Summer breeze…

“… blowing through the jasmine in my mind…”

And apparently taking my mind with it. June went by so quickly I didn’t write a single post! So here it is July…

This month I want to let you know about a book I was sent for review. It’s called:

Super Stitch Sewing by Nicole Vasbinder

This is an interesting book for sewers with some experience. It doesn’t cover the basics of sewing, but it does tell you what all those “extra” stitches on your machine can be used for — from the basic straight stitch all the way through to the decorative stitches. There are diagrams for each stitch and written explanations of how they work. I found it especially helpful for stretch stitches used on knits. I sew a LOT, but I don’t sew on knits very often, so a reference book for those stitches could come in handy.

That’s what this is. A reference book. It is not an instructional book.

What’s the difference? Well, to me, an instructional book is meant to be read (and used) from front to back with each lesson building on the one before. A reference book is meant to be opened up to a specific section when that info is needed. Nitpicky, I know, but it caused me a bit of confusion. This book tells you all the machine stitches first, followed by the hand stitches, followed by the presser foot and needle information. As a reader, I think it might have been less confusing if the sections had been reversed — presser foot and needle info followed by hand stitches followed by machine stitches. That makes more sense in my head – starting with the basics and moving towards the more complex. As it is, when you are reading about a machine stitch, it will refer to a presser foot that you haven’t heard of before because the presser feet are in the back of the book and you haven’t read that far yet. Perhaps my error was in sitting down to read the book rather than just pick it up and use it for reference.

There IS a decent index and table of contents, so using the book in future for a specific task should be simplified.

The book’s descriptions are accurate with helpful expert tips included along the way. The diagrams are clear and easy to read. There is a photograph of each stitch so you can see what it will look like when you’re done. On a few stitches, more photographs would have been helpful. I don’t process spatial images in my head very well and being able to see the actual blind hem process (for instance) would have made it clearer for me. Also, the diagrams and graphics are mostly red and a green-ish gold. This may cause problems for folk with red/green color-blind issues.

The book discusses stitches found on sewing machine since the 1950s. If you are interested in stitches available on older machines, this book might not be what you’re looking for. Of course, every sewing machine brand is different, and your best resource is often the manual that came with your machine. But if you have misplaced it or need further information on a specific stitch, and have a more modern machine, this book might come in handy.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Now, blow the dust off that sewing machine and go create something!

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