Sewing is a very creative hobby. To learn sewing and to enhance sewing skill, a sewing book is a must. An ideal sewing book will not only help the beginners to learn but also provide some advanced sewing projects to increase the skill of sewers from all levels.
For paving your way of sewing and making sewing fun, you need the best sewing book to follow. This article will give you a brief review of some sewing books and help you to select the one you can use as a reference.
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Basics of Sewing Books
Books are a most reliable source for learning. This is great to learn sewing from your mother or grandmother. But you can also learn from sewing books and look back on time to time again when you need.
A sewing book can help you to learn the ins and outs of sewing. The use of coloring pictures and steps of instruction will make sewing easy to you.
If you are a beginner you need sewing books to learn the basics of sewing like different stitches, fabrics, handling sewing machine etc. If you are a seasoned sewer you need to practice different unique projects time to time to increase your skill.
Best Sewing Books
When the sewing book is not the perfect match of your expectations, it is very annoying to return the book after buying. We compiled some of our favorite sewing books to help you to learn and increase your skills in sewing. Let’s have a look at their reviews.
1. The Sewing Book: Over 300 Step-by-Step Techniques
For sewers of all levels, “The Sewing Book: Over 300 Step-by-Step Techniques” is considered as the ultimate bible and encyclopedia. You can learn 300 techniques of sewing ranging from clothes to home decor from this book.
The first section of this book is all about tools of sewing like scissors, tape measure, pins, fabrics, pattern and many more. You will learn about many tools available in the market that will make your sewing easy.
The second section deals with different techniques like making darts, tucks, etc. facings, collars, and many more.
These techniques provide you with step-by-step instructions with realistic coloring pictures that explain every aspect of sewing by hand and by machine both. These photographs are clear and have comments on the side with neat little arrows showing which part they are talking about.
The third section covers different patterns and how to use them. It also comes up with 10 projects that you should try and information about these projects.
The book mainly contains sewing techniques that rely on patterns. If freehand cut designs are your desire, then this is not the book you are looking for. It skips some critical information, detailed instructions and step-by-step photos that might create difficulties for beginners.
2. Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids
The sewing guide for kids aging 5 and up is “Sewing School ®: 21 Sewing Projects Kids”, which shows kids can sew too. This includes many encouragements and helpful tips which help to develop the skills of young sewers in sewing up colorful pillows, dolls, blankets etc.
This contains 21 fun sewing projects with easy-to-follow illustrated instructions and cuts out patterns. These projects require only minimal supervision and can be done with simple hand stitches. So, kids will not require any sewing machine which is difficult to handle for them.
The book explains very well what tools to use and how to use them, how to take care of them, as well as some easy primary projects. There is a section in the book that is on how to correct mistakes. This is very encouraging for your kids by making them confident.
Truly speaking, this book is based on the basics of sewing. If you are looking for something advanced for your children, then you might not find this book useful. Also, you may find most of the pages stuck together by printing ink and the binding done poorly.
3. First Time Sewing: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide
If you are a beginner in the sewing world, then “First Time Sewing: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide” can be your personal instructor. You can learn how to sew with hand and with a machine from this book.
The first half provides the beginner necessary basics of sewing with detailed instructions and color photos. As no step is easy or obvious for beginners, this book does not leave any photos of any steps.
It describes all sewing tools, marking on patterns, pattern layouts, how to thread the machine, sewing a first seam, sewing on a button etc.
The second half of the book covers different projects like a rectangular tablecloth, knife-edge pillows, zipper closures, baby blanket, elastic-waist skirts, elastic-waist pants, t-shirts, apron with pockets, unlined jackets etc.
These simple projects will introduce you to essential sewing skills like hems, seams, balancing tension, and use of patterns.
The book explains the basics of sewing in the first half. So, you will not get any master skills. You might get confused with the second half as the projects may seem undetailed to the beginners.
4. New C5. One-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Projects
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced sewer, the stitch-and-seam reference book for you is “New C5. One-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Projects”. This book contains constructions detail with easy to follow diagram for you.
The good thing is it is sectioned by titles like stitches and seams, waistlines and belts etc. which makes easy to find what you are looking for. There are many projects to practice a certain area. For example, a project of the skirt to practice waistline.
This book has a fabric section which helps to get a quick overview of different fabric types and which kind of projects suits them. This book covers some basic stitches that most machines contain.
It also includes a very brief section on patterns including how to correct fit issues and basic pattern alteration. It shows different ways of doing a variety of collars, necklines, waistbands, hems, pockets, seams, sleeves, tailoring, quilting and smocking.
But this book does not give any primary basics of sewing. So, it may seem much advanced for beginners. It focuses on female clothing, omitting men’s or children’s clothing.
If you have gone through the older version of this, you may find some parts missing in this version. In the fabric section, it may not help you to identify each fabric with photos.
5. One-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Projects
You will get to introduce to 101 wonderful projects using just a single yard of fabric from “One-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Projects”. The projects include clothes, accessories, baby items, household goods, craft organization, bags, accessories, playthings, and pet projects.
If you are new in the sewing world with a small budget, this book would be a great starting. It provides basic sewing techniques and explanations of stitches. With the coloring clear photos, you can learn quickly.
The projects are discussed by easy-to-follow instructions with templates and pattern pieces. You can complete these easy projects in a few hours. These simple projects tempt you to sew often increasing your skill.
