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The Sewing Bible: A Modern Manual of Practical and Decorative Sewing Techniques [Hardcover]

Ruth Singer
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Nov. 10 2009
A complete course on sewing—from threading a needle to couture hemmingFinally someone has created every sewer's ideal companion: a comprehensive book on every aspect of hand and machine sewing—from the most basic to the most advanced—with a modern aesthetic and 20 projects to boot. From simple tutorials to in-depth masterclasses, Ruth Singer packs in lesson after lesson on both practical and decorative techniques.
The Sewing Bible includes:

• Easy-to-use instructions accompanied by hundreds of beautiful photographs detailing every stage of each technique•20 functional, fashionable sewing projects that illustrate many of the lessons—from an easy T-shirt transformation to a complex handbag—making this a how-to guide and pattern book in one
•Extensive guides to fabrics and tools, and resources to help you choose the perfect materials and equipment for your projects
•Advice on using organic and eco fabrics and working with recycled and vintage fabrics With more excitement than traditional sewing manuals, and much more depth than a book of projects, The Sewing Bible is an easy-to-use guide that's as attractive as it is comprehensive. This is the one book you need whether you're a beginner, an expert, or anywhere in between.

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About the Author

RUTH SINGER is a skilled textile designer and an accomplished textile historian. Her work has appeared at exhibitions including the Craft Council's "Origin" show and New York Design Week. Visit her website at and her blog at

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource March 27 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a beginner sewer I found this book most helpful. The pictures along with the step by step directions were extremely useful. This is one book I have close to my sewing table. I will refer to it often.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
114 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sewing instruction for those confused by diagrams April 7 2010
By Latina Gilyard - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I just opened and went through this book last night after weeks of trying to decide if it was apropriate replacement to The New Complete Guide to Sewing put out by Reader's Digest (I bought that book years ago only to have it sit on my shelf and collect dust because I found the diagrams confusing and I had trouble finding things in it) and I have to say it is. Since there is no way to look in this book, I thought I'd include the table of contents along with the comment that everything is demonstrated within the book is done in full color photographes on colorful fabric so that there are no confusing diagrams whatsoever. Also, it is a very bright and attractive book that I think would add inspiration and joy to learning to sew thanks to all the pictures, the appropriate spacing and pacing of the instructions along with them, the encouraging voice of the author as well as the wonderful quality of the paper and binding.

It is divided into three sections: Practical Techniques, Decorative Techniues and Using the Techniues though each section has its own list of projects.

Practical techniues:
Setting up a sewing space
Basic tools
Starting Sewing
Pressing and steaming
Hand Stiches
Machine stiches
Notching a curved seam
Princess seams
Inset corners
Couture hems
Blind hems
Edgings, bindings and piping
Continuous bias strips
Mitered corners
Invisable zippers
Bound Buttonholes

Decorative techniques:
Frills and ruffles
Pleats, folds and tucks
Decorative box pleating
In-seam trims
Scalloped edges
Fabric manipulation (gathers)
Yo-yos (like the ones on the cuff on the cover)
Stich and slash (creating faux chenille)
American smocking
Quilting, aplique and patchwork
Hand quilting
Trapunto (a really cool looking way to use shapes and stuffing to give fabric texture)
Reverse applique

Using the techniques:
Customizing and recycling
Repairs and alterations

More tools are covered at the back of the book and there is a fabric guide, templates for the projects, a glossary, a section for further reading and a list of suppliers back there before the index. My only comment on the projects included is that they are very cute and vintage looking, which is something I like about them, but someone looking for more avant garde designs won't find what they're looking for in here. All in all, I love this book already and I know that it's going to be a constant companion as I takle the world of sewing without taking lessons in a classroom setting or a family member to teach me.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Jan. 1 2010
By Paige Heim-Thompson - Published on
I was looking for a book that would cover a myriad of sewing topics/instructions, and this one is definitely the ticket. Lots of pictures to accompany the how-to's, and a bunch of super projects to do, as well; I'm working on the quilted placemats right now. Highly recommended!
43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, not the best July 7 2010
By E. Castro - Published on
I purchased this book back in February and after months of reading and learning from this and other highly recommended books, I'd say this is decent but shouldn't be the main guide in a beginner's library. While the sections on materials, sewing, hemming, and decorative details are beautiful to look at, there is simply not enough substance to the instructions. The language is sometimes vague and some of the angles of the photographs make it difficult to interpret what the author is trying to teach you. The glossary is also lacking.
I recommend Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing (Hardcover - 1981) for in-depth, clear directions as well as instructions on how to measure a person, alter patterns, and fix common sewing machine problems. An oldie and a goodie!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sewing Bible Rocks March 6 2010
By BC - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Wonderful photos and clear step-by-step instructions, helped me get started on learning how to sew. Great projects - I will make every one of them!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for every sewer March 14 2012
By Mr. Darcy's Mom - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Whether you are a beginner or experienced sewer this is a book well worth having. Refer to it all the time and I've been sewing for years.
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