Posts Tagged ‘Sewing DVD’

Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing the following

Simplicity's Guide to Sewing DVD


Simplicity’s Guide to Successful Sewing DVD


Around £10-£12 (At time of writting 2010)

As a newbie to sewing I am looking for information to explain the new terms I come across and how to master the basic techniques. When I have seen this advertised it’s pitched at beginners or people looking to review techniques, so it sounded ideal, especially as I am a visual learner and struggles with long descriptions in books.


The DVD has eight chapters

  • Lay and cut out patterns with confidence
  • Successful seaming tips
  • Clipping, notching and grading explained
  • Understand darts and how to sew them perfectly
  • Enjoy sewing with stretch fabrics
  • Get confident with Zips
  • Trimmings


There are lots of great tips on here that really help when you are just getting started. If you are struggling to follow explanations in books then this DVD could really help. I’d buy this just for the section on zips


The biggest problem with this DVD is the production quality! Fine for You Tube, but disappointing for a commercial DVD from a main manufacturer like Simplicity!

  • Audio: On several occasions the presenters voice is drowned out by; emergency vehicle sirens, torrential rain and by music at the end.
  • Lighting; Camera gets between the set lighting and the presenter, often leaving her in shadow
  • Filming; Many key techniques from demonstrations happen off camera (see the You Tube comment!) You see the back of the person’s hand rather than what’s being sewn or the camera stays on the presenters face while she points to things on the project, so its out of sight.
  • Set; This is filmed in someones house rather than a studio and as a result there are a lot of distracting items in the background. A busy wall hanging and a Digital photo frame whose picture keeps changing which takes the eye.

Value for Money

At under £15, its worth it, there are some great tips on here and if you have prior knowledge of the subject or are using it for visual reference of individual elements then its worth having in your library. Especially if you have  that you have more detailed explanations elsewhere, perhaps in a book for example.

Summing Up

This seems like a good idea, let down by the production team. It feels rushed and sorry to say the end result doesn’t really hang together too well. I have watched it trough several times now and still have questions about what was covered. For a total novice with no prior experience its left me bewildered and confused on several things, especially the things that happened off-screen!

It would be ok as a refresher for someone who has sewn before but as a newbie the continual use of the phrase ‘Of course you will have done ‘X’ before you did this step’ was confusing and became annoying. Much like recipe books that say make a sauce without any information on how to make said sauce!

If you are looking for something that introduces you to the tools you need for sewing, how to get started with a sewing machine for the first time, in-depth techniques and something to get you started from the very beginning…then my recommendation would be Debbie Shaw’s DVD Sew What? Which I reviewed last month. It’s much more in-depth and approachable.

I’m still looking for tutorials for getting started and just hope Debbie Shaw extends her DVD series, she does understand the confusion and at times trepidation that new sewers have and her explanations are much clearer.


Simplicity I bought my DVD direct from Simplicity, the postage was sensible and they delivered fast! This is the UK site but there are links to Simplicity sites around the world from the home page 🙂

I HATE to give negative reviews!!! I really do, this DVD has merits, it just wasn’t for me. I hope I’ve made helpful points that the manufacturers could solve on later projects and not just winged! Do you have this DVD? What do you think of it? Do leave a comment and let me know how you got on.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie 🙂


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Welcome Back     

In today’s post I will be reviewing; Debbie Shore’s DVD     

Sew What     

Why I bought the DVD  

Back in the 1980’s I’d done a little sewing at school, but have done almost none since. Being a total novice to sewing but really wanting to get to grips with my new machine, when this DVD was advertised on a UK shopping channel Ideal World, it looked just right for me.     

Sew What?  DVD by Debbie Shaw

Sew What? DVD by Debbie Shaw


This is a great DVD for anyone sitting in front of a sewing machine for the first time. If you have been given a sewing machine, even with an instruction book, it can be very bewildering. This DVD introduces you to sewing machines, explains how to thread them and their bobbins and takes you around the various parts of the machine so you know what you are looking at. Later in the DVD there are tutorials for altering and repairing clothes. At the end is are  great tutorials for making a cushion and a  tote bag.  There is information about choosing tools and accessories for sewing, as well as choosing fabrics and threads too. 

If you have a sewing machine in the loft, that you would like to use but haven’t a clue where to start, this is the DVD for you. If you have lost the manual to your machine and would like to try to use the machine again, this DVD should get you going.     

I don’t really have any negative points for this DVD, I was not personally interested in the alterations section of the DVD, but when I have had more practice with my new sewing machine, that is likely to change, so later on that section is likely to be more valuable to me.     

Value for Money  

Excellent! If you have a new machine, that came with its own DVD for how to set it up, then you will find some information is going over what you had on that. BUT if you have no instructions with your machine or are bewildered by the books you have, then Debbie is a reassuring teacher who will take you by the hand and demystify the whole process.     

Would I buy it Again?  

Yes and would recommend it to anyone interested in sewing but too ashamed to ask for help. Not everyone has access to a friend or relative who sews.     

Summing up  

Truly a great investment! I was intimidated by my new machine, full of enthusiasm, but not a clue where to start. This DVD has given me the confidence to have a go and has so much useful information, well presented by Debbie, it is like having your own personal tutor on hand whenever you need her. The great thing about DVDs is that if you don’t understand something on the first pass, you can rewind as often as you like and Debbie will tell you again 😉     

If you want to start to sew, I would definitely recommend this DVD! Not patronizing, just helpful and informative, it takes you from day one and expects no prior knowledge of the subject 🙂 🙂 The way Debbie presents this, it is like having your best friend (who sews) round to show you what to do, she makes sewing FUN. Thanks Debbie 🙂     


Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon     

Billie 🙂

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