miss_s_b: (Mood: Gorgeous)
miss_s_b ([personal profile] miss_s_b) wrote2012-04-16 01:13 pm
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Book "review": a First Look at the Reader's Digest Complete Guide To Sewing

When I was a youngun my dad had the Reader's Digest Complete DIY Manual, and it was bloody fabulous. Clear, concise, well illustrated, and comprehensive, The DIY Book (as it was referred to in our house) rarely ever got put back on the shelf, because it was so constantly in use. It had step by step instructions for how to do EVERYTHING a DIY enthusiast might possibly want to, and a few things that even my dad baulked at trying. So when I decided to take up machine sewing recently, and a couple of websites (yes I'm looking at you, patternreview.com) recommended the equivalent book for sewing, I figgered I'd give it a go.

Now, you CAN get this book in a brand new edition for upwards of twenty quid, but me being me I got it secondhand in an old edition for the princely sum of two pounds and eighty-six pence. Most of the discussion I had seen around this book seemed to agree that in terms of balance of illustrations to text, and topics covered, the 1976 edition was the one to go for, so that's what arrived in the post this morning. For a 35 year old huge great hardback book it's in pretty good condition, especially to say I paid less than three quid for it. The spine isn't damaged, it's got its dust cover, and none of the pages are falling out or damaged. I think the reasons it was so cheap is that it smells faintly of someone else's tobacco smoke. This is something I can happily live with.

But you don't want to hear about the physical book, do you? It's the contents that matter. Well, I've only had a flick through, but from first glance it appears to be everything The DIY Book was, but for sewing. With comprehensive and well-illustrated instructions on setting up a sewing area, looking after a machine, and all types of actual sewing and garment construction, I can see this book being very useful, and I'm very glad I spent that 2.86. Given that you can pick it up for so little (or even SEW little, ha, I kill myself) secondhand, it's certainly worth a look for anyone who is thinking about taking up sewing to see what's involved, too. It's certainly cheaper than taking a punt on a sewing course at the local adult education centre, which is what I have done. If you haven't got a good secondhand bookshop nearby, there's always ABEbooks.