Sewtionary cover 2 Have you got your hands on a copy of The Sewtionary yet?  It is a a new publication that is quickly becoming a necessary reference book in every modern sewist's arsenal of sewing tools.  It is written by Tasia, of Sewaholic Patterns, who, as I'm sure you all know, is a fellow Canadian sewist and entrepreneur who I much admire.  When Tasia asked me to be part of her Sewtionary Blog Tour, I was thrilled to join in! Tasia So, in case you don't already know her, let me introduce you to Tasia! She is the designer and mastermind behind the gorgeous Sewaholic patterns which are, invariably, classic and easy-to-wear designs with careful pattern drafting and clear, well-thought out instructions.  Matt and I had the pleasure of meeting Tasia just a couple weeks ago while she was on a Vancouver Island holiday.  We were inspired to no end by her enthusiasm for sewing and her business! Sewaholic patterns The Sewtionary: An A to Z Guide to 101 Sewing Techniques and Definitions, is exactly the sort of book you might expect from the woman behind such successful patterns - it is beautiful, easy-to-use (the spiral binding allows it to lay flat on the sewing table), well organized, and wonderfully logical.  I've interviewed Tasia about her new book so that you can learn a little more about it before acquiring one for yourself (head to the bottom of the post for a giveaway of a printed copy!). Sewtionary Can you summarize the purpose and content of your book and how you came to write the Sewtionary? I was approached by F+W Media about the possibility of turning the Sewtionary page on my blog into a book. Of course I was thrilled about the idea when I first received the email! I often read books that have very good tutorials, or useful tips, but then when it's actually time to sew a garment using the technique, I can't remember which book had the info. The purpose of the Sewtionary is to be a sewing dictionary, an easy to use alphabetical book that makes it easy to find what you're looking for. As well as demonstrations, I also wanted to include WHY you might want to know this skill, and examples of when it's used. Instead of trying to have something from each letter, I picked what I felt were the most important 101 techniques and organized them from A to Z.  I wanted to have all real fabric examples in the photos, instead of diagrams, so it would easy to follow along at home. Because it's a reference book, it features a coil binding so it can lie flat when you work. (Usually I weigh down other books with my phone or a stapler or something to keep it open, and end up bending the spine.) I wanted it to be a very useful book in all aspects, from the content and images to the physical book design. Sewtionary photos When writing your Sewtionary, what areas of the process most surprised or challenged you? I definitely underestimated how much time it would take to sew all of those samples! There are literally thousands of samples in the book, one for every single photo. Plus the garments! For the step-out samples that I had to cut or sew during a demo, I made extras in case I screwed up or in case we need to retake the shot. And there were some samples that didn't photograph well that I had to remake for a reshoot.  That was surprising, the sheer amount of time it took to sew everything, and a good reminder to always allow extra time for new or unknown projects. The other thing that surprised me was how many people are involved in writing a book! I had an editor, a tech editor, a book designer, photographers, and of course my own writing and sewing, with Caroline's and Corinne's help. So many people review and edit the material, it's an amazing amount of work. It's given me a new respect for the book publishing industry. Who do you imagine will find your Sewtionary most invaluable as a sewing room resource and how do you imagine it to be used? I bet some people will read it cover to cover, just to see what's inside! That's what I would do if I had just bought it. I think it will be most useful later on though, when someone needs a tutorial on bound buttonholes, wants to know what a godet is, or needs to look up different seam finishes. That's when the A-Z format will be really helpful. I'd love to see it used in a classroom setting, especially at the high school level. Sewtionary spiral bound What feedback about your book have you found to be most rewarding? So far, the number one comment is that it's so beautiful and there are so many pictures! People are loving the format of the book, especially the coil binding. Picnic dress I found it very clever and also stylish how you incorporated samples sewn using your sewing patterns throughout the book – do you have plans to display these finished garments on your blog? Some of them, yes! The border print Cambie Dress is so pretty I might use it for fresh photos on the shop page. Sewtionary launch party And, of course, do you have plans to write another book soon? Not soon, that's for sure! It took nearly a year from start to finish for the Sewtionary book, including writing, sewing, and editing, so it would be a while before another book would be a possibility. I'd love to wait and see if this book does well before starting the process over again. I'd also want to have a really good idea, something fresh and new, and right now I don't have anything in my mind as good as the Sewtionary concept. It's so rewarding to see the book out in the world now, so I could see another book in my future some day!   Tasia and her publisher have kindly offered a printed copy of the Sewtionary as a giveaway on our blog.  Enter the contest by commenting on this post for your chance to win the book (Please comment about the Sewtionary - what skills do you hope to learn from it?)!  And head to the Sewaholic store to buy your own (signed) copy if you don't want to wait for the winner to be drawn :P. The give-away will end on Wednesday, Sept. 17th.  The winner will be drawn randomly from the comments on this post.  Good luck! Here is a schedule of the rest of the book tour - follow the links on the listed dates to read more about the book, enjoy tutorials and projects related to the Sewtionary and have the chance to enter other giveaways!



