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Make, Sew and Mend: Traditional Techniques to Sustainably Maintain and Refashion Your Clothes

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New York Times Bestseller Learn the Historically Proven Stitches Every Seamster Needs with Beloved Historical Fashion YouTuber Bernadette Banner Whether you are just getting started with sustainable fashion and need to alter your new secondhand finds, or you want an introduction to sewing techniques for making your own clothes, Bernadette Banner’s signature voice will guide New York Times Bestseller Learn the Historically Proven Stitches Every Seamster Needs with Beloved Historical Fashion YouTuber Bernadette Banner Whether you are just getting started with sustainable fashion and need to alter your new secondhand finds, or you want an introduction to sewing techniques for making your own clothes, Bernadette Banner’s signature voice will guide you through all the traditional stitches and techniques you need to extend the life of your favorite pieces and take fashion into your own hands! From tips and tricks on choosing your materials and preparing your fabric for sewing to more complex techniques like mending small holes, adding pockets to garments, making your own buttons and beyond—this book has everything you need. Complete with step-by-step photos and insight into what alterations each sewing technique is best suited for, Bernadette walks you through every step of your sewing journey. For added inspiration, this book also includes profiles on exciting voices in the historic sewing community and their perspectives on how taking fashion into their own hands has changed their lives for the better. Make, Sew and Mend is the perfect foundation for beginner sewers to start making their fashion their own.


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New York Times Bestseller Learn the Historically Proven Stitches Every Seamster Needs with Beloved Historical Fashion YouTuber Bernadette Banner Whether you are just getting started with sustainable fashion and need to alter your new secondhand finds, or you want an introduction to sewing techniques for making your own clothes, Bernadette Banner’s signature voice will guide New York Times Bestseller Learn the Historically Proven Stitches Every Seamster Needs with Beloved Historical Fashion YouTuber Bernadette Banner Whether you are just getting started with sustainable fashion and need to alter your new secondhand finds, or you want an introduction to sewing techniques for making your own clothes, Bernadette Banner’s signature voice will guide you through all the traditional stitches and techniques you need to extend the life of your favorite pieces and take fashion into your own hands! From tips and tricks on choosing your materials and preparing your fabric for sewing to more complex techniques like mending small holes, adding pockets to garments, making your own buttons and beyond—this book has everything you need. Complete with step-by-step photos and insight into what alterations each sewing technique is best suited for, Bernadette walks you through every step of your sewing journey. For added inspiration, this book also includes profiles on exciting voices in the historic sewing community and their perspectives on how taking fashion into their own hands has changed their lives for the better. Make, Sew and Mend is the perfect foundation for beginner sewers to start making their fashion their own.

30 review for Make, Sew and Mend: Traditional Techniques to Sustainably Maintain and Refashion Your Clothes

  1. 5 out of 5

    Marci

    While this book is very well written and illustrated (it is a top-notch piece of technical writing), it could have used a better editor to get the author to focus her audience more exactly. The title leads the reader to suppose that this book will help a sewer not only to make clothes and to "sustainably maintain" them, but also to "refashion your clothes" which suggests more than just adjusting the hemline, adding gussets to the underarms, and adding pockets. I expected and would have very much While this book is very well written and illustrated (it is a top-notch piece of technical writing), it could have used a better editor to get the author to focus her audience more exactly. The title leads the reader to suppose that this book will help a sewer not only to make clothes and to "sustainably maintain" them, but also to "refashion your clothes" which suggests more than just adjusting the hemline, adding gussets to the underarms, and adding pockets. I expected and would have very much appreciated a section on more alterations that "refashion" a garment. Be aware that the author is a proponent of hand sewing everything, and if you want more information about making something using a machine, this may not be the book for you. You can certainly adapt this guide to using your machine, but that's not the audience most of this book is written to. In an egregious departure from the target audience, the author goes into too much detail about fabric types and composition--even a whole spread on doing tests to determine fabric content, which is apparently only really important if you are dyeing the fabric (so it states on page 16) and yet dyeing fabric forms no part of the book. So why the burn and bleach tests that take up over 4 pages of a rather short and non-comprehensive book? Who really needs to perform those tests? Nobody, unless the fabric content directly affects the project, and I can find no project in this book that requires that much knowledge about the fabric. There was also a lot of space on creating eyelets for a garment that looked like a corset, and then all the illustrations for lacing a corset-like garment showed metal grommets instead of the eyelets. Shouldn't the laced eyelets be shown in some recognizable garment where they made sense, such as a loose blouse or dress where they were more decorative than functional? In fact, why include so much detail for a corset, which is not something the majority of people today are wearing or would ever wear? The corset belongs in a book dedicated to making and/or preserving historical dress. Had the corset been left out, there would have been space for showing how to take the fashions that you might have in your closet and actually refashion them to make them stronger, not so ephemeral. Or there could have been a section on just how to make a pattern from a garment that one really likes but that is not made well or of lasting material, and how to create a lasting version of such a garment. The mending section does a very good job of explaining darning and patching, but how about tears along seams? What about how to handle worn-out sections of a garment? Isn't that a big part of making something last, of sustainably maintaining clothing? Again, I would have liked a bit more about how to maintain clothing. (There was nothing about stains--hiding them can be a sewing project worth doing.) So the title led me to believe that the book would contain more about refashioning and about maintaining clothing. Instead, the book was sort of an illustration of projects the author loves to do, and also that odd section on fabric content that shows a level of expert knowledge that in all practicality nobody but the expert needs. However, if you are a fan of Bernadette Banner and her completely charming online videos, and if you feel you could work some Edwardian-inspired clothing into your permanent wardrobe, you will love this book. It is full of her unique voice and its strength is in her own style--she is a compelling woman whose personal presentation is very entertaining as well as informative. Just be aware that the information is rather limited to her unique interests.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

