Have you just started sewing or want to start but need some help? These top 10 sewing books for beginners are the best place to start learning.
I love to learn from books, and sewing books are no exception. Over the years, I have collected and read many books about sewing and pattern making. These top 10 books are my favourite for mastering sewing and understanding fabrics and patterns.
It can be overwhelming learning a new skill, especially sewing. There are lots of sewing terms that can make your head spin, lots of machines and tools to use and lots of different sewing techniques to master. Don’t let this stop you from beginning an exciting journey into making a handmade wardrobe and homewares.
You can learn everything you need to know from this collection of sewing books for beginners – I studied fashion design at university and have found most of what I discovered among the pages of these books. They are valuable resources to have in your sewing library.
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Sewing Books for Beginners
As a beginner sewist, knowing which books are best to learn the right skills can be daunting. These 10 sewing books for beginners are all incredible resources that will teach you everything you need to become a pro at sewing.
If you have been here for a while, you will already know that I love Assembil books, particularly How Patterns Work (as below). How to Start sewing is no exception. If you want to learn everything, this book is for you!
Starting with the absolute basics, the first part of this book runs through all the sewing tools and explains them in great detail. It then follows into sewing techniques like hemming, sewing a seam, how to sew sleeves and many more. You can also print off sample sewing patterns that pair with these exercises to practise the techniques in the book. I did this in Fashion School, and it paid off immensely.
This book is one of the first that I purchased. At the time, I was self-taught and incredibly eager to learn about pattern-making and its principles. It's a highly resourceful book, perfect for anyone who has dipped their toes into sewing with patterns but wants more clarity.
This book doesn't teach you how to design patterns from scratch, but it goes in-depth about the markings on patterns, how they work with fabric and how to adjust them. You will learn about darts, grain lines, seam allowances and how to change them on patterns to suit your design or fitting requirements.
Each chapter is dedicated to a topic and has a summary at the end, which is perfect for referencing when you are working on sewing projects.
Tilly is a marvellous pattern designer who has a range of lovely sewing patterns to choose from. This Make it Simple book is a big hit among the sewing community for its six easy and well-fitted designs. It's perfect for beginners who want to start sewing clothing but are time-poor.
Tilly has included helpful tips and guides for sewing and picking fabrics. All the sewing patterns are included in the book, but you also have the option to go online and print them out which I think is helpful.
In my opinion, this book is underrated. It is an incredible source of fabric knowledge. It is filled with pages of in-depth textile knowledge, from manufacturing to the different fibres and how they work on the body.
It includes 142 fabric swatches so you can see and touch the materials to understand their feel and weight. This book is for you if you want to learn about materials for your sewing projects!
This sewing encyclopedia is a personal favourite of mine, which is packed with sewing knowledge. This book is renowned for answering many questions new sewers may ask, which makes it a fantastic resource to have on hand.
Packed with comprehensive construction guides, this book has everything you need to know about sewing fashion garments. It even includes detailed instructions on how to make minor pattern adjustments like moving darts.
This book is perfect for practising sewing without embarking on a challenging project. Small, quick sewing projects are enjoyable and can be the best way to learn how to handle a sewing machine without fearing messing up.
Maybe you don't want to learn how to sew complete projects but rather how to mend clothing and home textiles that you already own. Mending matters will teach you some simple sewing techniques and inspiration for fixing your well-loved clothing and reducing waste.
The Geometry of Hand-Sewing is packed with more than 100 hand stitches for left and right-handers. This book has everything from a fundamental straight chain stitch to a fancy herringbone.
Hand-stitching is valuable; you can fix ripped seams and hem garments, sew on buttons and patch holes. With templates, you can practise these hand stitches with guidance to develop the best hand-stitching skills.
This book is for you if you prefer clear, visual photos to learn. It is packed with basic sewing tutorials, like threading up your sewing machine and using a serger (we all know how scary a serger can be). You will learn how to sew collars, cuffs and closures for fashion sewing. Included are six home sewing projects to practise your new sewing skills.
Everyone learns differently, so I have included various books in this comprehensive list. I enjoy the Assembil sewing books for their clear illustrated guides, but you may enjoy the Singer sewing book that contains pictures instead.
I hope you have found this guide to sewing books for beginners helpful so you can start your sewing journey the easy way.
Please let me know in the comments section below what your favourite sewing books are.