Thursday, May 9, 2013

Non-Fiction Review: Skirt-A-Day Sewing

Design a skirt for every day of the week! With these 28 irresistible projects, you'll learn all the techniques you need to custom-design and sew fabulous skirts that fit you perfectly.

Skirt-A-Day Sewing

Smith, Nicole. (2013).

[Genre: Sewing, Dressmaking]

Thank you to Netgalley and Storey Publishing for my advanced reader copy

In Skirt-A-Day Sewing Nicole Smith guides you through the process of designing your own skirts from scratch, using four different styles (wrap, straight, flared and high-waisted) and multiple variations on those styles to create 28 unique projects.

On the plus side, the projects are all unique and appealing. They easily cover the variation in skirts that a home seamstress could wish for. The instructions given are well-written, thorough and easy to follow, with plentiful professional looking diagrams. I can actually say it's probably some of the best instruction I've seen in a sewing title, which so often are wordy with not enough pictures. The instructions here are perfectly clear, using concise language. The diagrams seem perfectly placed to help you through the difficult bits. I've seen very few titles on pattern drafting for the modern home crafter (the several I own are all from the 80's or earlier), so the title definitely fills a hole.

But, I think what it comes down to is that this book just tries to be too much. That, or it's not being marketed quite right. From the blurb I expected a title that concentrated more on altering four included patterns to suit your needs, rather than drafting completely from scratch. The blurb also specifically states that the book is suitable for the beginners. That is truly a stretch. I think there a very few beginners that would feel confident enough to dive into pattern drafting, despite the wealth of information from fabric types to ironing needs included in the introductory sections. Not to mention the expense that they would have to go to set themselves up. I'd consider myself an intermediate seamstress and getting towards intermediate dressmaker and I own less than half of the equipment listed in the book as essentials for its projects. At the same time, two large chapters are dedicated to topics like interfacing and how to hem neatly, effectively redundant subjects for those with dressmaking experience. By trying to hard to be too much Skirt-A-Day Sewing falls short of the niche where it could be extremely successful: an on-trend and modern guide to beginner's pattern drafting for the experienced home dressmaker.

3 stars

Skirt-A-Day Sewing is released on May 15th

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