Karen said:

I think this would make a great reference book and would hope to learn more about finishing and hand sewing techniques!


Lian said:

Hems, which hem and when… Hemming is certainly not my strong point yet.


Luminosajane said:

I need this in my sewing corner! Putting it on my wish list but hoping I win :)


Terri said:

I love Tasia and would like to have all of her tips in one place.


eeksboutique said:

would love to win this beautiful book! i’d probably be particulary interested in the buttons + zips sections (they still scare me a little), but i’m sure all the sections would be helpful for me. thanks for the opportunity!


Jennifer said:

Thank you for creating such a comprehensive book! I love hearing about all the work that went into it and the inspiration behind it. What an amazing reference to have on hand in the sewing room.


Nicky said:

I am hoping there is something in there about pattern fitting – I am tall, so most patterns need adjustments, and I can never get them quite right! Thanks for the giveaway, I am keeping my fingers crossed.


Danalee said:

Having this as a reference would be amazing especially as I teach my best friend how to sew.


dressingtherole said:

Thanks for the great review! I would love to get my hands on a copy – I currently don’t have any “purely” reference books in my sewing library, and could definitely use one. I would love to improve my sewing with more attention to detail – different seam finishes or hand-sewn hems, etc.

Sarah - Fabric Tragic

Sarah - Fabric Tragic said:

It looks amazing. I’m after guidance on welt pockets, so fingers crossed there’s something in there to hold my hand!

SquirrelSox (@SoxOfLair)

SquirrelSox (@SoxOfLair) said:

I love theuseful and unique instructions Tasia has in her patterns. I’m looking forward to seeing how she describes sewing godets. Right now, I won’t sew anything that has them.
I enjoy your blog. Thank you for hosting such a generous giveawy.

Frances Wentworth

Frances Wentworth said:

I would love a copy of that book! I’m always challenged by closures and I’m also helping my step daughters learn some sewing basics. This would be a great reference for us!


Marion said:

I am not unusual (I think) in that most of my techniques I have learned through trial and error or some mismatch of archived memory and the often vague instructions included ( present company not withstanding!!). A book that can either give me a better method , or validate what I do is always welcome in my sewing room.


Renee said:

I hope to learn EVERYTHING! :-) It would be a good reference that I can pull off the shelf when I’m trying not to be plugged into the internet (as I am most hours of the day). Plus it’s always nice to see step by step pictures of something you can hold in your hands. Nothing beats the feel of a real honest to goodness book!


Suzanne said:

I need help with a lapped zipper.


joellestlaurent said:

i am super curious about the sewtionary! and knowing it comes from tasia, i’m certain it would be a very useful reference bok to have in my library!


v said:

so neat!! i would love to win a copy.. i want to learn more about working with different types of fabric, figuring out ease, and how to adjust store-bought patterns :)


Phoebe said:

I find Tasia’s blog tutorials and sew-aligns so helpful, so I’m sure this book will be great. I would love to have a handy reference guide for how to install zippers when you have a lining and facing and making it look all neat on the inside.


fenna said:

would love to learn techniques to make my sewing more professional!


Anabel said:

I would love to learn how to handle heavy fabric with a regular sewing machine.


laurahoj said:

I would love to have this book as a reference for my daughters while I teach them to sew.

Linda of Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Linda of Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!! said:

Very beautiful on the outside! I can just imagine how nice the inside is!


