Book Review: Seams to Me

Seams to Me: 24 New Reasons to Love Sewing Seams to Me: 24 New Reasons to Love Sewing by Anna Maria Horner

I received this book as a 2009 birthday gift from wonderful friend. Today, I listened to Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood’s podcast interview with Anna Maria Horner again, which made me think about my review. I came to see what had when I first looked at the book. Shock! Horror! I didn’t write a review, nor did I even put it on my list. Shame! I have no idea what I was thinking. The first thing I like about this book is the pre-Table of contents. It is arranged in a very visual and 9 patchy way. It tells you what to expect and what the book contains. The layout alternates words with pictures, which keeps the reader’s eye moving around the page while giving some spots to rest as well. The next thing I like about the book, which Jennifer mentions in her interview also, is the nice tone Ms. Horner uses in the introduction. I found that the tone continues throughout the book, ebbing and flowing in different ways to achieve different points. When all of that glamor is said and done, this is a book that gets people started sewing. Horner goes through all different considerations from where to sew, what sewing machine to use, considerations when buying a sewing machine to notions, gadgets, tools, color and my personal favorite, fabric! While a lot of this section was not new to me, it was well laid out and clear. Anna Maria has some brief definitions about what different needles are for and also a needle size chart with fabric examples. The color wheel is fabulous and like no other I can remember seeing. It is a bunch of squares of fabric arranged like a color wheel. These are not Amish solids, either; they are prints. I am thinking about photocopying this page and hanging it up so I can be inspired. I buy tons of prints, after all, and need some help using them sometimes. This book is entertaining, too. The entertainment starts with the chapter headings, such as “A Place to Perch” and “Let’s Bolt” and continues on to the text with examples like “Tedious Terms” and “Width Wisdom.” Such touches tell me that Anna Maria Horner cared about the details and was confident enough to inject a bit of fun into her writing. Tucked into the section called “Tedious Terms”, the author has included a helpful conversion chart for yardage. You could copy it (again for personal use only!) and keep in in your handbag when you go fabric shopping so you know that when you ask for an 1/8 of a yard you are getting a piece of fabric 4.5″ wide. There are lots and lots of pieces of helpful information that make this a book that I will keep on the shelf very close to my machine so I can refer to it frequently when I want to clip curves, put in a zipper, make a french seam, stitch some piping, gather cafe curtains or make a decorative edging on a garment. As a result, there were quite a few things that I learned. The basic information was so beautifully laid out and written in a way that kept me interested so I was shocked to find that I had finished that section and was on to the projects. I am not much for buying project oriented books, but some of these projects intrigued me. One of the first was called “Cozy Cubes”. They are in the organizing section and I can see where these would be fun, beautiful and useful. I also want to make the Wall pockets, the “I’ll have one of Everything” bag, and am attracted by the “Playing Along” quilt. I also think the “Full Contact Cooking Apron” is fun and useful, though I suspect the fabrics make the piece. Some projects I would probably never make, though I hesitate to say never, because saying never guarantees I will end up making it! I am sure I could learn something from some of these projects as well. I am not excited about the big squares on the “Sideways Skirt,” nor do I find the “Smashing Smock” very smashing or the “Right off the Cuff” cuffs very practical. I might too old to appreciate some of these stylish projects! All in all, I was very pleased that I had gotten this book out again and look forward to working with it a little more.

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