Disclaimer: I haven’t done a single project in here.
I don’t remember why I bought this book but I am certainly glad I did!
Sewing in a Straight Line is geared toward beginners but it still holds a lot of value for someone like me, an advanced beginner/intermediate sewist. The beginning section has a good sewing primer. It briefly explains hand and machine stitching and gives a good basic list of items you need. There’s a section on cutting straight lines as well. The only issue is the author never talks about ripping. It’s such an easy way to get perfectly straight lines if your fabric allows it!
The projects are divided into three sections: clothing, home accessories, and gifts. The ones that have caught my eye are the Sewing School Skirt (on the cover), Easy Breezy Blouse, DIY Duvet Cover (pictured below), Clutter-Busting Bucket Tote (you can see that in the table of contents on amazon), and Folded Flower Bowls (also pictured below).
Some of the projects are things you can find tons of free tutorials for, like the One Hour Skirt and Customized Curtains but it isn’t the majority. I love those patterns that use rectangles/squares and straight lines to create original shapes like those bowls up there. The edging on the Origami Dress is great. The dress itself wouldn’t work for me but that edging could be used at the bottom of a skirt… I also appreciate the finishing on the projects. All edges are either enclosed or finished very neatly. French seams abound! I love french seams…
The patterns may be what attracted me to this book but they aren’t what made me want to talk about this book so much. It’s the approach to sewing for beginner’s. Most books concentrate on easy fabrics and teach techniques like curved seams. The result is people like me who can do a lot with basic cotton (quilting, voile, denim…) but are afraid of other fabrics. This book uses the same techniques like straight seams and encourages the sewist to try different fabrics. That blouse I like is made of chiffon. The bag pictured above is made of vinyl. It’s a truly different and original perspective. I love it and will finally have the courage to work with chiffon!
I strongly recommend Sewing in a Straight Line to beginners. Just be sure to check the errata (click on the book photo at the top and go to the bottom of that page). There’s only one. And then we’ll all make the chiffon blouse together!