Sunday, April 18, 2021

The Act of Sewing: How to Sew, Alter, and Embellish Clothes You'll Love to Wear

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The Act of Sewing is a tutorial and general technique guide aimed at beginning sewists by Sonya Philip. Due out 27th April 2021 from Roost Books, it's 176 pages and will be available in paperback format. 

It is indisputably true that choosing the right clothes can affect our comfort, mood, life, even our personality. Choosing the wrong clothes or suffering through clothes that make us feel uncomfortable can even have a huge impact on the way other people interact with us. Getting educated and empowered to change the things we can change and make informed choices about what we consume and *how* we can go about gaining the technical expertise and confidence to change the things we can change is almost stunningly empowering and freeing. 

I started sewing as a child. I bought fabric and made many of my own clothes as a teen because my available monetary resources would stretch further and because I live in a body which falls outside the normal ready-to-wear bell curve. Clothes available off the rack have never fit me properly and I've never been wealthy enough to have professionally tailored bespoke clothing - so sewing was a good fit for me. 

This is a very good book for consumers who want to have body-positive, well fitting, well made clothes which make them feel comfortable and are a good outward expression of the wearer's personal style and personality. The book includes four full sized patterns for 4 basic wardrobe staples (top, skirt, trousers, & shirt) as well as understandable and accessible tutorials for alterations and fitting information to make clothes really wearable and comfortable.

The book is mostly illustrated with simple line drawings with a retro feel. There are some photographs, but not many. Readers who are beginners to sewing might well need to seek out additional resources in the form of videos, teacher/mentor, or online learning for some specific points. The descriptions included in the book are well done, but I am (alas) a very visual and hands-on learner and a purely descriptive explanation is unfortunately usually not enough to master the concept for me. That being said, I adore the author's straight talking genuine warmth and humor! I can imagine that she would be a *really* fun teacher from whom to take a workshop. 

I would heartily recommend this one to sewists (beginner to advanced). It would also make a superlative selection for public or school library acquisition, maker's groups, classroom instruction, community theatre/wardrobe or continuing education workshops, library sewing groups, outreaches, volunteer/charity sewing, and similar. I intend to acquire a copy at release for my own sewing room. 

Five stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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