Category: Book and Compare

Book and Compare: Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing 1976 vs 2002 Part 2 (pic heavy)

Reader's Digest 1976 vs 2002

Part 2 and the conclusion of our comparison.

Chapter 6 : Sleeves and Sleeve Finishes

The chapters again are pretty much the same. The illustrations of the various sleeve types from RD76 are replaced with pictures of garments on models in RD02. Also RD76 has three extra pages of three extra sleeve types that aren’t in the newer version (band cuff, straight turnback cuff, and shaped turnback cuff) which you can see below.


Just look at the difference in the amount of info from one version to the other.


 The three extra cuff styles


 Chapter 7 : RD76 Making and Applying Pockets, RD02 Pockets


Difference here is that RD02 color combinations make understand the illustrations a lot easier than the older version

Chapter 8: RD76 Hems and Other Edge Finishes, RD02 Hems

Again the chapter is pretty much the same until you come to the end. Once again RD76 has just a bit more info. It’s only one additional page but it includes hemming knits, something I think is still relevant today. Don’t you think so?


Chapter 9: RD76 Handbook of Closures RD02 Fastenings

This chapter is pretty much laid out the same. The illustrations in RD02 are much easier read again and RD76 does have a bit more info in the way of pointers and tips.


Chapter 10: RD76 Tecgniques of Tailoring RD02 Tailoring

At this point you can safely guess about this chapter but this time RD02 does have a bit extra. At the end of this chapter RD02 includes some finshed garment alterations.


Chapter 11: This is were we have the biggest difference in the books. In RD76 it is Sewing for Men and Children and RD02 it’s Patchwork and Quilting

Since there is nothing to compare I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

Sewing for Men and Children has about 74 pages.



This section (Patchwork and Quilting) is the smallest in the book with only 10 pages dedicated and that includes the two projects, a man’s patchwork vest and a baby blanket.


RD02 ends here with just a glossary, index and acknowledgments & appendices to finish off the book.

Chapter 12: Sewing for the Home (RD76)




Last chapter for RD76 includes a few DIY projects. Unlike the RD02 you don’t need a pattern to do them. So easy for those international people who my not have easy access to patterns or getting them once they are out of print.



Conclusion: The saying that has been true for so many things “ain’t nothing like the original” the same can be said about this book. They are about 85% the same so if you can’t get your hands on an original you’ll still be good to go.


Until next time, happy sewing…

Book and Compare: Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing 1976 vs 2002 (pic heavy)

Reader's Digest 1976 vs 2002


Let me start of the post by saying, New doesn’t always mean better. That said let’s move on to comparing them and you can make your own informed decision. I will not compare every little thing but I do hope it is enough.


Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing 1976 2002
Pages 528 384
Number of Chapters 14 11
Sewing Projects 18 20
Sewing for Boys and Men A whole section 2 projects

The above charts gives a bit of info on the difference between the two books but here I’ll try to give you a bit more chapter by chapter or section. In the 2002 version the book is laid out in chapters versus the 1976 version has main sections that may or may not have a subsections so I’ll try to compare each part as best as I can.

Chapter 1: Reader’s Digest 2002 deals with Sewing Equipment and Fabrics whilst the 1976 calls it the Necessities of Sewing.

They both go over basic sewing equipment. RD02 (Readers’s Digest 2002) dedicates the least amount of pages to this subject and they also include fabric . When going over sewing equipment the notions are scattered about with captions labeling and explaining their uses.



RD76  shows far more notions and they are laid out in a more ordered fashion with captions again labeling and explaining their uses.

Here is an example for comparison. A tracing wheel and shears 0111152321a 0111152320 0111152321 0111152319

Also as you can see RD02 uses pictures versus RD76 uses life like illustrations.

When it comes to sewing machines RD02 list and explains the different machines that can be found today while RD76 shows a general sewing machine and labels it different parts and it even show how a stitch is made, how to wind and insert both types of bobbins, and even how to check stitch tension.

20150116_163429 readers digest 76 sewing machine

RD02 also list and explains different types in this section but it not introduced until section 2 in RD76

Chapter 2 In RD02 this is Cutting and in RD76 this is section two called Patterns, Fabrics, and Cutting. They both go over how to measure the female figure. In RD76 this done with just a few illustrations and  but RD2002 uses pictures. They both go over measuring the pattern and adjusting it for fit (in RD76 this is section 3 aka Portfolio Of Fitting Methods).

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Again this is where RD76 introduces fabric. Now RD02 does list a lot of fabrics RD76 does try to show the few fabrics a lot better.

readers digest sewing fabrics readers digest 02 fabric

Chapter 3: In RD02 this is labeled as Stitches and Seams and here they go over hand stitches, machine stitches, seams, seam finishes, darts, gathering, shirring, smocking, and ruffles and flounces. In RD76 this info is introduced in section 4 called Construction Basics and it is laid out pretty much the same.

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Chapter 4: RD02 Neckline Finishes and Collars and in RD76 this is Neckline and Collars.

This section is pretty much identical in both, but in RD76 on the last page after showing you how to construct a shirt collar with a separate band they do show you how to attach to garment whereas RD02 just leaves you with a finished collar and stand.

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Chapter 5: RD02 Waistlines and Belts in RD76 this is Waistlines, Waistbands, and Belts

This section is almost identical in both versions but once again the newer version does lack some info which is given in older book. This includes how to mark and measure the waist seam and circumference, illustrations of various waistbands, different closures and more.

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I’ll end it here for now and look forward to part 2 coming soon.

Until next time, happy sewing…