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Sew U: The Built by Wendy Guide to Making Your Own Wardrobe    by Wendy Mullin & Eviana Hartman order for
Sew U
by Wendy Mullin
Order:  USA  Can
Bulfinch, 2006 (2006)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Getting back to basics is making a comeback. If sewing your own clothes is something you've always wanted to do or something you'd love to get back into, then Sew U is the perfect guide to help you begin making or re-vamping your wardrobe. Mullin doesn't overcomplicate things with long, in-depth discussions and instructions. Her conversational style is easy to follow (even for those of us who haven't threaded a needle since our high school Home Economics class way back when!) In addition, there are plenty of photos, illustrations and helpful hints.

The first five chapters of this handy little coil-bound, prop-up book explain how to set up your sewing room, and discuss fabrics, notions, patterns, and how to size a pattern to fit your proportions. In chapters six through eight, you and Wendy will get right down to the business of pinning, cutting and creating variations to the shirt, pants or skirt you've chosen to make. The author does post a warning for the beginner however. She says that 'this is all new to you, proceed carefully ... it's great to start dreaming up new ideas, but before you try to make something, practice, practice, and practice some more'. She suggests buying inexpensive fabric and making 'test garments' before moving on to the real thing. The manual comes complete with three full Simplicity patterns produced exclusively for this book. Mullin gives you everything you need to start sewing, along with step-by-step instructions that help customize the basic look to one that suits you and your distinctive tastes, whether they are funky, jazzy or sporty.

As a starter book for what Mullin hopes will become a comprehensive sewing library, Sew U is an impressive debut. The only drawback that I see is that all the projects are rather form fitting and might pose problematic for anyone who's larger than a size fourteen. And, unfortunately, the patterns included are only sized to accommodate a twelve. Perhaps in future books, the author will provide more varied sizes and styles. Overall though, Wendy Mullin has done a great job putting together Sew U and the projects she presents should inspire you to get busy and get creative!

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