    Simply written, beautifully illustrated, easy to follow, and comprehensive. An excellent starting place for new seamstresses. ((Gotta ask, though, Bernadette: why forgo the Oxford comma?))

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kristyn

    Out of all the tutorial books I’ve read - this is by far one of the most ascetically pleasing books that is also very well informative on the kinds of fabric weaves/types to basic hand stitching techniques. I read it all in one go but will surely refer to this as I learn to sew my own clothing and mend myself.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Wolfe

    All the little basics our moms didn't know how to teach us. Very useful if you're looking to extend your wardrobe and get out of the destructive and wasteful fast fashion loop. You won't even need a sewing machine! It covers fabric, thread, and stitching before going over techniques for hemming, adding a sleeve gusset, or even POCKETS! How to sew on buttons, patch a hole, or darn a sock. Well worth the price to have a reference with simple, beautiful photographs illustrating every detail. All the little basics our moms didn't know how to teach us. Very useful if you're looking to extend your wardrobe and get out of the destructive and wasteful fast fashion loop. You won't even need a sewing machine! It covers fabric, thread, and stitching before going over techniques for hemming, adding a sleeve gusset, or even POCKETS! How to sew on buttons, patch a hole, or darn a sock. Well worth the price to have a reference with simple, beautiful photographs illustrating every detail.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emelie

    This book has clear and easy-to-follow instructions on how to hand sew. This book is great to start with if you want to begin your sewing journey.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Irene

    As an absolute beginner to sewing, I’ve done repairs without knowing what I was doing and I’ve gotten some mediocre but good enough results both by hand and by machine. This book was exactly what I needed. It focuses entirely on hand sewing techniques, it’s clear and detailed, and I learned a wealth of tips for doing things properly. I also felt quite dumb from time to time because for instance, even though backstitching the beginning of your sewing when using a machine is one of the first thing As an absolute beginner to sewing, I’ve done repairs without knowing what I was doing and I’ve gotten some mediocre but good enough results both by hand and by machine. This book was exactly what I needed. It focuses entirely on hand sewing techniques, it’s clear and detailed, and I learned a wealth of tips for doing things properly. I also felt quite dumb from time to time because for instance, even though backstitching the beginning of your sewing when using a machine is one of the first things you learn, it had never occurred to me to do the same when hand sewing. There were several more ‘duh’ moments for me. I may finally dare add pockets to all my pocketless garments!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Green

    I loved seeing a close-up view of what I have seen in her YouTube videos. I am working on working on felling seams and then I want to try lace insertion. I have long enjoyed Ms. Banner's videos and have very much enjoyed her book. I loved seeing a close-up view of what I have seen in her YouTube videos. I am working on working on felling seams and then I want to try lace insertion. I have long enjoyed Ms. Banner's videos and have very much enjoyed her book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dymphy

    This book is excellent for the beginning sewer. This book covers the basics: what fabric to select, how to read a pattern, which stitches to use and even how to properly take care of your clothing. I do miss a bit on fitting clothing and it would be nice to have some examples of clothing with the style essays.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Kubenka

    Really visually lovely book, with hand-sewing basics very clearly explained.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Faith

