Learn To make one of a kind Clothes with Illustrated Guide Book

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Summer is officially here and you may be looking for a low/no-tech activity for you or your kids. Why not try your hand at sewing? I learned the basics of sewing during a semester in Home Economics and from my Mom, but I am by no means a seamstress. I happily said yes when I was asked if I’d like to review The Ultimate Illustrated Guide to Sewing Clothes by Joi Mahon because I'd like to learn to sew.

This book is a complete course on making one-of-a-kind clothing and I’m excited to share this first step in advancing my sewing capabilities.

Learn To make one of a kind Clothes:

Learn To make one of a kind Clothes

My thanks to Fox Chapel Publishing for the complimentary SC copy of this book showcased in today's post. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own.


Let’s talk about Sewing:

In the introduction of The Ultimate Illustrated Guide to Sewing Clothes, the author, Joi,  tells us of her love of sewing, which, like me, started with a love of hand sewing! I used to love sitting with my Grandma, Mom, and Aunts in their sewing circles and gently pulling my threaded needle through whatever piece of scrap fabric had been given to me that day.

hand stitches from the illustrated guide to sewing clothes
Courtesy: The Illustrated guide to Sewing Clothes 

Joi quickly advanced to sewing machines, making her own patterns and clothes and I didn’t follow that same path. Try, as my family did, I just didn’t have the patience to literally “make” a blouse or dress like my Mom and other family members then. Looking back, I really wish I’d had the patience to learn! It would have served me well in my middle school Home Economics class and, more-so today when fast fashion reigns. I can’t wait to dive into the learning process covered in step-by-step detail. 

About The Ultimate Illustrated Guide to Sewing Clothes, by Joi Mahon, Publisher: Fox Chapel Publishing:

The Ultimate Illustrated guide to sewing clothes

According to the publisher's website, “The Ultimate Illustrated Guide to Sewing Clothes is a must-have resource on everything you need to know on how to sew clothes. Filled with valuable insight on sewing, tailoring, and making alterations, you’ll learn how to get a good fit for every body type out of any sewing pattern, install a zipper, use notions, and more. Whether you’re new to sewing or have experience, expand your skill set and build confidence so you can sew like a pro!

My Thoughts:

Written for beginners, this book takes us on a sewing” journey”, meant to teach and encourage us along the way. Joi states in the introduction that sewing is a journey that makes many stories. I love that analogy! Before we get to the first chapter, we are assured of assistance along the way because step-by-step instructions are broken down into small, bite-sized chunks for each phase of a project, complete with helpful photos. I’ll list some of the chapters and topics below, so you get an idea of the book's coverage. 

Chapter One: 

  • Basic: Machine- Sewing Techniques
  • Hand-Sewing Techniques 
  • Sewing Equipment, Tools and Notions
  • Ironing and Pressing

Reading this chapter brought a flood of happy memories to me! From the aforementioned hand-sewing times to the scent of my Grandma’s lightly scented water she used when pressing her clothes, to being old enough to handle the iron myself and assist my Mom with ironing down seams, pleats, and finished garments, to the unmistakable sound of my Mom and Grandma’s sewing machines, both with their own uniqueness.

Chapter two covers the selecting and preparing of fabrics, which brought to mind more memories of shopping for sewing project needs with my Mom, and then later, as a Mom, my daughters and I would stroll through the sewing section picking up supplies for hand-sewn projects, and a few machine sewing projects, but honestly, I didn’t trust my skills enough to pass the love of sewing on to my daughters.

colorful fabric rolls
Courtesy: The Ultimate Illustrated guide to Sewing 

The more I flipped through this book, the more I wanted to truly learn this craft well enough to make my own clothes and home decor, and then share my knowledge with my daughters, who are both keen on the idea of making their own clothes, and/or tailoring pieces to fit them better. Speaking of flipping through this book, you can do that here!

The TakeAway:

The Ultimate Illustrated guide to sewing
Courtesy: Fox Chapel Publishing 

This is a wonderful book full of helpful tips and tricks! It’s a comprehensive manual that walks you through the process of learning the very basics, like threading a needle and tying a knot, to darts, pleats, buttonholes, and linings. 

If you begin with a good pattern for the right fit, which is discussed at length in chapter three, and follow the step-by-step instructions at each point, you should be able to make a piece of clothing by the end of this book! 

Learn More about this book and its author:

I invite you to visit the publisher’s site here if you’d like to learn more about this book, purchase a copy, or learn more about the author. I can’t wait to make some projects like matching aprons with my daughters, decorative pillows, and more. If you love reading and learning about different crafts and hobbies, please check out my book reviews here on the blog. 

Please share in comments: Do you sew? If yes, what types of projects do you make?