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Monday, January 21, 2013

Book Review: Singer Simple Sewing by Beth Baumgartel; Creative Publishing


This comprehensive at-your-fingertips reference is an essential addition to every sewer’s library. With more than 1,000 detailed illustrations, SINGER Simple Sewing covers all the need-to-know basics for garment construction and home décor. There’s also an entire section on mending and repair to help you recycle your favorite items with quick and reliable fixes.

No matter what type of sewing project you’re working on, SINGER Simple Sewing will help you sharpen your skills and find smart solutions to make each of your projects the very best.

I began learning to sew in high school home economics class. I learned how to make pillows, blankets, and even a pair of pajamas. I didn’t own my own sewing machine back then though, so when I finally did get mine I was a little rusty.

Being able to review the Singer Simple Sewing Reference book has been amazing. Even though I’ve been sewing (with my own machine) for close to 4 years now, there were still parts of sewing that had me stuck in a rut.

Mostly I just made whatever came into mind when I pulled out the fabric. I was very limited in selection though. I could only make small items such as purses, laptop bags, and random items.

I couldn’t put a piece of clothing together or do anything hard because following patterns was difficult for me. There were other things such as the different machine feet ((I wasn’t sure what was necessary to buy and what I could wait to purchase later).

I love that this book comes with it’s own DVD. You can insert it into your computer or DVD player and see the video’s that accompany the chapters in this book. It shows how to start with your machine, getting ready to start sewing, how to change presser feet, and more. It makes it a lot easier to understand (especially if you’re a beginner.)

Looking through the book was amazing.. they cover anything and everything that has to do with sewing. This is the perfect book for a beginner, but even if you aren’t *like me* there is something to be learned.

The beginning of the book consists of everything there is to know about different parts of the sewing machine and the tools that are needed to begin sewing. The tools contain everything from machine & hand needles, interfacing fusibles, pressing, cutting, & marking tools, to lining.


The detailed illustrations that come with each page make it that much easier to see what you need to do or what is what in sewing tools. The best thing about it that it doesn’t just describe what these things are, it actually tells you how to use the items.

There when I began sewing the differences between fusibles, interfacing, and stabilizers had me confused. This book is amazing because it breaks down what each one is, what they are used best with (i.e. heavyweight interfacing is best for toys, crafts, and accessories), and how to apply them.


The part that helped me best was the “Working with Patterns” part. Taking a pattern and making it your own is quite difficult to begin if you don’t understand HOW to work with the pattern. This part of the book breaks down why there are  different sizes on the pattern and how to make sure that you cut and sew them so that they fit YOU. They even show you how to measure yourself so that you know WHICH of the several patterns is more to your body type. WP_001262

It breaks down each and every notch, dotted line, solid lines, and everything in between. This made me feel more confident just looking at a pattern. It helps to feel like you can accomplish and tackle something before you ever even try. If you’re frazzled before you begin, it won’t take long for something to go wrong.

No matter what you’re trying to accomplish or learn, you can do it with this book. Making ribbons & tassels & bias binding, forming gathers & adding darts, inserting elastic into a casing, pleats, ruffles, and hems.


If you look at a piece and think you might skip it overall because it tells you that you have to do something that you’re scared of, be scared no more my friend! I used to think that shortening a zipper would break my machine needles, so I didn’t even give it a try. This book firmly and efficiently shows how to shorten  a zipper so that it functions after you’ve shortened it to size!  And it even shows how to insert it if you are stuck on that part too. Amazing!


There is a whole chapter dedicated to showing how to sew up home décor items. This shows how to choose the right fabric and go about sewing shower curtains, bedding, napkins, regular curtains, tablecloths, placemats, and so much more! You’ll be sewing you’re heart away in no time!


The last part of the book is completely about mending and repair. This shows you how to examine a piece and thoroughly decide whether it’s able to be mended or thrown out. Whether it be stressed seams, holes in clothing, patching pockets, adding decorative trim, adding buttons/snaps/zippers that have popped off, repairing lining, or adding extra fabric to clothing that’s gotten too tight- this book nails it right on the head.

Whether you’re a beginner, want to become handy around the house, start your own seamstress business, or know someone who does—this is the perfect book for them or you!! If you buy it for someone else, they will thank you until the end of their days! It is a very helpful book! I love it!

BUY IT: You can buy Singer Simple Sewing: The Complete Illustrated Machine-side Reference of Tips and Techniques for $18.97



Jessica Renee


This post was written by:

Jess is the creator of Stylish Southern Mama + Southern Rambles. She is a freelance writer + designer, Social Media Marketer, and Journalist. She has 2 amazing kids, Aidan and Adisyn, and has been with their dad Adam for 12 years, and has 2 amazingly adorable dogs; Harley + Cheyanne! :)

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