Book review - The Fabric Selector

My dear friend Shari gave me a fabulous book for my birthday late last year - The Fabric Selector, by Dana Willard, published by Murdoch Books. Its a lovely little book and very useful especially for a seamstress just starting to branch out into more adventurous fabrics and projects.

It is divided into fabrics, and notions/tools. Within the fabric section are divisions by fabric type - woven, knits, specialty, blended and patterned fabrics. The introductory section has an excellent guide to trying to identifying the type of fibres used in a fabric - very useful if you have a penchant for op shop, recycled or vintage fabric.

Each fabric entry outlines the best use for the fabric (fashion/garments/linings, home furnishings or craft) and then the best way to prepare, cut and sew the fabric, and then laundering advice. There are also interesting historical snippets if applicable. The author has been very comprehensive, outlining if the fabric is hardwearing, whether it irons well, the best needle size and stitch length, and even the best type of sewing foot. She also explains different names for the same fabric type used in different countries (eg calico vs muslin).

The notions section is equally comprehensive, covering ribbons, trims, buttons, elastic and zips. The tools section covers marking, measuring, cutting and machine tools.

The production quality of the book is excellent - it is quite small, about A5 size (15cm x 21cm) so fits snugly into a tote bag and has a nice sturdy spine that holds up to being propped open. The photos are gorgeous and the layout is very easy to follow.

So two enthusiastic thumbs up from me - its fab, and a great addition to my little sewing library. And at $29.99 AUD rrp  (or a bit cheaper from some other online sellers) its great value and will definitely save me some cash by preventing me buying the wrong sort of fabric or using the wrong needles for a project.