16 Best Sewing Books: Must-Reads for Sewing Fans

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Are you looking for the best sewing books that’ll transform your projects from amateur to professional level?

We’ve got just the list for you!

Whether you’re new to sewing or a seasoned expert, sewing books can be a fantastic source of inspiration — for learning new techniques, to give you ideas for new and beautiful creations, and to motivate you to bold new heights with your sewing projects.

Here are some of the best sewing books bursting with useful know how, hints, tips, and step by step guides sure to satisfy and inspire…

16 of the Best Sewing Books

The Sewing Machine Accessory Bible:  Get the Most Out of Your Machine

Sewing Machine Accessory Bible

Has your sewing machine got lots of feet that you don’t know what to do with? The Sewing Machine Accessory Bible could be your new best friend.

Full of handy tips and tricks, with detailed explanations and step by step instructions with full color pictures, the book contains 6 chapters comprehensively covering crucial topics for all levels of ability.

The first chapter starts with the basics such as the anatomy of a sewing machine, must have tools, optional extras, and needles and thread.

Chapter 2 covers how to use the basic feet creatively, including the zigzag and zipper foot, buttonhole and button sewing foot, blind hem, hemmer, and overcast foot.

The following chapters explain how to use specialty fabric and technique feet, how to make pretty edges with tools such as the piping, ruffle, and bias binding feet, and how to achieve some fancy stitching with the appliqué, darning and embroidery, pintuck foot, and more.

best sewing books

The Sewing Book: Over 300 Step-by-Step Techniques

The Sewing Book

Packed with over 300 step by step techniques for beginner and intermediate sewers looking to up their game to the next level, The Sewing Book informs and educates readers in regard to sewing tools, how to sew with different fabrics, and how to use patterns, and also includes some great dressmaking and home projects.

All the essential facts you need to know about dressmaking are covered in this sewing manual, from techniques such as darts, tucks, pleats and gathers, to pockets, facings and necklines, plus tips on successful mending.

Every technique is clearly demonstrated using color photos accompanied by detailed text, and the extensive fabric guide includes not only high resolution images, but also advice on what needle and which stitch to use for each different fabric type.

This book makes for an excellent day to day reference manual for any sewer, as well as a useful source of information to improve your sewing skills.

best sewing books

First Time Sewing: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide

First Time Sewing

Ideal for total newcomers to the wonderful world of sewing, First Time Sewing: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide is an excellent way for beginners to get to grips with all the sewing basics using detailed, step by step instructions designed to make the learning process as pain free as possible for maximum sewing enjoyment.

The book includes numerous attractive home decor projects for you to complete, such as baby blankets [how to sew, size guide], elastic waist pants and skirts, and T-shirts.

To accompany this, there are all the techniques and information you need to complete each project, including learning all about patterns, sewing seams and zippers, and hems.

First Time Sewing makes an excellent addition to any budding sewer’s library, and is a great gift for kids and adults alike.

best sewing books

New Complete Guide to Sewing: Step-by-Step Techniques for Making Clothes and Home Accessories

Complete Guide to Sewing

This Reader’s digest publication is a veritable encyclopedia of everything you need to know to sew successfully — whatever your level of skill.

Each chapter explains a particular technique such as seams, waistbands, pockets, zips, sleeves and necklines, and includes in depth step by step instructions with colorful diagrams and illustrations plus accompanying home accessory and clothing projects to enable you to practise your new skills.

In addition, there is a wealth of indispensable information regarding alterations and tailoring techniques, a handy guide to different types of fabric, a fantastic comprehensive glossary of sewing terms, detailed explanations on how to use your sewing machine, and much more besides.

The New Complete Guide to Sewing is a first class reference book for beginners, students, intermediates and even experts.

best sewing books

Sew Me! Sewing Basics

Sew Me! The Basics

Written with first time sewers in mind, Sew Me! Sewing Basics: Simple Techniques and Projects for First-Time Sewers starts at the very beginning, explaining how to choose your first sewing machine, and basic techniques and shortcuts to transform you into a sewing diva in next to no time.

The beginning chapter provides lots of information about sewing machines and how to use them, fabrics, and sewing tools, as well as instructions on how to use the book correctly.

The rest of the book is dedicated to helping sewers learn about cutting patterns, sewing seams, binding edges, gathering fabric, installing zippers and eyelets, and other essential sewing skills.

Each of the 15 skills you can learn has its own accompanying project to help you hone your technique – for example a quick zip pouch for the zippers section and a cozy ruffled scarf for the elastic section.

Sew Me! is sure to give confidence to any new sewer — young or old — but will prove particularly popular with younger sewers and teens.

best sewing books

Singer: The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing

Singer Photo Guide to Sewing

What makes this sewing book stand out are the glorious full color, close up photos and detailed descriptive images that are super easy to understand and which make learning to sew a pleasure.

