ForeWord Reviews

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Power Sewing

Step-By-Step

Foreword Review — July / Aug 2000

Sewing enthusiasts of all skill levels will appreciate the latest offering by Betzina, well-known teacher, author, and lecturer. As host of the HGTV show, Sew Perfect, Betzina has demonstrated many techniques for sewers who want to perfect their skills to get professional results. This new title adds to the home sewer’s basket of tips, building on the techniques from her earlier Power Sewing books and adding new ones.

Starting at the pre-sewing level, readers are guided through the process of selecting a pattern that will fit with minimum alterations. Betzina introduces her new pattern line from Vogue, Today’s Fit Patterns, and discusses correct sizing, ease, and other factors that influence correct fit. Information about selecting fabrics and interfacing, and even what to do if there isn’t quite enough fabric to complete a project are included.

Vests, pants, skirts, dresses, and jackets each comprise a chapter, and all chapters include the basic anatomy of the garment. Basic construction steps are given, with specific tips, and should be helpful for the sewer who has hesitated to attempt a particular garment. Pieces of clothing from Sandra’s Closet are shown, and readers who would like to make something similar are guided through the process with tips from sidebars called “How I made this…” In the vest chapter, for example, instructions and page numbers are given for Interfacing Decision, Armhole Gaposis Fix, Piping Dreams, and At-a-Glance Bias-Binding Resource. Readers are walked through Master Construction Techniques, such as making a lined vest with side slits, wrinkle-free underlining for pants, putting in a hand-picked zipper, and making fearless sleeve vents. Each chapter includes “Tricks of the trade,” specific solutions to common problems, such as avoiding wavy seams when sewing knits by using Wooly Nylon thread hand-wrapped on the bobbin.

“Style Makers” are ideas or techniques such as adding a fly-facing to pants to finish the zipper, which adds a better-quality finish to a piece of clothing. The book concludes with a glossary, resources, and an index.

Fans of the author’s previous books and videos won’t be disappointed in this, an invitation to sew. Wonderful fabrics made into beautiful and creative clothing will draw readers back again for inspiration. With Betzina’s easy-reading style, this well-written instructional manual and gorgeous photographs should prove to be a popular choice for imaginative sewers of all skill levels.

Tracy Fitzwater