Monday, May 9, 2011
Book Review: Illustrated Guide to Sewing: Tailoring
I collect books on tailoring, so I was intrigued to see a new series entitled Illustrated Guide to Sewing with a book on tailoring. Imagine my disappointment as I'm paging through the book and discover that it's the exact same information from an older book in my library, The Art of Sewing: Basic Tailoring by Time Life Books (published in 1974).
The text is identical, word for word, and the illustrations are the same, drawing by drawing.
The original work is rather antiquated and convoluted, and the new book is not much better. The author didn't even bother to update the information from 37 years ago. For example, a chart on interfacings lists and describes wigan, which may be obsolescent by now, and there is no mention of the new interfacings that have come on the market since then.
Despite the subtitle "A Complete Course on Making a Professional Suit," the arrangement of the information is counterintuitive to a logical sequence of steps in tailoring a garment. The book tends to jump around between altering patterns for both jackets and pants and then sewing specific parts of a man's jacket, then specific parts of a woman's jacket, back to man's jacket, then woman's jacket, and back and forth.
The only revision appears to be the updated photos, such as the one on the cover. They picture various finished garments rather than mid-construction shots of the same garment, which would have been much more helpful.
I was skeptical when I ordered the book at Amazon, as there were no prior reviews, and the description identifies the author, Peg Couch, as "an amateur seamstress." I would definitely not recommend this book.