Sewing books can be a wonderful reference. I'm pretty picky about which books I buy. Usually I try them out first through the library before purchasing. The book has to do one or more of the following to be worth the investment:
Here are my favorites, grouped by general ability levels, plus one fantastic reference book.
Beginner Books--I refer to these books regularly. They may have all the information needed to get started in sewing, but they also are great references.
The best sewing reference I've ever come across: The Sewing Machine Classroom by Charlene Phillips. It can be quite technical at times, but it's very accessible. You don't have to be a mechanical engineer to keep your sewing machine running smoothly, and this book will give you that confidence.
I hope you enjoyed this peek into my sewing library! Do you have a book that you absolutely adore, but I didn't mention here? Please tell me in the comments!
You already know my love of the Handmade Holiday series at SewMamaSew. One feature I completely forgot about was the sewing book recommendations. It has only been a few days since this year's series began and I have requested at least half a dozen titles from my library inter-loan program to preview. Does anyone else do this? Instead of going broke buying every book that catches my eye, I borrow them first from the library. In Rhode Island all the branches share their books and you can go online to request a title. They deliver it to your local branch and send an email when it's ready to be picked up. Genius!
There are a number of books that I have checked out and loved so much that I purchased my own copy. Most bookstores in my area just don't carry this type of book, so the library is the best way to skim a book to see if it's worth the investment (they are not cheap by any means). If there is only one pattern or idea that I like, that's not worth buying the whole book. In that case I will photocopy the pattern (for personal use only, never to make a product to sell), and return the book. Sewing research.
Here are books currently waiting in my queue from the library:
Mend and Make Fabulous by Denise Wild
Cloth by Catherine Gratwicke
Quilting Modern by Jacquie Gering
T-Shirt Quilts Made Easy by Martha DeLeonardis
Fabrigami by Florence Temko
Washi Tape Christmas by Kami Bigler
I'll let you know which ones make the cut!
I thought you might like to take a look at what I'm reading right now. Just for kicks.
Of course it's a stack of sewing books!!!! There are magazines too. Some were gifted to me (Southern Living), others are my subscriptions (Organic Gardening). The gardening books and magazines are back in rotation now that I've started vegetable seeds under a grow lamp and have started working in the garden.
I have a weakness for sewing magazines I see at the bookstore. I finally subscribed to two to save some money since I was buying every issue anyway (Stitch and Threads--more about those in another post).
I like to test-run sewing books from the library before adding them to my own library at home.
Yes, I read sewing books for fun. I read patterns too. Mostly I try different patterns to learn new techniques (later today I'm going to make a jacket with a welt pocket).
Spending my free time reading sewing books means that I'm a great person to teach sewing lessons! Honestly, there is so much info rattling around upstairs that I love having the opportunity to share it with interested people. My husband can only take so much dinner conversation on fabric.
Email me at email@example.com to sign up for the class! Tell your friends, spread the word! If this one goes well, there will be more focused on all sorts of techniques (quilting, various bags, kids clothing, reading a pattern...). But I need to fill the seats in order to be able to do this more than once!! Thank you in advance for your help in spreading the word.
As co-owner of Stitchery in Portsmouth, RI, I teach sewing classes to children and adults. Welcome to my blog Dancing Threads RI.