words NICOLE MCKENZIE
There are A LOT of books about sewing in the world. And whether you call yourself a seamstress or are yet to thread a sewing machine, there’s a perfect book out there for you. A good collection of sewing books can help you generate new ideas, problem-solve and find your next project. May your sewing library be inspirational and your bobbin full.
Eliminate the need for a mid-project google with these reference books. An all-in-one stop, these titles contain everything you need to know about sewing.
Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing
If you buy only one sewing book in your life, make it this one. First published in 1978 (and most recently in 2022), this incredible reference book is a staple in countless sewing rooms. Reach for it to learn a technique or answer a sticky sewing question – its clear line drawings and detailed instructions are sure to give you the information you need.
Sewing Basics by Sandra Bardwell
The perfect sewing encyclopedia for beginners. Covering everything from choosing a machine and learning about fabrics to finishing techniques and embroidery, this book will have even complete newbies sewing with confidence in no time.
If you don’t feel ready to learn the ins and outs of sewing patterns, or if you want a break from tracing and cutting, these books teach clothing and accessory-making using basic shapes. Best of all, they’re size-inclusive as you create garments using your own measurements.
Sew It Yourself with DIY Daisy by Daisy Braid
Instagram sewing sensation, and Peppermint fave, DIY Daisy shares 20 pattern-free projects – 10 accessories and 10 garments. Daisy uses squares and rectangles as a starting point for her designs, keeping the projects simple and beginner friendly.
No Patterns Needed: DIY Couture from Simple Shapes by Rosie Martin
Working with rectangles, circles and triangles, this book will guide you to create unique and stylish clothing. Rosie’s projects include clear instructions and countless pattern variations.
Stepping it up a notch, these books include printed patterns, ready to trace and make for your next project. A pattern book is a great way to get a collection of patterns in a style you like at a low price!
Breaking the Pattern by Saara and Laura Huhta
This book, by pattern company Named Clothing, is filled with innovative modern patterns, memorable details and variations. The projects progress from beginner to advanced, offering something for everyone.
Tilly and the Buttons: Make It Simple by Tilly Walnes
Tilly Walnes, of and the Buttons fame, shares six simple, stress-free garment patterns for the busy maker. A gorgeous book filled with easy-to-make garb.
Gertie Sews Jiffy Dresses by Gretchen Hirsch
Queen of vintage sewing Gretchen ‘Gertie’ Hirsch shares a collection of stylish vintage dresses that can be made in under a day proving that bringing the glamour of the 50s and 60s to the modern wardrobe doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult.
Fit for Purpose
Fitting is an important skill for garment makers and a surefire way to improve the quality of your clothes.
The Fitting Book by Gina Renee Dunham
This book will equip you with the skills to identify and resolve fit issues. Best of all, the fitting alterations have corresponding videos linked with QR codes – so you never get stuck on fit again.
Pattern Fitting with Confidence by Nancy Zieman
This is a simple approach to pattern fitting – using pivoting and sliding methods to eliminate the need to redraw patterns. Long-standing industry expert Nancy Zieman’s legacy is carried on through her easy-to-understand advice for key pattern adjustments.
The Palmer Pletsch Complete Guide to Fitting by Pati Palmer and Marta Alto
Learn the tissue-fitting method so you never need to make a toile again! This thorough and logical guide to fitting will save you time while helping you achieve the perfect fit.