An excellent reference for any skill level, Singer: The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing is split into straightforward sections.

The first section is brimming with information on how to use your sewing machine, and how to get the perfect stitch.

Other sections include information on other equipment you will need in your sewing armoury, how to use and create sewing patterns correctly, an overview of all the different sewing techniques with a step by step guide to how to achieve the best results for each one, plus an extensive fabric, thread, and stitch guide.

This guide also features a range of home decorating projects to complete, such as different pillows and cushions, curtains, duvet covers, and tablecloths and napkins.

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques for successful results within the pages of this sewing book that will surprise even some of the most experienced sewists!

best sewing books

Tilly and the Buttons: Stretch!

Tilly and the buttons

Anyone who has tried sewing stretch fabrics knows that it can be a tricky business, which can put many sewers off the idea — but help is at hand!

Tilly and the Buttons: Stretch! will put an end to all your fears related to sewing stretch fabrics so you can sew beautiful soft, stylish and comfortable garments with ease using your regular sewing machine.

Whether you’re new to sewing with knit fabrics, or whether you just want to brush up your skills this book has all the information you need — with introductory chapters for beginners detailing the basics about knit fabric, like how to prepare and cut it, and how to sew stretch fabric successfully using sewing machine, overlocker or serger.

Cheery, colorful photos illustrate the various projects in the book, with 6 full scale paper patterns with simple step-by-step instructions and additional help for more difficult techniques like sewing buttonholes.

Among the stylish designs are a glamorous sequin skirt, cute ruffle neck dress, and a baseball tee.

Each chapter also includes useful tips on working with different kinds of knit fabrics and a troubleshooting section, as well as how to easily customize the patterns to suit your individual style.

best sewing books

Couture Sewing Techniques

Couture Sewing Techniques

Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire B. Shaeffer revolutionized home sewing as we know it.

Haute Couture had long been considered a luxury reserved for the financially well endowed, but Couture Sewing Techniques changed that preconception forever, making the secrets of sewing elegant haute couture garments available to millions worldwide.

This is, however, a pretty technical and text heavy book and the sheer amount of information is sometimes overwhelming, so it is best suited to more expert sewers who understand the complex terms and techniques described.

Couture garments are mostly sewn by hand, so there is a large chapter dedicated to the different hand sewing stitches and seams and their uses.

There are also extensive chapters with detailed information about shaping garments with darts, seams and pressing techniques, various different ways of finishing edges, plus closures such as buttons and buttonholes.

The rest of the book is packed with ways to use all these techniques to create different types of haute couture garments, with clear instructions every step of the way, including skirts and pants, blouses and dresses, jackets and coats, and special occasion wear.

best sewing books

Hand Sewing for Beginners

For those who’d like to try hand sewing on a simpler scale, Hand Sewing for Beginners offers a straightforward way to learn a fundamental range of hand stitches and their uses, along with how to perform basic mending and alterations.

Aimed at total beginners with zero experience, this booklet also features an abundance of information regarding all the equipment you need on hand in your sewing kit to be ready to sew, including different needle, scissor, and thread types.

There are easy to follow tutorials for important, day to day repairs such as redoing seams, creating hems and gathers, repairing torn fabric, and sewing buttons.

With Hand Sewing for Beginners: Learn How to Sew by Hand and Perform Basic Mending and Alterations even novices can learn everything they need to make solid repairs at home — without the expense of using the services of a professional seamstress.

best sewing books

Beginner’s Guide To Dress & Skirt Making With Sewing Machine

Beginners Guide to Skirt Making

Get more out of your sewing machine and create beautiful, feminine dresses and skirts with this comprehensive guide for beginners by professional dressmaker Catherine Morris.

Even sewers with no previous sewing experience can learn the art of dressmaking easily using the step by step instructions and detailed illustrations in this book.

The first section includes an introduction to dressmaking and dressmaking tools, followed by an in depth look at how to use a sewing machine correctly and the different styles of stitch you will need to master, plus information on garment components and how to take body measurements.

Armed with this know how, you’ll be able to create clothes using the patterns and illustrated instructions included in the second section, such as a straight skirt, gathered skirt, shift dress and sheath dress.

This is an ideal, easy to follow guide for beginners, or sewers looking to refresh their skills.

best sewing books

Sewing to Sell – The Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Craft Business

Sewing To Sell

If you’re thinking of turning your crafting skills into a money making enterprise, you will find Sewing to Sell – The Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Craft Business packed with useful insights to help get your business off the ground.

The author of this practical guide runs a successful online pattern business, so has plenty of valuable experience and information to share, including how to find your unique sewing style and make your niche in the world of online business, how to find determine your target market, and how best to promote yourself and sell your designs — be it in an online shops, or a stand at craft markets — and how to price and package your creations correctly.

