to remind yourself of how to do something well, these are the two books I would keep at hand at all times.

I have been sewing my last Wrapapalooza dress (the DVF!) and it’s almost done. Plus I was traveling lately and saw someone who is very dear to my blogging friends so I’ll post about all those shortly. Until then…

Happy sewing!

14 thoughts on “I Was Going to Write a Blog Post”

  1. Toby Wollin says:

    I love Edna “No Capes!” Mode.

  2. Georgene says:

    Ann, I have that Professional Sewing Techniques book on my shelf. While it does have some good stuff in it, it never seems to have exactly what I am looking for when I am stumped.

    It’s like asking directions in the New York City subway: you have to ask at least 3 people.

    For sewing techniques, its kinda the same: need to look in more than one book.

    I have to say that Susan Khalje’s Bridal Couture book is the one reference that gets the most use here – and wedding gowns are not my thing at all.

    I like the Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia of Sewing also: great photos!

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      Those are my two, Georgene – and they may or may not work for everyone, right? ๐Ÿ™‚ I completely agree that multiple books are the way to go, and Susan’s book is on the desk next to my sewing table. But for me (and perhaps only for me) those are the two that help me with machine construction tips.

  3. Suzanne says:

    Love the Vogue, must look into the other. Another I like is Schaeffers Fabric Sewing Guide, helps me learn a bit before I buy and see!

  4. Nicole says:

    Love the Vogue sewing book, it has been my go-to sewing book since it was recommended to me a couple of years back.

  5. Thanks for your honesty! I am very tempted by both but especially the second one as I was looking for something like that. As much as I like supporting small businesses I am a bit wary of the fan girl type of posts ๐Ÿ˜‰ and love Edna and the incredibles ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Angela says:

    LOL! LOVE Edna so much!! Hubby and I both laugh when her scene comes along, he will stop what he is doing to watch her. Of course, it isn’t like that movie is on very often, but when it is, we have fun.

    I know what you mean about the book tours… I did get a couple after some glowing reviews… then realized they weren’t all that helpful and ended up returning them. Now, truly – I DID keep the Sewaholic book – but not a couple of the others. Whenever you decide you can stomach writing a post about worthwhile sewing books, I’ll be happy to read it.

    I just received the Vogue Sewing book printed years ago (perhaps 1970?) that I bought off ebay last week after La Sewista recommended it, and she is another blogger whose opinion I value highly, so when she said it was good, that was enough for me. While I haven’t had a chance to sink my teeth into it, to have two different bloggers with so much experience recommend it, I’m looking forward to the chance. Now if I could only find some TIME to read and practice more of these techniques.

    I bought the Professional Sewing Techniques book last year. It is very thorough, and I’ve learned from it, although I had to laugh at Georgene’s comment that when she has a specific question it doesn’t seem to have the answer. I’ve had the exact same experience more than once!

  7. Tee says:

    I have them both, but rarely use them. My go to books are Susan Kalhje’s bridal book, Pletsch’s fitting book, Fit-Real-People; and Sarah Veblen “Perfect Fitting get a lot of use in my studio. I’ve become a bit of a collector of sewing books!

  8. Janet says:

    Thanks for your review. I think the Sewaholic book may be in my future. I like to support Canadian talent too. I need to look at the Vogue Sewing Book again. I have looked at it several times but I have yet to purchase. Part of it is finding the right book at the right time.

  9. Amy says:

    Many of my sewing references predate the 1970s and were collected at used book sales. I have a sewing tips book by Claire Shaeffer that I still refer to quite a bit, but is likely out of print. I find many of the books out now geared toward home sewists are duplicative of things I already own, which I suppose a person should expect as how many ways are there to bag a jacket lining or insert a welt pocket. Hopefully, updated styling will appeal to the new generation of sewers. I see the new flock of sewing books out in the last few years as a sign of increased interest in sewing, which I am glad for.

  10. Mandykatt says:

    I bought the Sewaholic book and the Vogue book at the same time a couple months ago. I’ve been sewing for most of my life, but just got back into garment construction this year after getting burnt out on it when working in an alterations shop.

    I love those books. The Sewaholic one I use when I want a little hand-holding, and the vogue one when I need a reminder of how a technique works without too much detail. Or if I want to research something other than technique.

    I have borrowed a few books from the library, and really liked the information in Fitting for Real People. Makes the idea of sewing a ballgown with just a neckline inspiration from a sundress a possibility.

  11. Suzanne says:

    I also appreciate the lack of fangirlism. What I want more than anything now is a honest review. I bought both the books you recommended, and looking forward to receiving them!

  12. Mary Beth says:

    I have an old Reader’s Digest sewing book from the 1970s….helpful, while I like some of he finishing ideas for sewing with knits, it doesn’t deal with all the gazillion new types of knits that have been invented since.

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