Good guidance…

I ummed and ahhed for a few days recently about getting some lessons. It’s been a long time and I was never actually excellent at sewing at school. Whilst I am certainly ‘feeling it’ alot more now, I could certainly benefit from guidance.

Anyway, there are local lessons but the good private one I heard of was booked out and I couldn’t really afford any of them at the moment anyway. I found a really good online 6 week course, for a great price, but was cutting the enrollment date a bit fine and did not want to make a rash decision and then not get full value because I have been very busy lately. Then I did something that turned out to be very smart. I researched sewing guides and books.

My research led me to a handful of titles, one of which was the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing. It has been published a number of times over the years with varying but similar titles. I heard that it is fabulous and was about ready to purchase the latest edition on ebay for around $40-50 when I stumbled across a great review that basically said not to buy the latest published version, buy an older one. Apparently the newer version has half the pages of the older one, half the content, and far less detail. They say it’s due to the modern reader wanting less detail, and clear succinct instructions, but I agreed with the reviewer that it is probably just cost cutting. Poor value for money. So I went out that afternoon to the local secondhand book shop and was thrilled to pick up a 1993 published version in like-new condition for $18. Bargain! AND more value for money. Also, it was total chance that they actually had it available…most of their sewing books were crap 🙂

When I got it home I was so excited!! It has an astounding amount of detail and has left me so much more confident to try some new things…yay!

I highly recommend this book. Apparently any version published 1995 or earlier is good value. Here’s a look at what you get:

It was actually the Sewing & Knitting guide in 1993. The sewing section is much much larger though!

There are pages of comprehensive details about the kind of supplies you might need.


Some of it is really detailed, like this section on types of needles, and several pages on types of materials.


How different machine stitches look. Pattern selecting.


Techniques for optimum pattern cutting. Neckline finishes.


Patch pockets. Zipper types and how to insert.

This is just a small selection of what you can hope to find….this book is incredibly detailed and I am stoked I found it so early in this endeavor. There are just over 500 pages of sewing goodness here…just check out this index:

Again, I highly recommend it. Its reasonably priced on ebay for this edition, but scour your local secondhand bookshops first…there are bargains to be had! 😀

Note: Apologies for the terrible photo quality. I know how much better it is to take pics in day light but I am only getting to blog at night at the moment. I am also using an iphone (lol). I swear if this blogging takes off I will invest in a decent camera 🙂


2 thoughts on “Good guidance…

  1. Pingback: Beginner excitement! « Cotton Handy

  2. Pingback: My first garment! « Cotton Handy

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