I don’t know about you but I use my local village library a lot.   As well as a great resource for novels so that avoid adding to our already overcrowded book shelves, I use the online ordering service to get my mitts on books that I’d like to take a look at before deciding whether or not to buy.  These are usually sewing, knitting or cooking related.

Big surprise there!

The latest book to come my way is Sewing Machine Secrets by Nicole Vasbinder.

IMG_7959_edited-1I’m always pretty dubious about new sewing books as I often find they tend towards a younger, less experienced seamstress. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for anything that encourages new sewists, but they don’t really have much to offer me.

This one, however took me, quite nicely, by surprise.

It’s broken down into two main sections. Section 1 is  “Choosing Machines and Accessories”.  I found the chapter about sewing machine needles to be really informative and useful.

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I didn’t know, for example, that there are specific needles for machine quilting. As I’m about to embark on the quilting of the Gardener’s Journal quilt ( *cough* finally *cough*), this was a timely piece of information!

But, for me, it’s in Section 2 that this book really shines. “Sewing Machine Feet and How to Use Them”.  

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I love this section!  It’s eminently practical without being too basic.  Perfect for newbies as well as gals like myself who’ve sewn a stitch or two but still have much to learn.

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Each chapter covers a particular type of foot in detail giving:

  • clear photos or illustrations of different foot designs in each category, for example, zipper feet,
  • a brief description of the foot and what you will use it for,
  • step by step instructions of how to use the foot,
  • a great photo of the finished product,
  • and extra tidbits of information in “insider secrets” such as:

You can use the rolled hem foot as a guide for sewing on narrow trims…slip the trim through the scroll…it will feed through…making it easy for you to stitch it on straight

And whilst it covers all the basics, such as zipper feet and buttonhole feet, it also looks at some of the more unusual ones too.

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Circle attachment anyone?

Who knew?

I am seriously covetous of this little beauty.

But not entirely convinced I can justify it!

Especially when I fess up a little guilty secret!

You see, my current sewing machine and overlocker were replacements for my original machines which were lost when my house flooded years and years ago. They came with several boxes of feet and attachments that have been tucked away in the sewing loft for forever without being used.  Every now and again I’ll think something along the lines of “I could really use a 1/4″ foot”, which will lead me to rummage though the boxes to see if I have said 1/4″ foot or if I need to buy one.

It’s a ridiculous waste of specialist feet and accessories  so yesterday, armed with this book, I pulled them all out.

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Good grief!

Half of them are overlocker accessories, which aren’t covered by this book, but the other half are sewing machine feet and ALL of them I could use on a regular basis.

Sadly there isn’t a circle attachment hiding amongst them.  But they are all nice and tidy now and ready to play with.  I think there is a side project of trying out all the overlocker feet, too, and finding out exactly what each of them do.

But in the meantime, I can heartily recommend Sewing Machine Secrets.  I certainly learned something new from it…I suspect you might too!

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