Book Review: Fabric Guide by Simplicity
So you've been sewing for years and you have every tool available, including those that looked amazing at the show you bought it at (but in truth have never used)? But when it comes to fabric choices you pick what looks priddy and feels scrummy. Sound familiar?
Well, that's me, for sure. I sew for a living, for goodness sake, but when it comes to knowing my gabardine from my seersucker, I'm a little lost. And I know I shouldn't admit, that as a professional costume maker, but I'm afraid I just did!
However, my bacon has just been saved thanks to the new book: Fabric Guide by Simplicity and published by Sixth and Spring Books. From now on when a project calls for chenille and not chiffon I know exactly where to turn!
What's it about?: The Fabric Guide promises to be 'The Ultimate Fiber Resource'. It includes full colour swatches of 121 different types of fabrics, all you need to know about fibres, colour choices, fabric care, threads and how to work with fabric. What they haven't covered in this book when it comes to fabric, you don't need to know!
Above: The colour wheel uses threads for colour reference, a nice touch I've not seen used before.
The Intro: At the beginning of the book you have the usual Introduction, together with a history of Simplicity and a history of fabric. The Introduction takes you through all of the areas covered within the pages and encourages you to take it along with you on shopping expeditions and to use it when preparing projects.
Simplicity, for those that may not know, is a dress pattern brand that started in 1927 with the aim of bringing patterns to the masses by way of great designs at a fraction of the cost. It revolutionised the industry and still sells patterns around the world.
The Projects: There are no projects in this book. Instead, it's a go-to guide that helps you to understand fibers and fabrics, so enabling you to make the best choice for your project. It's not a 'read cover to cover' book but a book to keep on your shelf that you can delve into when you are planning your next fabric related craft.
What else is there?: There are detailed drawings of different weaves for fabrics, lots of information about how different fibers for fabrics are produced, a section on trademark and special finished fabrics and even a section on linings, interfacings and stabilizers.
Towards the back of the book it takes you through all the different elements you need to think about when making clothes. It even has a page showing all the different types of needles available and why you'd need them.
The final section of the book is clever as it allows you to pin fabrics you've used and write information about the fabric underneath like a notebook.
Craft type: This book would be most suited to those already with an interest in fabric or fabric related craft.
Although I feel that it'd be really useful for newbies too, as it literally tells you every single thing you could ever need to know about fabric. I think it would probably scare starters away with all the technical intricacies associated with fabric.
Fabric and sewing geeks, you need this book!
[All images via Sixth and Spring books]