    This book is everything I was hoping for — a practical guide to sewing for anyone who owns clothes in the modern age. It’s not so much about every intricate technique you might need to know when pursuing sewing as an art form, but rather the basic techniques that are useful even to those of us who have no interest in sewing all of our clothes from scratch. It covers things like how to sew buttons and mend holes and add pockets and (my personal favorite) add underarm gussets to all those shirts t This book is everything I was hoping for — a practical guide to sewing for anyone who owns clothes in the modern age. It’s not so much about every intricate technique you might need to know when pursuing sewing as an art form, but rather the basic techniques that are useful even to those of us who have no interest in sewing all of our clothes from scratch. It covers things like how to sew buttons and mend holes and add pockets and (my personal favorite) add underarm gussets to all those shirts that won’t let you move your arms properly. It’s about developing a sustainable relationship with the clothes you already have. It is also a celebration of hand sewing as a practical skill with low equipment needs, rather than as an arcane hobby. Sewing machines are nice, but certainly not necessary! You can do everything you need with just a needle, thread, and a thimble. Now pardon me while I go add underarm gussets to all my shirts…

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bunbury

    Absolutely lovely! The pictures are amazing and very useful, especially combined with the description. This gives a broad and simultaneously surprisingly deep overview of hand-sewing skills that is difficult to find in (modern) books. I love the focus on actually educating the reader on why certain things are important too. Softcover vs kindle ebook: I have both the soft cover and the ebook version. I must say that the ebook will be great for quick references on my phone, but if it’s your main w Absolutely lovely! The pictures are amazing and very useful, especially combined with the description. This gives a broad and simultaneously surprisingly deep overview of hand-sewing skills that is difficult to find in (modern) books. I love the focus on actually educating the reader on why certain things are important too. Softcover vs kindle ebook: I have both the soft cover and the ebook version. I must say that the ebook will be great for quick references on my phone, but if it’s your main way you intend to read this book it’s likely best consumed on something like a full-sized iPad or a computer screen. The way the images link to the text really gets quite confusing reading on my small phone screen. This is not at all a problem with the physical book though and as I only intend to use the ebook as a companion to the physical book this does not trouble me in the slightest.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Campbell

    I’m in love. Bernadette has successfully provided me with an easy to access reference for all of the sewing techniques I’ve been wanting to learn. I’ve highlighted nearly every page, and have tabs all over this book already. Excited to go forth and make things! I don’t rate a lot of books 5 stars: many get a solid 3 or 4. But the incredible attention to detail Bernadette has place this as a solid 5 star book for me. Stunning photography, excellent descriptions, graphs and visuals to go along wit I’m in love. Bernadette has successfully provided me with an easy to access reference for all of the sewing techniques I’ve been wanting to learn. I’ve highlighted nearly every page, and have tabs all over this book already. Excited to go forth and make things! I don’t rate a lot of books 5 stars: many get a solid 3 or 4. But the incredible attention to detail Bernadette has place this as a solid 5 star book for me. Stunning photography, excellent descriptions, graphs and visuals to go along with it. A glossary. A reference page. An index. I already know this book will be referenced countless times over the course of many years for myself and many others.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    While I will probably never do the amount of handwork Ms. Banner does, I appreciate the historical aspects, as well as the tips and hints for period sewing. I not only sew cosplay outfits for my daughters and granddaughter, I have also made Tudor-era clothing for my daughters for our local Ren Faire. Plus I love her YouTube videos. Great job with this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    3.75 stars. I really enjoy Bernadette Banner's videos, but I am a little disappointed in this book. Some of the technique pictures are too small. Also, I expected a hardcover book. I would have paid extra for a hardcover or spiral bound book. I thought there would be more depth to the techniques, such as restyling ideas (beyond mending and adjusting fit) for thrifted or already owned clothes. Perhaps in a future book? I really enjoyed the contributed essays and wish there were more of them. There 3.75 stars. I really enjoy Bernadette Banner's videos, but I am a little disappointed in this book. Some of the technique pictures are too small. Also, I expected a hardcover book. I would have paid extra for a hardcover or spiral bound book. I thought there would be more depth to the techniques, such as restyling ideas (beyond mending and adjusting fit) for thrifted or already owned clothes. Perhaps in a future book? I really enjoyed the contributed essays and wish there were more of them. There are a few techniques that I will refer to in the future, as I think her pictures and descriptions are clearer than those in other books I own, eyelets, for example. There should be a picture of Cesario in the book. :-) ☺️

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lexi Pain

    Just got this book today and couldn’t put it down. The book is beautifully done, excellent quality, with detailed pictures. Whether you are an accomplished seamstress or someone who would like to learn a few repairs this book is for you. Bernadette explains everything from sewing on a button to pintucking with well organized and thought through instructions. I pre-ordered this book because I adore Bernadette Banner’s Youtube channel on historical sewing.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    Very good if you’re coming in with no sewing knowledge, comprehensive whilst still being endearing in a Bernadette Banner way.

