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The Art of Manipulating Fabric

4.37  ·  Rating Details ·  526 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
The possibilities for three-dimensional manipulation of fabric - gathering, pleating, tucking, shirring, and quilting woven materials - are seemingly endless. To describe them all would be to describe the entire history of sewing.

In "The Art of manipulating Fabric," Colette Wolff has set herself just this task, and she succeeds brilliantly. Working from the simplest possi

Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 1st 1996 by Krause Publications
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Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing by Gretchen HirschThe Colette Sewing Handbook by Sarai MitnickHow to Make Sewing Patterns by Donald H. McCunnThe Party Dress Book by Mary  AdamsThe Art of Manipulating Fabric by Colette Wolff
Sewing library
5th out of 53 books — 30 voters
Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire B. ShaefferHow to Make Sewing Patterns by Donald H. McCunnSewing Lingerie by Zoe A. GraulMake Your Own Horse Clothing by Jean PerryIslander Sewing Systems I by Janet Pray
Advanced Sewing Library
7th out of 11 books — 4 voters

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Community Reviews

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Jan 31, 2008 Jana rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiber-fabric
I usually don't keep fiber or art books in my public studio, but I had this one in there for reference on a previous project that involved mitering corners. I had it on the shelf sort of in a project box and heaped up with papers.

And here's the funny bit of coincidence... yesterday I had a drop-in studio visitor who was a theater costumer. Almost one of the first things out of her mouth was, "Have you heard of that book on the art of manipulating fabric."

"Why yes, it's the only book I happen to
Dec 24, 2015 Carolynn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crafts, creativity, sewing
If you sew, and you've ever wondered what else you could do to perk up collars, cuffs, etc., or you just like interesting designs in fabric like they used to do in the '40s to make women's clothing so special, this book is for you. Ms. Wolff has spent a great deal of time showing us how to make really nice designs in fabric, and you don't have to stop there, you can wing it and find whole new design areas to work with once you have gone through the basics and beyond with this book. Every so ...more
Mar 27, 2008 Emily rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Sewers, fashionistas
Recommended to Emily by: Danielle Meder
Shelves: own
An amazing book on how to do just about anything with fabric. I recently completed a project on smocking and tucking techniques for school and this book was a gem. The pictures are of her samples are drool inducing and the instructions are clear. Just flipping through the pages is enough to make me run to thread my hand sewing needles.
Aug 21, 2014 Erika rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Artists/Costumers/Sewers
Shelves: sewing, quilting
EXCELLENT book illustrating many, many sewing and other techniques for manipulating fabric. Awesome photographs and illustrations. A MUST HAVE for any creative sewer.
Lee Kinkade
Aug 22, 2012 Lee Kinkade rated it it was amazing
This is a systematic explication of various techniques for manipulating fabric. Straight forward descriptions and excellent diagrams and photographs of the various methods. I highly recommend it both for the home crafter and professional artists who wish to work with fabrics. Ever wonder what the difference between a ruffle and a flounce is? Ever wonder how your grandmother made those pillows that look like they are woven out of strips of fabric but are actually just carefully pleated? Ever ...more
Jun 09, 2016 Andy rated it it was amazing
This is an exciting book about shaping fabric using pleating, darts, folding, elevated applique, tucking, etc. It seems as though it's from another era though these techniques must be used by professionals in interior decorating and the fashion industry. I would love to see videos demonstrating some of the techniques as I am so new to this field that I cannot follow the instructions included in this book. But if I could! I have so many ideas regarding how I could incorporate these wonderful ...more
Mary Franklin
Aug 08, 2014 Mary Franklin rated it it was amazing
This book was very helpful to me. The instructions are clear and thorough, and the photographs are excellent. There was one explanation of a particular technique that didn't make sense to me; when I tried to follow the instructions they just didn't work; but I have a feeling the fault lies in me; not the author. She put an incredible amount of work into producing this book. I hope she is being well rewarded for her efforts!
Jan 17, 2012 Brigette rated it it was amazing
If you are a fiber artist, or want to explore fiber arts, but you are not an accomplished seamstress, this is the book. Even if you have lots of experience sewing, you will learn so much. The writing is clear, the illustrations are wonderful. For me, it's all about the texture, and this will teach you to build amazing textures with simple fabrics (like cheap cotton muslin).
Jul 06, 2014 Raslalique rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sewing, inspiration
I love this book. The writing is engaging and the instructions are clear. A lot of techniques and modifications are covered in this book. I love it so much I bought another copy to give as a gift and I plan to do it again. Sometimes when I need inspiration I just leaf through the book and admire the photos. I give this 5 solid stars.
Jul 11, 2011 Ciaobella rated it really liked it
Such a thorough description with beautiful diagrams.... this book is useful for fiber artists, quilters and garment designers. Whether you hope to better understand the nature of woven fabric and how it moves, or if you're just gathering drapes, this is a bountiful resource.

I loved watching the things she created and the photography was very useful
Kira Gold
Mar 04, 2014 Kira Gold rated it it was amazing
One of the most informative and clear books I have read on fabric geometry ever. Clear pictures on how to work the second dimension into the third; a must for any stitcher, cutter-draper or designer. I recommend it as reading to all my students.
Jun 25, 2013 Beth rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This book is wonderfully thorough, in terms of all the techniques is describes. However, I would have liked to read more about possible applications for the techniques, since many of them were so unusual that I could not imagine how to use them, either in clothing or home decor.
Feb 24, 2009 Alicia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fashion
Ever since I first saw this cover and the title of this book, I have been intrigued and really wanted to experience this book. The problem is that I don't know how to sew. I've never even threaded a sewing machine. Hopefully this will soon be remedied.
Feb 20, 2008 Espera rated it really liked it
Borrowed from the library. I never knew fabric could be manipulated in so many ways, that actually looked both interesting and nice. I'm going to have to look at it again; I only remember a couple of ideas in the book.
Sep 01, 2016 Miriam rated it it was ok
I flipped through this & I liked seeing all the experimentation of different techniques. The images were disappointing & bland, but they are functional.
I haven't had a chance to try out any of the techniques. The photos are amazing. I'm looking forward to revisiting this when I find some time to play with fabric.
Dec 25, 2010 Angela rated it it was amazing
A remarkable resource for those who love to explore the wide range of textures available through fabric manipulation. I wish to create a sample of many of the techiques.
Elsa Cai
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Nov 19, 2015
Scout Sinclair Brody
Scout Sinclair Brody rated it it was amazing
Jul 03, 2009
Diane Mccauley
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Feb 18, 2015
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Nov 18, 2013
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Feb 29, 2012
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Oct 29, 2015
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