The Sewing Bible: A Modern Manual of Practical and Decorative Sewing Techniques by Ruth Singer
Potter Craft, 2009
It used to be that if you asked for my recommendation on a good comprehensive sewing guide, I would say the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing (RDCGS for short) –hands down, no hesitation. (Aesthetically, I don’t think you can beat the classic 1970s version.) Well, now that I have The Sewing Bible (the British version is titled Sew It Up) by Ruth Singer, I will hesitate. Where the RDCGS is driven by technical illustrations, The Sewing Bible is driven by photos. Right off you can see how this might appeal to different learning types. As a beginner, I subconsciously compared my real-life stitches and fabric cuts to the very clean, idealistic illustrations of the RDCGS and as you might guess, real life isn’t so perfect. So if you or your giftee is a perfectionist type, and failure to achieve a false ideal might lead to giving up on sewing altogether, by all means choose The Sewing Bible.
RDCGS is more comprehensive, especially in garment construction, but I think Ms. Singer did a wonderful job choosing techniques to cover — the result is comprehensive without being overwhelming. The 20 projects in The Sewing Bible are thoroughly fresh, modern, and inspired. I mean, I think the projects in the RDCGS are awesome, but I can see where others might disagree. I like the 20 “masterclasses” included in The Sewing Bible, which cover techniques like decorative box pleating, couture hems, invisible zippers, and reverse appliquÃ©.
Of course, you can’t go wrong with having both books in your sewing book library!