Wendy Ward is one of the most reliable voices in sewing today. She released Sewing Basics for Everybody earlier this year and the blog hop promo tour is currently active. I wasn't able to take part this time as I had work commitments scheduled at this time (that was back in the pre lockdown life!) but I did very kindly receive a copy to review. I find that with each of Wendy's books, the style gets closer to her true aesthetic and this book really feels like her functional style has been given the freedom to create a modern utilitarian capsule wardrobe. The keyword in the title is 'Every': this book is based on five core basic patterns with full variations and instructions to make twenty different designs in woven and knitted fabrics for any gender, age or body shape.
The book is divided into two main parts: Techniques and Projects. In the first section, there's lots of detailed information in writing, diagrams and tables. It's packed with a comprehensive range of tutorials that cover the key skills throughout the book from adding a bust dart to, sewing welt pockets, and even stencil painting. Then the main part of the book concentrates on the projects with a chunky chapter (including variations) devoted to each of the five core patterns. These sections are photo-heavy and feature a diverse range of models- different genders, ages etc. The photos are crisp and concentrate on cropped close-ups of the garments.
The instructions are supported by Wendy's excellent diagrams throughout like the tunic dress (below) variation of the Felix sweatshirt.
The 'Harper' pants stood out to me as a classic slouchy pant. They reminded me of how I started sewing garments in my teens. I would take my dad's old discarded trousers and pleat the waist and peg the legs until they fitted teenage-me (we're talking circa 1985). I have photographic evidence somewhere! I really like the pleated hem detail (far right purple pants) to narrow the leg.
The Kim jumpsuit is a great style with three distinctive variations. Fiona from Diary of a Chain Stitcher has made a great vintage workwear version.
As with Wendy's other books, there are full-size pattern pieces to trace off (some pieces need to be traced off more than one sheet) at the back of the book. As ever with Wendy, these are garments designed to be sewn on a regular domestic sewing machine and her attention to detail with plackets. cuffs, pockets, zips, linings and more will either teach you new skills or brush up your existing ones
Read my other reviews of Wendy's books: