Book Review Week: Singer Perfect Plus

Singer Perfect Plus

I recently got a copy of to review, and it's taken me a while to get to it, being neither perfect nor plus-size.

Perfect Plus is a very straightforward book, nothing fancy. You're not going to get any couture techniques here, or anything too fashion-forward or art-to-wear. This is primarily a book for petite, plus-size women who are not fashionistas, but are frustrated with the tatty stuff they see in stores (or with the price tags on the nicer plus-size garments) and who don't have a ton of sewing experience.

The book includes four patterns (a blouse with collar & sleeve variations, pants, an elastic-waist skirt, and a jacket with very nice pockets) and many, many pages of help on how to choose fabrics, construction tips, and fitting.

If you are newish to sewing, need a very basic petite plus-size wardrobe and want a lot of hand-holding, this book is ideal for you. These garments are so simple, though, that your fabric choices are going to be very important. Cheap polyesters or badly-designed prints will make these look like a dog's breakfast — upgrading to better-quality cottons and silks and good buttons (and taking your time with construction) will make all the difference here.

If you're already an experienced sewist or you want garments with more advanced design elements, I'd save your money — there's nothing here that you probably haven't already made on your own. You'd be better off getting a good book on fitting patterns (like ) and altering patterns that you really like.

I don't need to keep this book, so I'm giving it away … the person who writes me the best haiku about pockets will get it! You can email your verse or leave it in the comments. (If you leave it in the comments and you want the book, make sure there's a way for me to reach you.)

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46 thoughts on “Book Review Week: Singer Perfect Plus

  1. I don’t need the book but want to play!! .. I will add to your prize and give your winner a $10 coupon to use at the MOMSPatterns site so they can try their hand at sewing with patterns when they’re ready to move on up!Here’s my try for fun:Cradle my lipstickCapture the dust from tissuesDeep squares on my hips.

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  2. The book looks interesting, so I’ll toss my entry in the ring:Phone in one pocketLipstick in the oppositePurse gets thrown away

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  3. I am so frustrated – what about the plus size sewist who DOES aspire to being a fatshionista and doesn’t want to spend the rest of her life grading patterns? *cry*Emptiest pocketsholding nothing but my handwith no room for yours.

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  4. “what about the plus size sewist who DOES aspire to being a fatshionista and doesn’t want to spend the rest of her life grading patterns?”You want Burda Plus magazine. Skinny girls stop me to ask where they can get those clothes. Very fashion forward.

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  5. I did get this book, less because of the patterns (elastic-waist skirts? no-lapel jackets? eeeek!) than because of the big section that demonstrates wardrobe capsuling. So I look at it as more of an idea book than anything else. It may indeed find a new home later, but it’s useful for now.

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  6. I got the book for the basic sewing instructions–it’s not just petite-plus, the patterns are also for (standard-height) plus. The patterns are not my style at all, although I may be able to make something out of the skirt and the jacket. And the pants pattern is certainly basic enough. The added value of the clear instructions for basic patterns and for the most common fit changes (narrow shoulders, big bust, etc.) make it worth my effort to find some nice fabric and walk through the basics of construction. I’ve never managed to make a garment that fit me but this might be my chance.

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  7. When I was youngerTreasures: buttons, pennies, string,Bouncy balls, lost jewelsThen permission slipsFolded homework, notes for boys And my two shy handsNow: rescued barrettesA tiny sock, my “lost” phoneAnd my kids’ treasures

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  8. Even though I’m almost six feet tall, I bought this book to help me with wardrobe planning. It’s aces for those of us with no skill in that area. I’m going to use the skirt pattern (it’s cute) and the blouse pattern (ditto)and maybe the jacket pattern, too; just have to lengthen them A LOT which I usually have to do anyway. Would recommend it to those who want to get away from sewing clothes that don’t go with your lifestyle or anything in your closet. . . .and yes, beautiful fabric choices will make a great deal of difference to the look.

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  9. I’m a super-size fashionista sewist, and I like ‘Sewing for Plus Sizes’ by Barbara Deckert. She covers lots of the most common pattern alterations you need to make for plus-sizes. I will check this book out too, but it sounds like it will be too simple.My Haiku is not a fan-fest for pockets;Pockets bulge, gape, pullFishing around, groping; arrghh!I prefer my purse

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  10. I am in the process of making the jacket, and found the patterns are made especially for the author’s especial interest, petites. This means I had to alter things a lot more than I would normally . I wish I’d known before I started.

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  11. Pocket HaikuPockets are uniqueFun place to flirt with fabricCloth in lays on dress I enjoy your blog every day.Blue

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  12. mention pockets anytime anywhere and I call them Erin pockets, that is my tribute to pockets… Erin has created an awareness of the necessity of pockets just by dropping in daily and soaking up the blog…Erin pockets go places, hold things, add interest, can be shaped different but have to be large, Erin pockets make the fashion look! Erin pockets are equal to a hat and gloves with a retro suit.. And I would gladly donate a pattern to the cause.. choose one and then just email me..Have a super week and for all who celebrate Easter have a great upcoming long weekend..

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  13. I happened upon this book at the library… I’m not a plus, but it called to me (I do plus sewing for a couple of my DD’s) and while it doesn’t have tons of different designs… I thought it was well put together. Interesting at least. And it does have the patterns too. What’s not to like? A book about sewing, that has patterns in it?You have some very talented readers… I thought of you the other day… I saw some great pockets on something!

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  14. Mine is called :”Pocket Warmth”Hands free to touch andDo, knowing friends help is atYour side, when needed.The hardest part was choosing whether “friend” and “side” should be plural. I’m still not sure…………..WendyBeewww.wendysbees.blogspot.com

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  15. Re-posting “kitten stowaway” ‘cos I miscounted syllables!Pocket-something there?Feel doe-soft ears and paw pads;Kitten stowaway!

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  16. These are too fun! I put on a dress without pockets this morning. Hence,There are no pockets?The ultimate frustration!How can I fix this?

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  17. Two for you. First, my husband submits:Through long summer walks,I have to much stuff to hold.Solution: Pockets.And then my own feebler effort:They hold stuff… like handsand buttons and cats and cheese;purses for the hips.

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  18. I’m plus size, I’m tall size, and I’m a beginner-level sewer, so it sounds helpful.I find dog’s biscuitsand tissues in large pocketsmy love’s coat I wear(I wear my husband’s coat because it’s warm and it fits)

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  19. I sew on vacation, but designing is my dream vocation, so here is my ode to the pocket -A pocket full of hopes,A pocket full of dreams,If only I could sew my lovely pocket in a straight seam!

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  20. Hi Beautiful people..that will probably not be seen since this was dated April of 09. I downloaded last year Dress a day daybook 2008 I used it to write my appts, inspirations from 2008 and now I need another one for this or next year….I know to some people its like put your appts in your computer! NO I WANT TO PUT THINGS IN WRITING, I WANT TO FEEL LIKE I AM MY AGE AT TIMES, I mean why do we always have to act like everything has to be. So today in November I decided to find things and I came across my beautiful day book from last year….If anyone, anyone knows of a link where I can download day books..contact me..please! I have a website called all help one another out so lets do it again…May God Bless you with the most amazing day and weekend you can every think of….Donna McGuinness

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