Thursday, April 17, 2008

Book Review: Encyclopedia of Sewing Machine Techniques

I love a good used book store.

Last weekend I stopped in to the local McKay's, a chain-esque used book store great for when you are trying to find used books that are pretty common. I needed a manual for Adobe InDesign as I heard it's the way to go for pattern instructions (they are coming along, I promise), but ended up walking out with this:

Encyclopedia of Sewing Machine Techniques by Nancy Bednar and JoAnn Pugh-Gannon

I have to say, I'm pretty impressed!

I consider myself relatively proficient on a sewing machine, and I'm not afraid to dig out my manual or just screw around with the machine until something cool happens. But this book takes the guess work out of it. Covering a whole range of techniques like applique, smocking, bound buttonholes, eyelets, hem stitching, and zippers, it's a quick little reference for a lot of cool things.

Just to be clear, this isn't a highly detailed technical manual at all. Each technique pretty much gets two pages: one has suggested settings, needles, etc. while the other has generic step by step pictures. You'll have to have your sewing machine manual handy too as you need to know how to reset tensions, change needles and the like. But I'm already seeing how this will be useful for a quick lesson or refresher on how to do different things.

If you are looking for a reference book that will help introduce you to new techniques and give you a starting point for some really cool creations, then I'd definitely recommend this one. There are a ton of other books out there I'm sure, but at least this one has value and some pretty pictures going for it! :)

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