Sixth & Spring Books recently sent me Simplicity Fabric Guide: The Ultimate Fiber Resource for review.*
"From SIMPLICITY, one of the most famous names in sewing, comes a comprehensive guide to all things fabric and fiber related. Lavishly illustrated throughout with color and archival photographs of fabrics and fabric-related items, this is the essential tome for textile fans everywhere. It covers fabric basics, natural and man-made fibers, fabric types, specialty finishes, trademark fabrics, more!"
And I definitely agreement with that description. This spiral-bound hardcover reference guide is beautifully laid out and photographed and contains lots of fabric and sewing information, which makes it a pleasure to look at as well as interesting to read.
It starts off with A Brief History of Simplicity and moves into a Brief History of Fabric and then onto Fabric Basics, such as how fabric is woven and/or loomed and the various types of weaves and knits.
Next, Fibers are covered, both natural and manufactured, and includes a burn chart so you can put your new knowledge to test on those mystery fabrics in your stash.
From there, you'll move into the Fabrics section with over 100 large, clear photos of various fabrics coupled with text descriptions, uses and sewing tips.
Next up is a section on Linings, Interfacings & Stabilizers which provides an overview of the different types and reference charts of what to use when.
The Working With Fabric chapter describes the characteristics of various fabrics versus the style garment to be made, plus grain, yardarge, pattern layout, preshrinking, nap & more. Sewing tools and notions are thoroughly covered, including a needle chart and a detailed description of more pins thank I think I knew existed.
Color Choices is a primer in color theory and Fabric Care covers cleaning, pressing and pressing tools, fabric storage, and stain removal.
Thread is up next with a brief overview of thread construction and detailed descriptions of thread types. Matching thread to fabric and matching thread to needle is covered in both descriptive and chart form.
At the end of the book there is a small glossary, measurement charts and/or instructions for quilts and bed coverings, window treatments, and tablecloths. There's a section on taking body measurements for garment sewing along with a Simplicity pattern size chart.
Finally, there is a section for adding your own fabric swatches and notes, and tear-out guides for fabric width conversion, estimating yardage, and a quick button size guide.
As I read through this book, I liked how the information was presented both in long form for leisurely reading and in condensed chart form for when you're about to start a project and are hot on the trail for the Just the Facts, Ma'am. In other words, it's very thoughtfully laid out and reader-friendly. Even the smaller print in some areas is easy for this 40+something to read without her reading glasses.
I give this book high marks and recommend it to any beginner-to-intermediate stitcher wanting a good, solid fabric reference. I know the more advanced stitchers will already have one (or ten) books on fabrics and this guide is not really aimed at you, but it's still a nice read and I thoroughly enjoyed the "extra" information in the beginning and ending chapters. I think you will too, and it would make a great gift for a new stitcher you might like to encourage.
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Now for the Giveaway — Please leave a comment on this post if you would like to be entered into the drawing for a copy of this book. Following me won't increase your odds of winning, but I do like to see that number go up. I'm just sayin'. ;-)
The Giveaway will be open for one week. I will close comments on Monday, July 18, 2011 and the winner will be decided by the Random Number Generator thingie and posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2011. This Giveway is open to anyone, anywhere as long as you leave a comment below during the next week.
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*Note that while I was not paid for this review in any way by Sixth & Spring books, if you click the link above to Amazon, I am an Amazon affiliate and will receive a small (minuscule!) percentage of each sale generated by the click-through.