Every year I buy myself Yule & birthday presents. One giftee I gifted myself is 'the BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook' (Nora Abousteit, Alison Kelly). My first handcrafting love is sewing, ever since I was in high school. This book gets me excited, once again, to sew.
Quote 1: "Patterns are the most valuable tool a fashion designer or sewer possesses. Think of Coco Chanel, who repeated the same basic shape of her iconic box-cut tweed jacket for more than seventy-five years--and it makes just as powerful a statement today as it did when it was first introduced to the world in the 1920s. Slight variations have been made to the fit, and the fabrics change from season to season, but the essence of that iconic silhouette remains true to the original pattern." (page29, paragraph 1)
I love a concise handbook. This Sewing Handbook is written for beginners, to inspire them to approach patterns & alterations with confidence, & for the more experienced sewer, to remind them that inspiration & fearless go together.
The illustrations are clear, the directions on-point ( how to sew a curved seam, page 26, is wonderful), the photographs of finished clothing are as sweet as the photos of BurdaStyle members sewing spaces are cause for envy.
Quote 2: "I hate ironing, and I always tried to skip this step when I first learned to sew. Big mistake. Big. My wonky cloth napkins can attest to this. A friend told me 'If you don't have time to iron, you don't have time to sew.' I now know that's true." --Indiana Adams (page 60, paragraph 5)
Nicely spaced with hints from a variety of people, this handbook talks to the reader, not down to them. Not once did I get the uneasy feeling that the projects within aren't doable.
1 Visual: "I think it could be worn just about anywhere with an olive-green belt, pleated trousers, and a T-shirt in something like mustard yellow. This should be worn with serious heels, a no-fuss hairdo, and natural-looking makeup. Alternatively, it would work great over a floor-length empire-line dress, either cream or in a very pale color, worn with ballerina flats, glamorous makeup, and long hair in a fancy updo---although I have yet to come up with the kind of event that would call for such an outfit."--Aicha Hockx (page 165, paragraph 4)
It was difficult deciding upon a visual piece as so much of what thrills about sewing for oneself are all of the fabric & colour possibilities. When I see the patterns (5 basic patterns included with the handbook), I see, I visualize, what these patterns would look like, how I will alter them, what colours, what fabrics drape. Happiness :)