Saturday, November 6, 2010

"Essential Sewing Skills" DVDs Review

It's been only a year that I began with sewing. I collect Burda magazines for about 8 years now, so this is probably for how long I wanted to start with sewing. This time around about a year ago, I finally managed to sign up for a sewing course. 

I like tke course that I go to, but I don't find it comprehensive enough. We learn various techniques, but I sometimes find them a bit dated or not going deep enough for my liking. Or sometimes, there is just not enough time for the need of all the attendants, although there is only six of us. As I began to attend the course, I also discovered the world of sewing blogs and sewing books, sewing videos, sewing... everything :-).

Since I want to learn to sew properly, comprehensively, with understanding how it all works, I started to browse the internet, searching for some literature and DVDs to help me. That's how I found the DVD set "Essential Sewing Skills". It is a 5 DVD pack with over 60 sewing techniques. It is from New Zealand  and fortunately, they ship worldwide, so I ordered a copy. The set costs 127 NZ Dollars (approx. 72 Euros, 101 USD) and the DVDs can also be purchased separately. The website offers two video previews, so I could check out if I was going to like the style of the DVDs or not. The two demonstrations were good enough for me, I also read the positive testimonials published on the site and together with the extend of the techniques offered, they convinced me to buy the set. And I am not dissapointed.

I can only judge the DVDs from an advanced beginner's point of view, but I really like them. They are very clear, the techniques are shown from a bird's eye perspective - the camera is above the sewing machine's needle showing things in detail and the explanations are precise. For me, someone, who still has a LOT to learn in the area of sewing, all these explanations are very valuable and I can always come back to them whenever I need it. 

All the techniques are listed on the inner cover of the DVDs. In the introduction, the teacher talks about sewing patterns, tracing patterns, cutting fabric - the necessary basic stuff that - for me - wasn't  overly interesting, but boring neither. Everything that follows is - according to me - a great explanation of a pretty big bunch of sewing techniques. There are lessons on collars, cuffs, darts, facings, gathering, hems, pockets, sleeves, slits, waistbands, zippers... Probably everything that you can call the essential sewing techniques. Everything is explained nicely in detail, from the marks on sewing patterns to the final result of every technique.

I find these DVDs to be a valuable source of many sewing techniques, that are new to me. I also use them to come back to those techniques, that I learned in my sewing classes, but don't remember precisely, to refresh my memory.

If you already stumbled upon these and are not sure if to get them, I can only recommend them. I can't tell how much they can be of an added value to somene who is a long-time sewer, but for someone like me, who still has a lot to discover in the sewing world, they are a great sewing help.    


  1. I've never come across these DVD's before - they look like a really useful resource. As you say, sewing classes are great, but it's also really nice to have a handy reference like this at home.

  2. Thanks for pointing out these videos. I'm glad you're finding them useful. It can be so difficult to learn a "tactical" skill like sewing on your own. I learned to sew when I was very young from my grandma and mother. It was so helpful to have a "master" nearby to SHOW me what the instructions meant. The jacket you're starting is really a cute pattern. I can't wait to see the progress. Happy Sewing.