  17. 4 out of 5

    No U

    I am a Bernadette stan and I cannot lie

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cassie Rossi

    This book very clearly outlines many historical sewing techniques, and has beautiful photographs explaining how to do them step by step. I also love the descriptions/examples of how and when to use each technique. I tend to be a bit afraid of hand stitching, but no longer!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Quizzle

    This book is a great start for getting into (hand)sewing, with a variety of useful subjects and the most beautiful and helpful pictures to explain everything step by step. This will definitely be a useful guide for all my sewing years to come!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ankharet Verch meredudd

    wonderful work A beautiful read. Very informative and inspiring! I love the photograph and step by step instructions. Well thought out and simple delivery.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rowan

    This book is amazing! I have been following Bernadette’s YouTube channel for many a year now, as she inspires me to sew and research. I’ve always wished for more in-depth tutorials (but been content without due to the nature of her formatting). This is exactly the kind of thing I’ve been needing! Seeing such lovely tutorials in such a friendly manner has immensely helped me (I now know what a herringbone stitch actually is), and this has already become a staple in my sewing room. I actually got This book is amazing! I have been following Bernadette’s YouTube channel for many a year now, as she inspires me to sew and research. I’ve always wished for more in-depth tutorials (but been content without due to the nature of her formatting). This is exactly the kind of thing I’ve been needing! Seeing such lovely tutorials in such a friendly manner has immensely helped me (I now know what a herringbone stitch actually is), and this has already become a staple in my sewing room. I actually got the book today and have pored over it already. One thing that I would say nearing a criticism is some of the instructions are slightly overwhelming sometimes. I am an intermediate sewer at best, and have only in the last year joined them historical sewing world. From my understanding of the book, it is supposed to be a beginners guide, and while it definitely fits that, there are definitely more complex and confusing instructions. Perhaps that is because I read the whole book at once! I would not want this changed at all in the book, but I definitely will be supplementing some of my learning with videos so I can see these instructions on the move. I am immensely excited and happy with this book, and hope others are too! Will definitely be researching the other people who had articles in this book, they seem like interesting people!

  22. 5 out of 5

    AngieA

    This is a remarkable endeavor. I follow Bernadette on You Tube and she never disappoints. I pre-ordered this book because I have been following Bernadette on You Tube for some time and like to support such artists. This book has lovely photography and clear instructions for all kinds of sewing projects. Lots of information about materials, stitches, a glossary and index. It will be a valuable resource in any sewing room. I am happy to have added this book to my library of sewing books. The writi This is a remarkable endeavor. I follow Bernadette on You Tube and she never disappoints. I pre-ordered this book because I have been following Bernadette on You Tube for some time and like to support such artists. This book has lovely photography and clear instructions for all kinds of sewing projects. Lots of information about materials, stitches, a glossary and index. It will be a valuable resource in any sewing room. I am happy to have added this book to my library of sewing books. The writing is excellent; it sounds like her. I am glad, as her voice is distinctive and it comes through in her writing. I don't see myself using the instructions, necessarily; but the Introduction and several guest artist features are well worth the read. If you want to follow the process of how this book was created, check out this video she made. Wonderful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JI9do...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cassie Bateson

    While it had some good helpful knowledge I, like other reviewers thought it missed the mark a little. For example she mentioned cartridge pleats but no explanation of how'd you actually sew that to a waistband or whatever. The width of cartridge pleats are much thicker than a standard pleat or gather so how would one attach that to a waistband with the extra bulk? There was no information on reading patterns (which I think is a basic sewing skill and would've been useful here) or any real world While it had some good helpful knowledge I, like other reviewers thought it missed the mark a little. For example she mentioned cartridge pleats but no explanation of how'd you actually sew that to a waistband or whatever. The width of cartridge pleats are much thicker than a standard pleat or gather so how would one attach that to a waistband with the extra bulk? There was no information on reading patterns (which I think is a basic sewing skill and would've been useful here) or any real world applications of mending. Like the best way to fix the fabric of your trousers that's wearing thin at the thighs would've been helpful but it's not in here. There's just little real world application or tips that the modern person would need. Other than knowing what the stitches I'm doing are called now I probably won't have much application for what I read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carla

