Have you made a holiday wish list? Or maybe you are looking for a gift for a sewist. Here are 10 sewing-related books to check out this holiday season. Some of these I have read and some I want to read.
(*These links are all Amazon affilliate links, because, well, Amazon is a great place to buy books. Although they may also be available elsewhere.)
For those who are looking to learn new skills, check out these books which focus on sewing techniques.
The Complete Photo Guide to Clothing Construction*
Written by beloved pattern designer Christine Haynes, this book details the entire process of sewing a garment, from using a pattern, to cutting and marking, all the way through construction. A great reference for both new and experienced sewists.
The Shirtmaking Workbook: Pattern, Design, and Construction Resources - More than 100 Pattern Downloads for Collars, Cuffs & Plackets*
Shirtmaking guru David Coffin discusses all things shirtmaking in this book - including collars, plackets, and cuffs of all kinds.
The Colette Guide to Sewing Knits: Professional Techniques for Beautiful Everyday Garments*
If you want to learn more about sewing with knit fabric, this book from the makers of Colette Patterns covers all the bases from shopping for knit fabric, fitting techniques, to sewing and finishing the garments on your home machine. The book discusses how to sew the garments on a basic sewing machine, but also discusses sergers and coverstitch machines, so that you will have all the information you need to sew beautiful knit garments.
These two books are ones I haven't gotten to read yet, but I am anxious to get my hands on them. They are each full of mix and match patterns to make tons of different dresses. With so many different patterns and options, each seems to be a good value for the money.
Boundless Style: A Mix-and-Match Sewing Pattern Workbook*
Author Kristiann Boos is the designer behind Victory Patterns. This book includes a CD with downloadable PDF patterns. 15 pattern pieces for you to mix and match - 5 bodice styles, 5 sleeve styles, and 5 skirts lets you create your own custom dress. Detailed instructions are included, with photographs and illustrations for all the construction details.
Sew Many Dresses, Sew Little Time: The Ultimate Dressmaking Guide*
This book by Tanya Whelan is another mix-and-match approach to making and customizing dress patterns. This one includes paper patterns in a pocket in the back of the book for 6 skirts, 8 bodices, 4 sleeves, and 4 necklines, which are all interchangeable.
Pattern Altering and Fitting
If you already sew garments, but want to learn new techniques for making them fit perfectly, check out these reference books.
Pattern Fitting With Confidence*
In this book, Nancy Zieman, of PBS sewing fame, teaches you how to adjust patterns with her pivot-and slide techniques. She addresses lots of different fitting issues and shows you her method to alter you patterns for address these issues.
The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting*
This is another great reference book for your sewing library. There are lots of detailed photographs to teach you how to recognize fit issues and how to alter your patterns to fix them.
These books can help you learn to make your own clothing patterns.
Patternmaking for a Perfect Fit: Using the Rub-off Technique to Re-create and Redesign Your Favorite Fashions*
I am a big fan of this Rub-off method, described by Stephanie Lincecum in this book and also in her class on Craftsy - Pattern Drafting from Ready to Wear* (affiliate link). She teaches you how to trace an existing garment onto fabric or paper without taking it apart. She then discusses how to alter the created pattern to adjust the fit and add or remove other details. I have used this method myself to copy some of my favorite ready-to-wear garments.
How to Make Sewing Patterns*
If you are really interested in drafting your own sewing patterns from scratch, this is the most comprehensive book I have found. Author Donald McCunn teaches you how to draft a basic pattern block and how to alter that block to fit your body accurately. Then, he discusses how to use that basic pattern to make all kinds of clothing. This book is also a great reference for fitting and altering patterns. This is an older book, so the photographs and styles are less current, but it remains one of my favorite resources because of all the great technical information included.
Just For Fun
This one is not meant to improve your sewing, but I like it anyway.
The Tula Pink Coloring Book: 75+ Signature Designs in Fanciful Coloring Pages*
Tula Pink is a fabric line for Free Spirit fabrics, so if you love great fabric designs (I know you do!), you might enjoy this high-quality coloring book. Coloring books for adults are the new thing, and it's no wonder, since coloring is a great stress-reliever.
What other sewing-related books are on your wishlist?
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