Posts Tagged ‘Simplicity’

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 🙂


Read Full Post »