Monday, 9 August 2010

10 Little e-books: How to Sew

I have had the chance to review some sewing e-books published by David & Charles.  They are from a set of 10 to look at on your computer, iPad or iPhone, pretty and attractively laid out and the templates can be downloaded from the website.  My favourite is How to Sew: Applique

There are clear photos and easy instructions.  Although all the books are aimed largely at the beginner or those without much experience, I picked up some good tips- e.g. machine sewing applique using a Denim needle size 12/14 as they are extra sharp for piercing extra layers.  There are instructions for a range of shabby chic style items: a heart patch, vintage linen flag bunting and a laundry bag with cute camisole and knickers design- all available as downloadable templates.

How to Sew:Basics has info on hand and machine sewing for new sewers.  Like all the books it encourages a make do and mend approach reusing fabrics as well as buying new.  The inserting a zip section-often a challenge for old and new sewers-is excellent.

As a basics guide it does gloss over a few things that could've done with more detail, especially for beginners- rotary cutting is a real challenge when you haven't done it before as is adding binding, both needed more info.  As with Applique there are some good tips, e.g right handed sewer should sew right to left, left handed sewers left to right- sounds obvious but it hadn't occurred to me before reading this!

How to Sew: Patchwork is a quick guide to patchwork basics including seminole or strip piecing.  The  pig cushion on the cover is a nice starter project although making a 'Simple Quilt' out of satin is perhaps harder than it looks ( and it looks very pretty!)- cotton would've been a lot easier to handle.  


Like the other books,  How to Sew:Machine Sewing has some good tips- lined paper to practice on when you first sew to get your stitch straight- and clear concise text and pics.  All the books would have benefitted from just a little more eye candy with the fabrics and the styling, often the beautiful photos in sewing books are the real inspiration and some of these were a little on the ordinary side.  The prettiest pics I saw are from a book I didn't get to read- How to Sew: Hand Sewing.  Now, this pic really entices me to make the set

All ten books are available to download from 16th Aug at and at only 99p each they are a bargain taster guide to different types of sewing and like pick and mix you can choose your favourite!
What do you think?  You can click on the double spread preview pages to get a larger view.  Would you use a sewing e-book.  Could be handy if your computer is near your sewing area!

1 comment:

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