Survival Sewing: Emergency Fixes for the Rips, Snags & Tears of Everyday Life by Valerie Van Arsdale Shrader & Nathalie Mornu, published by lark Books, 2007.
This is a fantastic little book. Firstly, it is tough. I love tough books that can handle the rigours of being well used in my house. It is a small format hard covered book with wire comb binding, so the book sits open and stays put while I am using it. After all, using a craft book usually involves two hands, and I hate having to hold the book open to the right page as well!
This book is like a first aid book for clothing and textiles. Not only are there fantastic tips for temporary-spur-of-the-moment-emergency fixes for just about everything you can think of, and many more permanent solutions, but there is a very useful plastic zip pocket at the back of the book containing a first aid kit for performing the fixes. There is even a chapter on using the bits in the kit, and where to shop to replace the bits when they get all used up. With this book in front of you, you will be able to do near instant emergency repairs to a jacket cuff in the thirty seconds before an important business meeting, fix a handbag or a ripped sheet, learn how to darn a hole or resuscitate lingerie, and even if you don’t know which end of a needle is which, there is a section explaining exactly that!
So if you are like me, a largely self taught sewer that has no patience for learning things the correct and proper way, instead just wanting to jump in and DO, then this book would be a fantastic addition to your crafting shelf (or hide it in your desk drawer if you are prone to last minute wardrobe catastrophes at work). The language used in this book is very straightforward and frequently chatty and funny. One thing that I really like about this book is that the authors assume that the readers are intelligent and capable, unlike so many of the instruction books on the market.
My husband, who is an engineer by day and very patient with my crafting addictions the rest of the time, liked this book for its language, common sense and clear diagrams. For me, I would rather some very detailed photographs (sometimes I am just too impatient to try to decipher written instructions) instead of funky diagrams, but the diagrams really add to the clear, crisp and groovy look of the book.
About the reviewer: Kate is a busy mother of three (soon to be four) and has far too many craft projects on the go at any one time. These could include, but are not limited to, crochet, sewing, dyeing, paper making, spinning, felting and bookbinding. Kate has challenges in the areas of finishing things, saying no and craft supplies storage. She also has a very very patient and tolerant husband.