Sew Everything Workshop By Diana Rupp
Sew Everything Workshop - The Complete Step-by-Step Beginner's Guide by Diana Rupp, is just that. Published in December, just slightly too late for the Christmas season, it is the best book I have seen for someone just beginning to sew. Diana Rupp is a young woman who is living her dream and obviously finds great pleasure in her work. Diana is the owner of the Make Workshop in New York City's Lower East Side, where she teaches sewing classes.
Diana grew up sewing - both her mother and grandmother sewed and Diana learned by making, first, clothes for her dolls and then, clothes for herself. Like Diana, I have been sewing since I was a child. My mother also made her own clothes and by the time I was in Grade 8, I did as well, and continued to do so for many years, later making maternity clothes - in the old days of the "tent" - and baby clothes for my children. There was a time when it was less expensive to make your own clothes than to buy them. Diana admits that this is no longer the case, as the fabric required to make a garment is often more expensive than one purchased at a shop. The advantage, then and now, is that you can make something unique - no one else will be wearing the same dress. And of course the possibilities are endless.
Diana encourages us to find space in our home for a "sewing room" and shows us how to set it up, and what tools are required, as well as excellent information about sewing machines. Diana inherited her mother's sewing machine and uses it still, as I do.
My mother replaced hers with a fancy new machine with all sorts of electronics, but I still love - and use daily - her old Singer.
I recently had the pleasure of purchasing a new sewing machine for a young woman who has become part of my life. On her most recent visit to Parry Sound, we went together to the Parry Sound Sewing Centre to look for a used machine - my stable of elderly sewing machines have received excellent care there for many years.
In the end, we decided upon a new machine - good for a beginner.
The shop owner spent over an hour guiding her through the use of the machine and shared his obvious knowledge and enthusiasm with her. What wonderful, small town service! Along with the new sewing machine, The Sew Everything Workshop completed the perfect gift.
This book is a "workshop at home" as Diana guides the reader through all of the steps she teaches at her studio. Her love for sewing is evident throughout the book. She expresses her pleasure in visiting a fabric shop, "the best anti-depressant ever", to just take in the colours, to touch the fabric and be inspired to create!
There is pleasure to be found in sewing - the relaxation of being immersed in a project - the soothing act of using the sewing machine, and the pride and personal satisfaction found in the practical skill you have acquired.
The beginner sewer could not ask for more. This book comes with 10 patterns that include a wrap-around skirt, yoga pants, a lovely little cape, and dresses. As well, there are detailed instructions on how to make curtains, pillow covers, aprons, bags of all sorts, toys, quilts - even neckties and doggy coats.
There is information about how fabric is made - knit and woven - and why that matters when you are selecting fabric for a project.
The use of patterns is explained - how to read the directions, how to determine sizes, how to choose the right colour, and how to make your own patterns – as confidence increases and creativity can really take off.
It is all such fun, and with terrific photographs, this book is full of the pleasure that those of us who enjoy fabric and sewing share with Diana Rupp, and will share with others when we present them with this fabulous book.