Using the wrong material can be devastating to a project – one of the key factors in making a garment look professional is the fabric that’s used and knowing how to work with it. So how can a home sewer learn this? Books like Simplicity Fabric Guide. This new title covers everything from how fabrics are woven and manufactured, how to burn test fabrics to find their content (10 different fabrics are listed and identified according to how they burn), listing a variety of underlings, interfacings and stabelizers, how to work with fabric (nap, determining and straightening grain, understanding repeats and plaids), and needle and thread selections that work best with your fabric choice. There’s also a handy measurement section of the book that not only has a fabric conversion chart, but how to measure for bed coverings, window treatments, and table cloths as well as a how to on taking body measurements.The bulk of the book, however, is devoted to the variety of fabric types out there – what they are, how they are use, and a few sewing tips on work with it. Believe it or not, there’s a lot more to this book, too – so the best way to describe it might be: Everything you wanted to know about fabric and more.
Overall, I found Simplicity Fabric Guide to be a good resource of information. Being a person who does a lot of shopping online, I find it helpful to have a quick reference as to what I may be purchasing and how I might use it. Once I have the material in my hands, this book can take the guesswork out of figuring out what needle and thread works best (and even a few good tips as to how to deal with the fabric). I also have to admit, I really love the burn test information, too – I can never remember what materials burnsmell like and am always trying to look this up on the internet. It’s great to have it handy on my bookshelf!
The Bottom Line: A great reference tool to have on your bookshelf, whether you’re a beginner or advanced sewer! (Now to go find some of my mystery fabrics to burn!).