Alongside this, you will learn all about essential sewing tools and equipment, how to organize your work space effectively, and how to make smart decisions when sourcing and using different fabrics.

Also included in the guide are 16 great projects to inspire you and get you started, such as oven mitts, grocery totes, and professional pillow covers.

best sewing books

The Sewing Bible for Clothes Alterations

The Sewing Bible

Have you got clothes you love but which no longer fit you, or which need a new lease of life?

With the help of The Sewing Bible for Clothes Alterations on how to alter clothes, you’ll learn a whole array of clever skills to alter your clothes to a professional standard, but at minimum cost.

Professional seamstress Judith Turner has created this guide to help beginners learn a range of fundamental sewing skills for altering their own clothes at home, from more simple tasks such as shortening the length of a pair of pants, to more technically ambitious projects including replacing zips, taking in jackets, and reshaping necklines.

Each type of alteration is explained by breaking it down into 3 stages; pinning, preparing, and sewing, with step by step instructions and detailed diagrams for each stage.

The book also covers what tools you will need to complete each alteration task, and a handy guide to different types of seams.

best sewing books

How to Use, Adapt, and Design Sewing Patterns

How to Use Sewing Patterns

Have you always wanted to make your own clothes from scratch but not known how?

For novice sewers, understanding how to use sewing patterns can be a daunting business, but thankfully help is at hand with How to Use, Adapt, and Design Sewing Patterns.

The aim of this book is to demonstrate how to make shop bought sewing patterns work for you, from basics such as choosing the right size, to understanding all the different pattern markings and turning flat shapes into wearable articles of clothing which suit your unique taste, shape, and style.

The book opens with chapters detailing the equipment you will need, how to make the right decision when choosing fabrics, and extensive information about commercial patterns, including how to understand them, how to measure correctly, and how to pin, mark, and cut out your fabric ready to sew.

Following on from this are comprehensive chapters on how to alter store bought patterns, and how to design your own patterns from start to finish using pattern blocks as a base.

How to Use, Adapt, and Design Sewing Patterns is suited to all skill levels — especially beginners — although sewers already experienced with patterns may find it less useful.

best sewing books

School of Sewing: Learn it, Teach it, Sew Together

School of Sewing

The author of School of Sewing: Learn it, Teach it, Sew Together created the book based on her experiences of teaching group lessons to friends and acquaintances, all with little to no sewing skills who wanted to learn how to use a sewing machine.

The result is an engaging, user friendly book which helps the reader learn to sew by sharing the successes and problems encountered by this group of students during their time at sewing school.

Key topics at the beginning of the book include useful information about sewing machines and how to use them to sew seams, zippers, pleats, buttons, and more.

Following on from this are 12 projects to complete which allow you to practise each skill.

Each project is designed to take no more than 3 hours to complete, with color photos to help you every step of the way. The projects start easy and become progressively more complicated — starting with a simple pillowcase and finishing with a pleated purse and a quilt.

A truly fun way to learn to sew, buy this book for yourself, or better yet buy it to share with your friends and learn together.

best sewing books

One-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Projects

One Yard Projects

One yard of fabric might not seem like much, but with 101 Sewing Projects; Look How Much You Can Make with Just One Yard of Fabric! you’ll discover all sorts of innovative ways to use it.

Full to bursting with over 100 inspiring projects for all skills levels, this book will appeal to any keen sewer.

Starting off with the sewing fundamentals including equipment must haves, fabric facts, making and using patterns, and a glossary of useful sewing terminology, the book then progresses on to the meat of the book – the sewing projects.

Each project has been contributed by an experienced sewer, and each chapter contains projects of a particular type with a wide variety of varied projects for the home, for you and your kids, and even your pets, including laptop sleeves and jewelry rolls in ‘On the Go’, a bias skirt and summer sundress in ‘From Head to Toe’, and a cozy dog bed and walking coat in ‘Your Furry Friends’.

best sewing books

Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book

Gertie Ultimate Dress Book

Lovers of all things vintage will be the envy of their friends with Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book: A Modern Guide to Sewing Fabulous Vintage Styles.

Not only does it contain 23 beautiful retro dress patterns including day dresses, evening dresses, and special events dresses, but each pattern features interchangeable pieces, meaning you can mix up the skirts, bodices, sleeves and collars to create your own unique design.

Along with the patterns, the book boasts a comprehensive guide to dressmaking techniques, aimed at teaching readers a range of crucial skills such as getting ready to sew, basic dress construction, finishing details, how to structure the dresses, techniques for special fabrics, and fitting.

If you are an intermediate sewer looking for mix and match vintage style sewing patterns you are sure to adore Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book.

best sewing books

Which do you think are the best sewing books?

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