This article is from the Textile Related Books FAQ, by Lara J. Fabans email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
The "shortcuts" in the title of this
book does not refer to "quick and dirty things you can do that won't really
show too much" but rather to "techniques you can use to make your garments
look professional without wasting too much time trying to figure out tricky
or complicated methods by trial and error". I wish Shaeffer had not used
"shortcuts" in the title as I feel it implies speed rather than perfecting a
Like the Reader's Digest book, this book is a reference book that covers a
wide number of techniques. The book is illustrated with two and three color
drawings that show the important steps of each technique. While the
illustrations in the Reader's Digest book cover each method step by step,
Shaeffer's book has more techniques and more advanced techniques. I have used
her procedures several times (rolled hems, set in zippers, interfacing) and
have found them generally easy to follow and well written. Occasionally you
need to flip between sections to check on definitions, etc. The book is a
combination of tips and techniques in a reference format.
Topics include: organization, sewing machine, basic skills, interfacing,
preliminaries, seams, hems, facings, controlling fullness, zippers, buttons
and closures, sleeves, cuffs and plackets, collars, waistlines, linings,
pockets, fashion details and special techniques for special fabrics.
I am very fond of both Shaeffer's book and the Reader's Digest book. I would
be hard pressed to say which I found more useful. Many procedures are covered
in both books and either is a very good reference. The Reader's Digest book
has better illustrations and may be more appropriate for a novice.
_The Complete Book of Sewing Short Cuts_. Claire B. Shaeffer. copyright 1981.
ISBN 0-8069-7564-4. $12.95 paperback. 256 pages. Sterling Publishing Company.