Book Review: Singer Sewing Reference Library: Sewing Projects for the Home (1991)

Sewing Projects for the HomeSewing Projects for the Home by Singer Sewing Company
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Sewing Projects for the Home book from the Singer Sewing Reference Library is a mixed bag of timeless helpful instructions for creating your own home decorative items and a sad reminder of just how puffy and floral the home décor of the early ’90s was.

On the one hand, instructions are given for how to measure for slipcovers for chairs and sofas. This is invaluable information for those with older furniture who want to do more than just throw a sheet over the mess and call it done. Also included are instructions for how to measure your windows, inside and outside the frame, for shades and drapes, various designs for throw pillows and what all the parts are called, and how to measure for and make a duvet cover – in my mind this is precisely to cover up that ugly floral comforter you’ve been dragging around since your early 20s.

On the other hand, flouncy bedskirts, bow picture hangers, and scalloped window valances with fabric rosettes at the corners are right out of the Laura Ashley catalog circa 1989. Laura Ashley probably made a good living for herself out of all that floral fabric but it was certainly never my taste, and certainly not something I’d care to recreate. Of all the books I’ve looked over from the Singer Library, this one seems to suffer the most from, “Oh yeah, I remember that,” designs.

However, this book, just like the others, could get a lot of use if you can just look past the dated fabrics, the tired rosettes, and the Ruffle Overload (hey, I’m a huge fan of ruffles and there are too many ruffles in this book even for me!). Following are the chapters from this book.

Part 1: Getting Started
• Planning Your Project
• Selecting Fabrics
• Measuring Windows
• Measuring Beds
• Estimating Yardage
• Railroading Fabrics (which has nothing to do with trains)

Part 2: Window Treatments
• Drapery Hardware
• Stagecoach Valances
• Handkerchief Valances
• Rod-sleeve Valances
• Sunburst Curtains
• Scarf Swags
• Covered Poles and Finials
• Butterfly Swags
• Rod-pocket Swags & Cascades

Part 3: Pillows
• Pillows
• Welting
• Butterfly Pillows
• Knotted-corner Pillows
• Sunburst Pillows
• Reversible Rosette Pillows
• Sash Pillows
• Reversible Rolled Bolsters

Part 4: Sewing for the Bedroom
• Envelope Pillow Shams
• Duvet Covers
• Circular Ruffle Bed Skirt
• Swag Bed Skirt
• Bow Picture Hangers

Part 5: Slipcovers
• Slipcovers
• Pin-fitting
• Laying Out & Cutting the Fabric
• Sewing the Slipcover
• Slipcovers for Cushions

On the whole, I’d say look over the above chapters and if you’d make at least half of the projects it’s probably worth it to you to pick up a copy. It’s pretty cheap anyway. If you’re wanting to duplicate styles you’ve seen in recent magazines, you may want to pass it up and buy a book printed much more recently. As for me, my tastes are rarely reflected in design books so my copy of this book is a keeper. I can always add a skull or a bit of velvet or lace to make it my own.

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Singer Sewing Reference Library: Sewing Projects for the Home (1991)

  1. Pingback: WINDOW VALANCES Tips and Guide! | Calico Curtains

  2. Pingback: Making Throw Pillows To Sell For Extra Cash

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