Book Review: The Act of Sewing

reviewcover-the act of sewingTitle: The Act of Sewing

Author: Sonya Philip

Genre: Non-Fiction, Crafts & Hobbies, Sewing

Rating: 4 Stars



Maybe you learned to sew in school and have a sewing machine, but it hasn’t seen the outside of the closet since your last move. Or maybe you are completely new to the craft, with a lot of enthusiasm, but no idea how to thread your machine. No matter where you’re coming from in terms of experience, this sewing workbook offers four basic patterns–two tops, a skirt, and a pair of pants–that empower you to express your personal style and make clothes that are comfortable for your body type.

After explaining the basic concepts of sewing and construction, 100 Acts of Sewing designer Sonya Philip then provides suggestions for mixing the basic patterns together to create new garment iterations as you gain confidence–structural adjustments such as full bust, no bust, long torso, big, small, etc., as well as a range of possible alterations and embellishments including sleeves, pockets, hems, and more! Going beyond simple pattern instructions, this book will make sewing garments accessible for every body type–each pattern comes in sizes ranging from XS to 4X. With inspiring essays on Sonya’s sewing philosophy that speak to the slow and ethical fashion movement, this will be the go-to guide for all aspirational and seasoned sewists.


If you are new to the craft of sewing and making (or tailoring) your own clothes, The Act of Sewing by Sonya Philip would definitely be a good place to start. The book covers the basics – from tools and sizing to sewing machine mechanics and hemming. Where the book really shines, though, is in teaching you how to adjust and reconstruct patterns to meet your sizing needs – because people aren’t poured from a universal mold.

Although not the most thorough with certain beginner-level information like pattern marks and individual stitch types, it is enough to get started and contains some useful information.