I have several books in my sewing library. Most of them are sewing references that I turn to when I have a question on a technique or how to handle a particular type of fabric. Some of the books are there to inspire me when I can’t seem to decide what to sew next. But, the one thing that I have never done is read any of my sewing books cover to cover.
On a recommendation of a friend, I purchased The Colette Sewing Handbook by Sarai Mitnick. I planned to just file it on the shelf with my other sewing references waiting for the day that I needed it, but as I flipped through the book, I quickly realized that it was not really a reference book but more of a story about the process of sewing.
After realizing this, I turned back to page one and started to read. The book took me step by step through the sewing process, starting with the tools needed to sew, how to handle different fabrics, fitting, altering and ending with designing your own clothes. It was a great read. Since I already knew how to sew, some of the information was a review, but some was new information to me and I learned a lot, especially in the chapters on fitting and altering clothes and patterns. The book also included basic patterns for a skirt, a blouse and a dress. They were not my style or size but they offered a good learning experience, and a chance to practice what the book was talking about. The book inspired me to get creative and start sewing outside of my comfort range. And, even though I have now read the book, it still has a home on my shelf along with my other sewing references. I will now use it as a reference book for when I need fitting and altering advice.
So, if there are any seamstress’s out there looking for a good book to read to increase their sewing knowledge, I would heartily recommend this book to you. Just be prepared that when you’re finished reading it, you will be ready to start creating. I am off now to check out some of my other sewing books, and see if there is some more good reading to be done.