A “returning beginner” – what I think…
I learned to sew – kind of! – in jr. high and except for a couple things I had to make in high school because I couldn’t find just what I had in mind, haven’t touched it in (mumblemumbletwentysome) years. But I was looking through a Threads magazine at my friend’s house (who never stopped sewing and is magnificent!) and decided to give it a try again. I bought a couple basic sewing books she recommended (Vogue sewing and Fabric Savvy) and have done a couple not too embarrassing garments. The new issue of THreads with the belts is the first I’ve bought of my own.
I don’t have hers handy to compare to older issues, but I like what I see. I can see why very experienced sewers might not find a lot of “how to” in it, I wouldn’t want to leave them out, even as a beginner it gives me something to aspire to but it’s nice to have the Basics part as well. There are a lot of books out there though that cover everything a new sewer could ever need to know and probably in more detail – for example, one thing I noticed about the basics section is that, even though it tells us about how important grain is and how the garments will hang (or not) if we don’t pay attention to it – it doesn’t say a word about straightening grain or what to do with fabric that’s off grain. Grainlines and straightening it were the two first things the home ec teacher taught us – while I can see that a world of things have changed since I first learned to sew, it seems that this isn’t one of them and if I followed the directions in the Basics section I could have my pattern pieces aligned with selvage and still be off grain and unhappy. So I guess what I’m saying is if you’re going to have sections like this for we who are less experienced, make them complete and without big omissions like this and if you think that’s too complex or don’t want to bother being that in depth then please just leave it to the other books and instructions available out there – better not to provide some info than to only do a partial job that can cause more problems!
I really liked the article on washing fabrics (that I’d have feared doing anything to but dry cleaning) and large prints (hey at 5’4″ maybe I CAN wear them!) and the tips section – lots of great info in those pages!