Books are a great method for learning the ins and outs of sewing. Books will not only give you photo references for mastering each step, but also give written guides to refer to whenever needed.
Having your grandma or mom teach you the art of sewing is great, but a book allows you a solid reference guide to look back on time and time again. If you’ve just bought a sewing machine and can’t wait to get started, a book will jumpstart the process for you.
The ideal sewing guide will be suitable for beginners but will also have information to accommodate more advanced sewers. That way, the book will remain relevant for a long time. Here are some of the best books on sewing for beginners available on the market.
The Best Books on Sewing for Beginners
- The Sewing Book: An Encyclopedic Resource of Step-by-Step Techniques
- School of Sewing: Learn it, Teach it, Sew Together
- First Time Sewing: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide
- New Complete Guide to Sewing: Step-by-Step Techniques for Making Clothes and Home Accessories
- The Sewing Machine Classroom: Learn the Ins & Outs of Your Machine
- Singer Complete Photo Guide to Sewing
The Sewing Book: An Encyclopedic Resource of Step-by-Step Techniques
The Sewing Book has every technique and tool you will need for creating your own clothing or home furnishings and is sharply and closely photographed, clearly explained, and carefully annotated. The book’s Tools section starts with your simplest, basic toolkit, moving onto items that you may end up needing later. It includes all different cutting tools and sewing machine feet.
In this section, you’ll also find pattern information, how to adjust, use, and measure them. Photo gallery spreads are present throughout the book’s techniques section and shows how to do pleats, zips, darts, and other key stitching. In addition, you can use your refined and acquired skills to create 25 different clothing and home décor projects toward the end of the guide.
Created by an enthusiastic teacher and sewer who has a sewing school, this book covers every question you might have on the subject. Regardless of your current level, you can dive right into this book. Learn how to repair your old shirt or make one from scratch, spruce up the curtains in your living room or design your own.
The book looks beautiful, with an attractive layout and appealing color scheme that makes flipping through it fun and easy. This matters a lot when you’re using a reference guide for sewing questions and techniques. The book is sturdy in addition to being attractive, with a strong binding and glossy pages. Though the binding is sturdy and built to last, it’s also easy to lay down flat and read as you sew.
The only way this book could be better is if they had chosen fabrics with a clear wrong and right side. Usually, books have a text reference for the side you are sewing, which makes for a simpler visual learning experience, but this one was missing that in a couple parts.
School of Sewing: Learn it, Teach it, Sew Together
School of Sewing offers you the unique chance to follow along with a group of new sewers who had a goal to master their sewing machines. This guide is a detailed, engaging lesson plan meant to help you through this journey, regardless of whether you’re on your own or learning with a group.
The book starts with simple to follow instructions for using your machine, along with advice on purchasing tools and fabric, then moves onto 12 different projects, complete with detailed photos. Throughout, you will receive advice and tips from other beginner sewers in a relatable, approachable, and fun way.
Each month, there’s a new three-hour lesson to learn, which makes this great for learning together with friends. By the end of the book, you’ll be able to gift or show off your new abilities, including a patchwork quilt, tote bag, zippered pouch, and pillow case. You will see that each has optional details you can add to gain extra credit.
This book will teach you about different types of sewing machines, how to find the perfect machine for you, and recommendations on machine types, in addition to the essential supplies needed to begin. You can then move onto skills such as machine quilting, curve sewing, binding, pleats, buttonholes, ruffles, and zippers.
You will learn about color theory and fabric selection for projects, along with how to find your way around the fabric store, troubleshooting issues with your machine, and professional techniques for finishing your projects. This book will help refresh you on old techniques, if you haven’t sewn in a while, while also giving you shortcuts and tips that are entirely new.
Even simple projects like making a pillowcase can become something awesome with this guide, which offers seams that will perfectly align and a non-fussy method. For the instructions on making a drawstring bag, you can avoid fraying or burst seams at the bag’s opening.
Inserting zippers can be intimidating to new sewers, but the simple zipper pouch project in this book makes it not only doable, but relatively easy and fun. Even advanced sewers will appreciate the straightforward tips in this guide.
In addition to being beautifully photographed and designed, the well-written book is perfect for teaching a sewing class. Use the projects inside it to make great gifts and consult this book as a reference guide when you want to learn how to make new patterns.
First Time Sewing: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide
This beginner’s book makes the art of sewing simpler than ever, instructing you like a personal teacher on both sewing machines and hand stitching. Complete with detailed descriptions of tools and materials, the step-by-step directions cover all of the basics and show you how to make shorts, pants, pillow, and aprons quickly.
Within the first few projects, you’ll learn skills such as balancing tension, creating seams, hems, how to use sewing patterns, and other skills you will rely on time and time again. In this book, you will soon learn how to stitch amazing projects and gifts with the confidence of an advanced sewer!
Sewing is a very practical and fun skill to learn, but many beginners are intimidated soon after taking their new machine out of its box. Once you purchase your very first machine, looking through books is the next step.
Paging through the average book on sewing will easily intimidate the beginner, due to undefined words or descriptions without images. First Time Sewing: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide, on the other hand, can be read through right away. It’s ideal for people who have never sewn before or even been around sewers.
In it, you’ll find definitions and lists for different sewing tools, pattern markings, illustrations of pattern layouts, tips on threading the machine, and even instructions for sewing your very first seam. The book will cover hand sewing, seam finishes, and basics like putting on buttons. The photos are colored and clear, the instructions are detailed, and the book is precise enough for you to process without frustration or confusion.
