Stitch by Stitch: Learning to Sew One Project at a Time by Deborah Moebes is a comprehensive new book focused on sewing fundamentals. New techniques and skills are taught and built upon in the book’s eleven projects, and a bonus CD includes PDF patterns, sample appliqué designs and more. Deborah created the book as a step-by-step guide to foster sewing confidence and success. The book is packed with detailed process photos, guiding you along your sewing way. Deborah is a sewing teacher, fabric store owner and mother of four with a love for sewing that shines through in her book.
We’re happy to share a little more about Stitch by Stitch with you today as a stop on Deborah’s blog book tour. Tomorrow we’ll share a project from the book for you to download and sew right away, and both today and tomorrow you have a chance to win one of two copies of Stitch by Stitch! Comment on today’s post and check back for tomorrow’s project for your chance to win your own free copy. You can also purchase Stitch by Stitch: Learning to Sew One Project at a Time through the link with a 10% discount for Sew,Mama,Sew! readers (Coupon Code: SEWMAMA10, expires 10/1). Enjoy our interview with Deborah, and check back tomorrow for a fun project from Stitch by Stitch!
Sew,Mama,Sew!: Stitch by Stitch includes everything you need to learn the ins and outs of sewing. We loved the detailed information on tools and materials, valuable sewing machine tips and step-by-step help for everything from slip stitches to mitered corners. Tell us a little about how you came to hold this wealth of information about sewing, and what made you want to share this with others?
Deborah: I come from a long line of stitchers and crafters, which mostly means that I was gifted with the assumption from a very early age that if I wanted it, I could probably make it. I was very resistant to learning to sew from my mother, though, like so many women, so I’ve approached most of my sewing as an ongoing research project: I get inspired by a new technique or an amazing creation or a wild idea and I read and research and experiment until I figure out how to make it happen. It is such a rush to learn and practice and perfect a new skill and then have the chance to pass it on to someone else– teaching sewing is one of my favorite things, because I get to see someone else get as jazzed as I do about making something cool. Through teaching classes at my shop, I’ve also had the amazing experience of meeting My People, which has been an unexpected benefit that keeps me always coming back for more. Writing the book was like my own little love letter about sewing!
Picnic Place Mat
SMS: All of the projects in the book seem very approachable, even for someone very new to sewing. Do you have a favorite “very first sewing project” in the book?
Deborah: The projects are all made to be accessible to someone of any level of skill and experience, and are designed to teach progressively challenging skills when they’re done in sequence. If I had to pick a project that I think is a fantastic place to jump in, I’d have to say I really love the Picnic Placemat with the bias edging. I think it’s challenging without being frustrating, Varsity without being intimidating, and it gives you the chance to try out a whole mess of skills that you can apply directly to a zillion other sewing projects right away– from quilting to clothing. I love the way it makes new stitchers feel totally hard-core right out of the box.
SMS: We appreciate how every step along the way in the book is presented visually, with detailed photos. Have you found those visual cues to be critical in teaching others to sew and/or in how you learn new skills?
Deborah: Absolutely! One of the complaints I hear from students is that they really love having someone right next to them to teach them to sew, but that once their hand-holder is gone, they feel paralyzed. I really wanted this book to take the place of a person, to make you feel as though you have your older sister or best friend right in the room with you guiding you along as you learn a new technique. Having each project laid out with step-by-step photos that give plenty of detail and clear cues for what comes next makes it infinitely easier to pick up the new skills and really understand exactly how to make the project work so that you’re able to get great results right from the beginning.
SMS: The Carport Wrap Skirt and Cap-Sleeved Blouse are both such versatile patterns. Are any of the clothing projects from the book now staples in your wardrobe?
Deborah: I love ALL the clothing projects from the book, and really wanted them to be patterns that could be easily adapted and used as templates for almost any garment you want to dream up. I could probably fill out my entire wardrobe with just those three patterns and a pair of jeans– seriously. The A-line skirt pattern, for example, is the only one I use anymore– I think I have six of them in my closet now, and have ideas for at least a couple more! I’m working on a series of pattern pieces that can be downloaded as add-ons to make the patterns in the book go even further, like a scalloped hem option for the A-line skirt, and sleeve variations for the blouse– keep an eye out for them this fall on the blog!
SMS: Can you tell us a little more about the CD that comes with the book?
Deborah Most experienced stitchers are accustomed to tissue paper patterns but so many folks new to sewing feel intimidated by them– especially by the fear that they’ll make a cutting mistake and ruin the pattern before they’ve even begun. So many of us are discovering cool sites like Burda Style where we can download patterns as tiled PDFs, so it seemed a natural leap to offer the patterns in the book in the same format, giving you the flexibility to print out a single size of the patterns for the skirt (much easier to work with as you learn to cut and put a pattern together) and work up to the multi-size blouse pattern once you’re feeling more confident. Plus, this way you can print the pattern out as few or as many times as you want, and if there’s a particular pattern that you don’t use, no paper was wasted printing it for you just to be left in the back of the book. I also love that with the CD included, I had the space to add some extras that might not have made it into the book, like the applique shapes, the thread drawing templates, and the stitch practice guides. I loved having the chance to offer lots of bits that I think really enrich the experience of learning to sew!
Thanks, Deborah! Readers: Comment today for your chance to win one of two copies of Stitch by Stitch.