This post is from Amy, who works at Bolt and sees many books come in and out. Reading her review might make you hustle right over to Bolt tomorrow to snatch a copy yourself.
It's finally here! The book I've been waiting for. If I could recommend one book to all our customers, it would be The Sewing Bible: a Modern Manual of Practical and Decorative Sewing Techniques by Ruth Singer. Whether you are just beginning to sew, or you are a seamster with years of experience, you are going to want to make room on your bookshelf for The Sewing Bible.
So often customers come into the store asking for a basic reference book of sewing techniques to help them learn new skills or help them refine the skills they already have. Until now, the books which did a good job on this score often lacked a certain style, or just didn't grab the reader and hold their attention. The Sewing Bible is just as beautiful to look at as it is informative to read. From the first photo to the last, it captures the seemingly infinite possibilities of color, pattern, and texture that inspire us to sew (I defy you to look at the cover and not want to make the beautiful silk yo-yo cuff pictured there!).
There are also beautiful, original, inspirational projects to get you using many of the techniques described in the rest of the book - from home decor projects like quick curtains and pillow covers, to a jacket and skirt that use some advanced dressmaking techniques. Each project is carefully cross-referenced to the techniques used (be still my librarian's heart!), and templates or pattern pieces are printed in the book. And if by some chance none of the projects speak to you, there is a section on designing projects of your very own!
In spite of all the aforementioned style and inspiration, The Sewing Bible isn't a "project book." It is a reference and guide you can count on. I haven't actually weighed it, but it's not the kind of book you tuck into your sewing basket. It's the kind of book you want to keep on your bedside table for a couple of weeks before you move it to your sewing space. The Sewing Bible covers machine and hand-sewing techniques from the most basic (seams and hems) to the truly advanced (bound buttonholes and trapunto) with detailed, step-by-step instructions and photos. In addition, there are "Masterclasses" for many of the most useful techniques, which go into even more depth of detail.
Like a lot of people these days, I am interested in stretching a dollar, so I especially appreciate the section on repairs and alterations. The addition of a glossary, reading list, index, and list of resources make this book a real value at $35.00. Even the most experienced sewer I know found enough information of value in The Sewing Bible to buy a copy for herself.
If I have any criticism, it would be that the patterns do require enlarging, which normally irks me, but in this instance, it seems a small price to pay. Stop by the shop, have a look, and let us know what you think!