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Vendor Spotlight: 1,000 Clever Sewing Shortcuts & Tips

Reported by Erin Bassett
In the age of social media, where you only consume 140 character chunks of information at a time, this book is like “following” all the people you wish you werAdd Imagee following on Twitter and that they only tweet useful information and not what they eat for lunch. The nuggets of tried-and-true tips were compiled by Deepika Prakash, founder of PatternReview.com, and come from sewers with all different skill sets. Tips range from how to de-gunk your iron to how to create no side seam pants. There are some funny “warnings” shared from doing things the hard way and plenty of “now-why-didn’t-I-think-of-that” tips.
The book is smartly organized into sections that make sense and there is a very handy index for looking things up quickly. The chapter titles are:
  • Sewing Gear
  • Set Up Your Sewing Room
  • Design & Pattern Prep
  • Fabric, Thread, & Notions
  • Layout, Cutting, & Marking
  • Fitting
  • Sewing
  • Finishing
  • Embellishments
There are also five Master Class sections from master teachers: Sarah Veblen on sewing knits, Susan Khalje on sewing fine lace, Kenneth D. King on sewing lamé fabrics, Shannon Gifford on how to create a rolled hem with a serger, and Anna Mazur on elegant bead embroidery.
I noticed that quite a few tips in the book could really save you some money too… like how to make your own dress form, or how to upcycle everyday things that you would never think of using for sewing.
There is also a wealth of information on sewing different types of fabrics, zippers, scrap storage, pattern prep and reinforcement, hems, and seams. Below are a couple of the pages to whet your appetite!
I do recommend that when you get your copy of this book that you pick up a new packet of sticky notes to flag tips as you read.
Pros:
  • Packed full of tips for all levels of sewing
  • Organized in chapters that make sense
  • Book royalties from this book will be donated to breast cancer research in honor of the many members of PatternReview.com who battle breast cancer…including Shannon Gifford (one of the master teachers who contributed to the book) who lost her battle earlier this year.
Cons:
  • The print text is small. I was able to read it just fine, however it may be an issue for some.
  • There were a few typos. Not enough to really annoy me, but they did catch my attention.
  • Due to the contribution of PatternReviews.com’s online members some of the tips include acronyms that new sewer many not know.
My grandmother is a tremendous resource for me, but this book is like having her and all her sewing friends right here with me. It’s going to be such a help over the years. Where do you go for help sewing?
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