    After having watched Bernadette Banner's video's for a long time now, I read the entire book with her voice in my head ♥ ! Honestly, I had forgotten about Goodreads until watching her video just now about her nonfiction vlog of creating the book - and I am sad that she wasn't able to keep the sparkle at the very end of the book, lol. This book is amazing though! Great job on the pictures and how they share the same quality as her videos (which are amazing). The instructions are clear and I LOVE T After having watched Bernadette Banner's video's for a long time now, I read the entire book with her voice in my head ♥ ! Honestly, I had forgotten about Goodreads until watching her video just now about her nonfiction vlog of creating the book - and I am sad that she wasn't able to keep the sparkle at the very end of the book, lol. This book is amazing though! Great job on the pictures and how they share the same quality as her videos (which are amazing). The instructions are clear and I LOVE THE ESSAYS that are included!!! Reading this book has re-inspired me to continue loving my clothes, taking care of them, and to fix/recreate them when I don't love them enough. Thank you!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Renilde

    Perfect book. The instructions are clear and the pictures beautiful. A must have for everyone who sew! There is so much information in this book! There are a lot of reviews complaining about the trans-agenda. It’s not true, there are biographies but those are more about the person on itself, not to push the agenda in any way. I found the biographies very interesting. It doesn’t take over the book. But maybe it helps I am dutch and more open minded. As a biology teacher to middle scholers I can ga Perfect book. The instructions are clear and the pictures beautiful. A must have for everyone who sew! There is so much information in this book! There are a lot of reviews complaining about the trans-agenda. It’s not true, there are biographies but those are more about the person on itself, not to push the agenda in any way. I found the biographies very interesting. It doesn’t take over the book. But maybe it helps I am dutch and more open minded. As a biology teacher to middle scholers I can garatee you, this book is fine and not pushing the agenda in any inappropriate way. I think it even helps children to see they are not alone in feeling different.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Babsidi

    I learned more about sewing from this book than any tutorial I've watched or read in the past. Images are clear and step-by-step, descriptions give not only the hows but the whys of each stitch, and projects are small and concise enough that I felt confident going to my wardrobe and altering my first garment to better fit me. A HUGE recommendation for anyone new to sewing who wants to start being more sustainable with their clothing. I learned more about sewing from this book than any tutorial I've watched or read in the past. Images are clear and step-by-step, descriptions give not only the hows but the whys of each stitch, and projects are small and concise enough that I felt confident going to my wardrobe and altering my first garment to better fit me. A HUGE recommendation for anyone new to sewing who wants to start being more sustainable with their clothing.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Beatrice

    I've already used it to sew in a buttonhole! I wish everything was just slightly larger, for ease of seeing, and perhaps more clearly numbered, but it works for purpose and is straightforwardly presented. I think the selection of stitches, tasks, etc. chosen for the book is a pretty good guess at what most people will need most often, with a couple fun nods to her historical costuming background that I probably won't use but find intellectually interesting. I've already used it to sew in a buttonhole! I wish everything was just slightly larger, for ease of seeing, and perhaps more clearly numbered, but it works for purpose and is straightforwardly presented. I think the selection of stitches, tasks, etc. chosen for the book is a pretty good guess at what most people will need most often, with a couple fun nods to her historical costuming background that I probably won't use but find intellectually interesting.

  28. 4 out of 5

    O. Sander

    I'm not an experienced sewist with a machine, and an absolute novice when it comes to sewing by hand. I found this book very helpful and informative. The pictures and explanations made sense even to a rank beginner like me. This book was an excellent primer and starting point for me as someone interested in making their clothing last as long as possible and eventually creating my own garments. I'm not an experienced sewist with a machine, and an absolute novice when it comes to sewing by hand. I found this book very helpful and informative. The pictures and explanations made sense even to a rank beginner like me. This book was an excellent primer and starting point for me as someone interested in making their clothing last as long as possible and eventually creating my own garments.

  29. 4 out of 5

    B

    This sewing primer is especially great if you can't afford a sewing machine and still want to get into sewing, mending, and or basic alterations. The photos are very helpful in clarifying the procedures included in this book. I most appreciated the instructions for adding a gusset to clothing. Overall another wonderful product from Bernadette that rings true to her. This sewing primer is especially great if you can't afford a sewing machine and still want to get into sewing, mending, and or basic alterations. The photos are very helpful in clarifying the procedures included in this book. I most appreciated the instructions for adding a gusset to clothing. Overall another wonderful product from Bernadette that rings true to her.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Collin

    What a delightful book! I've been machine sewing since I was very small, but avoided hand sewing at all costs! Until I began watching Bernadette on YouTube. Bernadette's research is impeccable as usual and the step-by-step instructions are clear and not overwhelming. This book is now going to have a permanent home in my sewing basket! What a delightful book! I've been machine sewing since I was very small, but avoided hand sewing at all costs! Until I began watching Bernadette on YouTube. Bernadette's research is impeccable as usual and the step-by-step instructions are clear and not overwhelming. This book is now going to have a permanent home in my sewing basket!

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