Saturday, 18 September 2010

Book Review - How to Sew - David and Charles

Fiona at The Sewing Directory gave me the opportunity to review a new series of e books by David and Charles, entitled How to Sew.
The short (24 pages long) guides cover a range of subjects to aid the sewing beginner, the guides have full colour illustrations and photographs, and include templates for the detailed projects.

How to Sew - Basics is a comprehensive guide that covers just about everything somebody new to sewing might need to know...It covers the basic sewing kit to start you off sewing, not sure about the need for fabric glue personally but its a good supply list with pictures to help identify.
It goes on to cover fabrics, sewing threads, inserting zips and making bias bindings. Along with a guide to easy patchwork and quick quilting.
I liked the fact it gives descriptions of different fabrics and that it mentions using recycled fabrics too.
It covers different threads. The inserting zips page has good clear instructions and pictures. I'm not sure of the need to include instructions for making bias bindings in a beginners guide, but again it has well explained instructions.

The next ebook, How to Sew - Machine Sewing, is again a well laid out and short but comprehensive guide for somebody in possession of their first details stitches that can be done on most basic machines, describes different needles, and their use on different fabrics and gives detailed instructions, with pictures, for some simple projects - a shabby chic bag,a scatter cushion and a pocketed curtain -if I was to look for a negative with this guide it would simply be with the pocketed looks dated and, in my opinion, unappealing as a sewing project.

How to Sew - Applique, is, once again, a short but detailed guide to starting applique. It gives full instructions on how to work with Bondaweb and describes both hand and machine applique. The projects are simple and easy to follow, I particularly like the Vintage Flags tutorial...embellished bunting made from reclaimed fabric, this is definitely going onto my to do list! Like the Machine Sewing book, I felt one of the projects was dated, embellishing a denim jacket with appliqued patches...but again, that is just my opinion!

My favourite of the reviewed ebooks has to be How to Sew - Patchwork. This is an ideal guide for anybody wishing to try patchwork and quilting. It begins with preparing your fabric - by pre washing and cutting required pieces with a rotary and cutting mat. I do feel that the book could have included using scissors and a paper pattern as, in my opinion, cutting out patchwork pieces this way is adequate for a beginner to successfully construct a simple patchwork project.
I like that it gives instructions for both machine and hand piecing and the projects it gives tutorials for are great first time or beginner projects. There is a simple quilt (large squares), a rucksack and the really cute pig cushion/toy that is shown on the cover of the ebook. (another for my to do list!)
I would have liked to see hexagon patchwork in there, as a hand sewing project, but that aside this book is comprehensive and easy to read and understand.

These guides, and other sewing titles, are available from RUCrafts here... priced at 99p each.


  1. Great review, went straight to buy some - got all the way to payment then 'card details' - just could not be bothered to get up and get my cards out - NO PAYPAL = LOST SALE!

  2. That is a shame Annie...hopefully the team at RUCrafts will see this and it is something they can change.


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