You can turn a yard of fabric into a quilted lunch bag, bright sundress, or a cuddly plush turtle with the assistance of this book. The patterns are affordable as you will be needing only a single yard of fabrics.
Problem is most of the projects are geared toward babies, toddlers or skinny teenager girls to complete them in single yards of fabrics. If you are an experienced sewer, you may not find something new in this book.
There is no pattern layout to guide you, only the length and width of pieces are mentioned. So, you may end up needing more than a yard of fabric.
6. Sew Me! Sewing Basics: Simple Techniques and Projects
If you have never touched a sewing machine or threaded a needle, the best option for you to begin sewing is, “Sew Me! Sewing Basics: Simple Techniques and Projects”.
This book starts from the very basic level like how to choose your first sewing machine, how to thread it, different fabrics and what to use them for, scissors, fabric shears, different stitches, their uses and introduce you to basic techniques and shortcuts.
All the directions are given in a friendly manner. These easy-to-follow directions will assist you to make repairs and new garments from scratch confidently. Teenagers will be attracted to the nice balance of graphics, instruction, and colors.
You can learn as you sew as you can practice from cutting patterns and sewing seams to binding edges, gathering fabric and installing zippers.
The fifteen simple practical projects provide you with sewing fun accessories from plushies and pincushions to placemats, hand towels, hats and more. Each project introduces you to a new concept of sewing.
But you may feel lack of brief instructions in the project section. Because the steps are poorly explained and there are regular paperback pages instead of pattern paper in this book. This book is okay for adults but not perfect children.
7. A Kid’s Guide to Sewing: Learn to Sew with Sophie & Her Friends
When kids have a hobby of sewing, “A Kid’s Guide to Sewing: Learn to Sew with Sophie & Her Friends” can be the best choice for them. Kids will learn how to navigate a sewing machine, make smart fabric choices, and use basic sewing tools from this book.
This book shows sewing can be fun for children and they can throw a party on sewing with friends. They can make things like an awesome bathing suit cover-up, a cute hairband, a stylish lunch tote, and a handy messenger bag etc.
There is a basic of sewing section that includes measuring the body and fixing mistakes. The instructions are age appropriate with simple concise language and photos are engaging. The hints and tricks for sewing make the children attracted towards sewing.
Every single project introduces kids to a new concept. The idea of pool cover-up teaches the use of elastic thread. Then kids can use the same pattern for making sundresses or summer shirts. The projects progress from simple to more complex increasing readers skills.
Some cons are, you may be disappointed if you are looking for pattern pieces to cut out. Because there are only instructions on how to make things in this book. Also, the projects might seem a little bit expensive for kids to start sewing.
8. Sewing Happiness: A Year of Simple Projects
Twenty sewing projects are tied together in “Sewing Happiness: A Year of Simple Projects” and they will tell you the story of how sewing gave happiness to the writer, her struggle and how she overcame it.
All the projects are arranged according to seasons round a year, each of them is designed to promote health, creativity, relationships and more. This is not only a sewing book but also an inspiring book to inspire you to live your best life.
When the writer, Sanae Ishida was diagnosed with chronic illness and lost her job, she decided to sew all of her daughters and most of her own clothes. This brought her enjoyment all year round and making things healed her.
So, this book is not limited only for sewers, everyone can read this. It can be a wonderful gift to give your friends.
There are some simple, fun, quick projects like three origami pillows, infinity scarf, apron, market bag, book cover, floral crown, cloth fortune cookies, yoga pants, starter dress, camera strap, zip pouch, sketchbook, cloth bucket tote, sewing machine tote, heating pad etc. with flexible and relaxed instructions.
If you are looking for a pure sewing book, this book would not meet your expectations. It may seem more like an autobiography. The project photos and instructions are in separate places and instructions are more complex where the projects are very simple. That might create difficulty.
Best Sewing Book Buying Guide
It is very difficult to find out which sewing book is perfect for you. Before buying a sewing book, you should consider some factors described below
Sometimes the title can give you a total picture of the whole book. So it might be an important factor for buying any book.
You have to carefully look for what contents the book has. If you are looking for any particular project, search it first in the index. Also, if you are new in the sewing world, look for basics of sewing or any method you are looking for.
Books are written in a particular manner targeting the audience. The audience can be kids, teenagers, adults, beginners or experienced sewers. Look for the book which targets you.
You have to consider the language used in the book. Buy the book which is written in easy language that you can understand easily.
The pictures used must be clear and obvious matching the steps. The best sewing book will have many pictures relevant to the steps discussed to make the reader understand easily.
Number of Projects and Difficulty Level
If you know sewing, look for a book which will give you many projects to practice. Also, check the projects discussed are easy or difficult so that you do not lose your interest.
Buy a book according to your budget. You may not want a very expensive book if you have just started learning. Price may not matter for you if you are a professional sewer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Some general questions may come to your mind and they are discussed below to clear your confusion
Why I would buy a sewing book? So many projects are available on
Truly speaking, you can learn best from a sewing book, it will give you detailed instructions. You can look back from time to time whenever you need.
Can I learn sewing from reading book?
Sewing is a practical thing. You have to read books and practice sewing a lot.
Which sewing book will be good for my kid?
Now many sewing books are published for kids. Look for a book that is very simple and contains more colorful pictures.
Frankly speaking, sewing is a vast area of learning to cover in a single book. But still, you have to find out the best sewing book for practicing your skill. If you learn properly, sewing can be fun for you.
Go through the reviews of our recommended sewing books and find out the best one which will teach, inspire and motivate you to sew.