We all know the internet is a great place to find information but sometimes I like to have actual books around to reference and bookmark (with actual bookmarks) and reference again and again. I like a good, solid book that provides steady information and usually goes through a much stricter editing process than a random blogger or YouTuber (myself included). And, for some reason, it’s always much easier to just open up a book and find the section than it is to constantly toggle between tabs in a browser (for me at least).
In no particular order, I give you the books on my shelf that I pull out and look at most often.
This Vogue Sewing book should be on every seamstress’ shelf. This is packed full of a wealth of knowledge for all sewing levels. Almost any question you have about the sewing process has an answer in this book. I love the illustrations and clear instructions and the way they break down areas of sewing into their chapters. It makes is super easy to follow and replicate in your own work.
David Page Coffin made me laugh more than a few times to be comfortable to admit in this book, Shirtmaking: Developing Skills for Fine Sewing. Chocked full of all the details you would need if you ever want to make a shirt of your own. I definitely had many, many pages dogeared when I was developing our upcoming shirt patterns just to make sure I was doing it “by the book.”
If you want to start to dabble in making your own patterns, I highly suggest Patternmaking for Fashion Design by Helen Joseph Armstrong. It’s a straight up textbook so it will go into more detail than your run of the mill sewing book but it is very clear and concise and has wonderful illustrations.
Want to up your sewing game? Grab a copy of Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire Shaeffer. Her writing style is easy to read and provides clear instructions about how things are constructed. The newest edition (which I have) has step by step instructions and is very easily followed.
Okay, so you have all your patterns and you can sew them up and all the finishing details are spot on but the fit just isn’t where it needs to be. What do you do? You grab a copy of Fast Fit by Sandra Betzina and fit that gorgeous garment to your specific curves and angles and posture. The first half of the book runs through common fit issues and the second half of the book gives you step by step instructions on how to adjust those problems.
Those are the general sewing books I pull off my shelf most often. I’m most definitely a “book” person and would totally grab a book to leave open on my sewing table than pull up a website but also really like to have my written instructions in front of me and a video playing too.
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