Friday, January 11, 2008

A Book Review: "The Collection"

I know that this book has made the circuit in blogland and that many people have reviewed it already...and it's been pretty much decided that this isn't "great literature". But the book tells a great story, is interesting and was a good bus read.

The thing that got me about the book was Isabelle Varlet's love of sewing. See I can just so relate to that! I loved the passages in the book that described her stitches, how she sewed a garment and her love of the fabric...ohmygosh...did this girl love fabric! Shannon & Marji ~ we could have been her sisters!

Then there were the passages that described the fittings at pose, the detail that was used to describe the know that I read those and then read them again they were so enticing.

But I guess the thing that I really liked about the book was that it made me want to sew. I am sure that is why I recently hand-stitched the lining was into "the ribbed dress" because that's what Varlet would have done. And it's made me want to slow down and enjoy the process even more...I am sure some of you are wondering at that last statement since it seems like I bum rush items when I'm on sewing vacay but do you realize how much preproduction work has gone into those garments? When I'm on sewing vacay, I am in the zone. I am ready and I am sewing! *LOL*

So it was great to go to the newsstand today and FINALLY pick up a copy of the latest issue of Threads and find articles on hand-stitching, a couture little black dress - complete with instructions on muslining it, underlining it and finishing it with a picked zipper...and Amber Eden's Editor's Letter on slow sewing...

"The Collection" will stay with me for if you haven't read it...get a copy! Read it and enjoy the sumptious passages about her sewing and the fabrics and the I said, it ain't great literature but it is a fulfilling sewing read!


  1. its a great book, it does make you want to hand stitch something, it really makes you feel like sewing someting beautiful

  2. I wish I loved the book. I started it the day after Christmas, and like you, Carolyn, I like the sewing references in it...but for the most part, I'm bored silly. Maybe I'll see if we have any Ritalin in the house - something that will help me focus so I can finish the darned book. -Karla

  3. I will surely pick up a copy. Thanks.

  4. Thanks for the review. I have not considered hand stitching since I've started sewing garments. But thought back to when I use to embellish my dresses & gowns with sequins and beads (tediously hand stitching those tiny pieces on - that was during my M&J Trimming I was know for taking a plain dress or gown and adding some pop to it.

  5. I loved that book. I have totally fallen in love with hand stitching. I have the new issue of Threads. I haven't had time to really get in to it like I want, but I did peruse and there seems to be some great info.

  6. Thank you for the book review, it is on my wish list for now. I used to do a lot of handstitching but got out of practice. Guess I'll need to start up again.

  7. I totally agree that this book stays with you but I did have some real questions about exactly how fast you can handstitch a silk charmeuse slip gown...I read and reread those passages, still scratching my head. I mean, before I could afford a good sewing machine in my adult life I would hand sew everything and for a sewing addict there just isn't any other way to get through life...but I couldn't sew that fast no matter what what driving me. But I understood the problem when I learned that the author doesn't sew, she is from a long line of stitchers, maybe that's it. Oh well, I'm glad she wrote the book. And I'm really glad Threads has finally published an issue that seems to be a return to the glory days of the early 90's - loved that issue.

    PS: have been stuck at the same weight for a week or so...

  8. How can anyone who loves sewing not LOVE this book? And you know what? It made me want to hand sew something too!


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