Book reviews

Book review: Sewing secrets from the fashion industry

Sewing secrets from the fashion industry
It’s been a while since I last reviewed a book, so here comes my thoughts on the book Sewing secrets from the fashion industry (Amazon affiliate link). The book claims to reveal the best and fastest sewing techniques straight from the garment industry.

It contains three long chapters and talks about everything from standard industry seam allowances (quite different from the home pattern companies) to the difference between various interfacings. There are also step-by-step photo instructions on things like how to make single welt pockets, shirt collars and a piped waistband on a skirt.

If there is one book that has pushed my sewing skills to whole new level it’s this one. It has some tricks and hacks that regular sewing books don’t teach you. Many of the tutorials in this book are based on industry methods which means that they are both quicker and less fussy than the more traditional home sewing methods. Though some techniques will require some practice and a new way of thinking when it comes to the assembly process, it will pay off . But it’s not all love. Some photos are a bit dark and unclear and I would have loved a more technical illustration approach.

The redeeming factor for Sewing secrets from the fashion industry is those instructions that show a different, and often faster, way of doing it. One good example is how to attach a lining to a vest without any hand sewing (called bagging) and sewing the shirt cuffs by attaching the right sides side of the cuff to the wrong side of the sleeve to eliminate the need for pins and make for perfect topstitching. I tried both these methods and can vouch for that they work, although the cuff method takes some practice. My one criticism of the lining section is that it doesn’t cover the most common lining project i.e. a jacket/coat. Why they left this out is a mystery to me and very annoying.

Also there are good value in some of the other chapters. For instance there is a great burn test chart with accompanying pictures to help identifying fiber contents in fabrics. Also the seam allowance guide is priceless, and can save a lot of headache for the home sewer. The interfacing guide is equally good.I noticed that several people over at Pattern review expressed some disappointment with this book, and I think part of the problem lies in the title. Sewing secrets from the fashion industry promise to uncover some well hidden secrets, and on that part this book probably doesn’t deliver. And when I first bought this book I too was lukewarm about some of the content, but over time it has grown on me a lot!

The conclusion: Despite it’s slight drawbacks this is book worth investing in if you want to expand your sewing skills, but you might need to give at a few chances before you fully appreciate the content!

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