For those who have already learned to sew and are looking to start again, this might seem a bit too elementary. However, for the beginner who is seeking to understand the art of sewing while learning the basics, it’s perfect.
New Complete Guide to Sewing: Step-by-Step Techniques for Making Clothes and Home Accessories
This useful book is the ultimate reference for your sewing needs and offers you what you require to create your very own unique creations, either from an accomplished sewer or beginner level. It’s hard to know whether a book is right for you without the chance to flip through it, but this book is easy for even a complete beginner to follow and offers you titled sections, covering belts, waistlines, seams and stitches.
It gives you projects to practice on in specific areas. For instance, chapter five offers you a chance to practice a specific skirt waistline. The fabric section offers a quick, simple overview of different fabric types and the sewing projects you would typically use them for. This book has more pictures than many others, along with directions that are easy to follow and understand.
It’s easy to forget how to do something once you learn it, so having a reference book is invaluable. You’ll also discover new methods for the same, simple things you already know, along with easy to make easy stitching look more detailed and professional.
Inside, you’ll find a comprehensive section on fitting and altering a pattern to fit your unique body type. With this book next to you, you will be able to look forward to sewing so much more. By investing in the art of sewing, you will increase your likelihood of success and enjoyment of the craft.
The hardcover is heavy, thick, and sturdy, which will help it stay open on your table. Use it to learn different ways to make sleeves, pockets, seams, fastenings, hems, necklines, different collars, and some smocking and quilting. This will probably be the only guide you need, even as you advance in sewing.
The Sewing Machine Classroom: Learn the Ins & Outs of Your Machine
Charlene Phillips, the author of The Sewing Machine Classroom, gives you all the information you need about your newest companion, the sewing machine. From the feet to the fabric to your final product, you’ll find techniques and methods for mastering the machine that you can use to perform both advanced and basic stitching tasks.
Whether you’re new to sewing or have been doing it for years, the information in this guide will help you use your machine to the fullest. Find out how to troubleshoot sewing machine issues such as tension trouble, needle breaks, or skipped stitches. You’ll also learn how to keep your machine running well by performing basic maintenance tasks.
Learn how to create embellishments such as puffing, cutwork, pin tucks, smocking, scallops, and more to enhance the garments and projects you create. In addition, you’ll find out how to refine simple tasks like sewing buttonholes, installing zippers, and creating the perfect hem.
You will learn how to choose threads, fabrics, and other necessities that will lead to quality projects. What about recognizing and utilizing the ideal feet for your sewing machine? This beautifully illustrated and clearly written book will walk you through it.
Instead of relying on your sewing machine manual, use this and you’ll find all of the basic information you were seeking, including complete explanations, excellent photos, and charts with simple, specific information. Even those who have been sewing for a while will learn something from it and find it a valuable addition to their craft table.
Singer Complete Photo Guide to Sewing
This book is a great reference for every sewer. It has 1100 photographs and 352 pages to cover every angle of décor and fashion sewing. Among the included sections are how to choose the right notions and tools, using traditional machines, home décor projects, tailoring, and fashion sewing.
You will also find step-by-step guides on basic items such as window treatments, tablecloths, and pillows. Although it is suitable for beginners, even intermediate or advanced sewers will find something to turn to repeatedly in this book. Ideal as a gift, no sewer will be limited in terms of ability.
As mentioned, learning from your mother or teaching yourself is great, but offers only a limited view of the craft. Sure, the internet allows you to find useful sewing information online, but only when you know the terms for what you need.
Although the book will contain new information that you won’t need, you’ll also encounter brand new tips and techniques you never would have accessed otherwise. The methods in this book are timeless.
The first time you look through this guide, you may require a couple of hours to fully take it in. Keep it next to your sewing machine to look at any time you have a question that needs answering. You will find data on each step of easy fitting, to clothing construction and the finer details of tailoring.
The Top 4 Tips for Beginner Sewers
Now that you’ve chosen to begin learning one of the most useful crafting skills out there, it’s time to learn the top tips for beginner sewers to enhance your abilities.
- Put your Thread Guide up: When you first start out with sewing, you should keep the thread guide in the higher position. When it isn’t, the needle will get unthreaded right as you start turning the hand wheel. Make checking this every time you’re done sewing a habit so you don’t forget.
- Keep the Needle Down: Don’t ever stop sewing with the needle still up, to pull a pin out, to move the fabric, when you run out of fabric, or while you’re sewing a corner. Leaving it down, then pivoting, will enable you to get a seam that is perfectly aligned.
- Start out Hand Sewing: To make sure you’re doing everything perfectly when you begin, try to do your initial one to two stitches while turning the hand wheel counter-clockwise. This will enable you to see whether the needle is smoothly going into your fabric. If the thickness of the fabric is an issue (as with hemming denim), or you want to avoid jamming the thread, you will be able to define the placement of the first stitch more accurately by doing this.
- Rethreading: Any time you notice that your seam is too loose, too tight, or that the machine has been skipping stitches, just rethread it all, including the bobbin and spool. This will solve the issue almost every single time! When you are repositioning your bobbin, look for the bird’s next under the needle plate, which is what is often causing missed stitches or other problems.
Following these tips will help you advance to a pro sewer in no time.