Laurie said:

Such a great looking book! I would love to learn how to do bound buttonholes. But I am sure there is a ton of stuff in there I could use it for! ~Laurie

Romy Douglass

Romy Douglass said:

I would love a copy! Thanks, Tasia, on behalf of all us visual learners!

Trina B

Trina B said:

I love learning new techniques – it really helps to elevate my sewing!! And I love Tasia’s work too :)

Trina B

Trina B said:

Oops I didn’t answer the question! I don’t know which technique I’ll use the most – I don’t know what I don’t know – but it’s probably a lot lol!! I would use the book as I sew a pattern to double check and refine the technique I’m using – or to find a new way to do it!


christadefazio said:

Would love to have this as a reference, especially for all those tricky hand stitches! x


5currantbuns said:

I would so love to win this book. My life has been transformed by the Hollyburn skirt. This may seen like an exaggeration, but I had almost given up with clothing until this skirt made me realise that I could make something that fitted and looked great on my figure… now I want to learn finishing techniques…

Melissa Jenski

Melissa Jenski said:

This looks like a fantastic book to delve more into various sewing techniques which I definitely need. I’d love to just learn different types of stitches and finishing methods.


Margo said:

I’d love to learn about different ways to finish seams! I’m always trying to learn about new ways.

Christianne McCall

Christianne McCall said:

I’d love to learn more professional techniques!


Deborah said:

This looks like a great book – I’d love to win a copy


Rebecca said:

I always learn a new (and often better) way of doing things when I use a Sewaholic pattern, so I’d like to see what the book offers.


Naii said:

Thanks for the giveaway! I’d love to win , i don’t know what skills i ’d like to learn , sure there is a lot of technic i need to learn.


mfarmer200 said:

I have a couple other good reference books from taking sewing classes (though they don’t look as good as Tasia’s!), but I might be delving into teaching others to sew in the near future and so I’ve been on the lookout for other books that can improve on the ones that I have!


Emma said:

Looks like a gorgeous book!


Stirling said:

I’m still very, very new to the world of sewing, and I love her blog. I would learn all the skills from her book. All of them! As I have none yet. I look forward to the learning.


Lena said:

I’m currently working on a Goldstream Peacoat for my husband, and I really want to put some welt pockets into the lining instead of the patch pocket. They seem kind of scary because I’ve never done one before, but I’m sure Tasia’s explanation would make it seem easy!


Jana said:

The Sewtionary book has been on my wish list since before it was even released! I’ve learnt what I know exclusively from the online sewing community and (mostly indie) pattern instructions, so I could definitely use a good reference book to help me with construction steps when I’m confused—particularly for self-drafted patterns, which, unfortunately, don’t tend to come with assembly instructions! (:
I’m pretty sure I’m one of the people Tasia mentions who “will read it cover to cover, just to see what’s inside”.
Thanks for the chance to win a copy before I can afford to buy my own!


jennlaing said:

Ohh! It feels like every time I start a new project I need to learn about 15 new thing! A reference book would be awesome.


jennlaing said:

That’s things with an ‘s’. Also, the photos look gorgeous and clear, just like Tasia’s patterns.


Shannon said:

I’d love to win a copy! Tasia’s blog and patterns are fantastic, and I’d like to learn whatever she has to teach me.


Lea said:

This book looks fantastic. I’d love to learn more about hemming and basically making clothes in general. Based on what I’ve seen on the Sewaholic blog and the couple of Sewaholic patterns that I’ve used, I think this book would be incredibly helpful.


Anabel said:

Really a beautiful book!

Mary C

Mary C said:

I definitely agree about the amount of photos! I’ve only seen preview shots on blogs, but this looks like a great reference as I’m more of a visual learner.

Thanks for the giveaway!


Mel said:

I’m self taught mostly from the internet and indie patterns. It would be great to have a reference book like this for those many times that I have not idea what I’m doing! thanks for the chance :)


karen said:

Beautiful book!


Rosalie said:

This looks like a fantastic reference book!


Tomboy said:

I’d love to win the book :-) I would finally learn how to do things properly instead of just “make it work”!


Virginia said:

This book looks great! I’d like to learn more about hand sewing techniques.

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