Friday, September 28, 2007

Weekend Sewers Guide Series - FSB #9

The Weekend Sewers Guide was published by Lark Books and authored by Kate Matthews. It consisted of three books:

~ Weekend Sewers Guide to Sewing Dresses

~ Weekend Sewers Guide to Sewing Blouses

~ Weekend Sewers Guide to Sewing Pants & Skirts

I had never seen a sewing/inspiration book devoted to sewing dresses ~ and y'all know how much I love dresses ~ so I just had to have this book! Now the pictures in the book are a little outdated. It was published in 1988, but the information is still on point and very helpful! However, this is more of an "inspirational" sewing book than and "instructional" sewing book. The different types and silhouettes of dresses are discussed in the book.

When I purchased this book, what really appealed to me was that each chapter ended with instructions on how to make a specific dress along with a fabric and supply list called "A Plan for the Week." The plan set out a weekly schedule for how to get the dress constructed in a weekend. I love how it broke the tasks down into manageable pieces, so that you could do one task each night and then do the main sewing over the weekend. At the end of the weekend you would have a new dress to wear.

At the time that was the most appealing factor to me...learning how to manage my time so that I could end up with a new garment every week! Not that much has changed but I have a different routine now! *smile* But this series of books definitely opened my eyes to another way to PLAN and sew.

As I mentioned earlier this series of books are more inspirational than instructional. Not to say that the sewing information is inconsquential but I think the inspirational value is greater. The format (Plan and Sew) is the same for all three books. This is not the eye-candy treat of Decorative Dressmaking or the instructional standard of the Nancy Zieman book, but it does have the time management piece down and it did contribute heavily to the type of sewer I am today. I don't know if you necessarily have to have a copy of all three of these books in your sewing library. If I had to choose just one, it would be the dress book! If you can get your hands on a copy just to read and decide if you should invest in the book, I would highly recommend that!

Since it is Friday night I am planning what to sew this weekend...more on that later!


  1. Carolyn, I too have all 3 of those books. I loved a cute litte tatted trim on one neckline so much I had to learn to tat! I love just looking at those books - definately more inspiration than instruction, but good to have. g

  2. I have the pants and the dresses books - thanks for the reminder to revisit them!

  3. I have the blouse book and the dress book. You're right, the styles themselves are a little dated, but I also liked how the author develops a recipe for the style and a plan for how to get there. Now if I would only take her advice....

  4. Those books sound wonderful - especially the one with dresses. Like you, I'm always most drawn to making dresses.

  5. Me too! I have all of them and agree that while the styles may be dated there is still a lot of valuable information packed inside.

  6. Interesting background on the texts that have influenced you.
    I'm anxious to see what will emerge from this weekend.
    I am supposed to be downstairs sewing, instead I'm down and out on the couch with the flu after a very uncomfortable night. UGH.

  7. Carolyn, I love books!, so your book list and reviews are really exciting to me. I did get my hands on a copy of Decorative Dressmaking and will love for years to come. Thanks for introducing it to us. I think my next addition will be Claire Schaffer's Couture Sewing.


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