It seems so weird now, but I remember buying my first sewing book and actually thinking ‘well, this will do me, I won’t need to buy another sewing book ever again.’ Um, HELLO?! What was I thinking? My brain must have fallen out that day, because I love books and learning new skills just as much as I love crafting. So it makes sense that I would naturally combine the two.
My collection of books has grown rapidly since that fateful day, but it’s not just books that make great sewing resources. Today I’m sharing my top sewing resources that I simply can’t live without.
I’m a book nerd. I buy books as often as possible and I’ve got some great sewing books in my collection. I can thoroughly recommend these ones as I either use them to learn a new technique or get inspired by the projects within.
Seams To Me by Anna Maria Horner
Oh Anna Maria, how do you do it? A successful fabric designer, author and mum to seven (yes – SEVEN). This book is a great introduction to basic sewing with some gorgeous projects in classic Anna Maria style.
Sew La Tea Do by Pip Lincolne
Yeah, I’m a Pipster fan-girl — there, I said it! I had the pleasure of meeting Pip in person earlier this year and she’s just as nice in person as she is online. And her books are pretty awesome too 😀 This book is a great guide to quick and simple projects perfect for total sewing newbies.
Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing by Gretchen Hirsch
I love Gertie’s style. She’s a wonderful mix of retro-cool with tattoos and blue hair. Her projects and instructions are great too. This book introduced me to the world of couture sewing, structure and hand-stitching and it’s a world I’m looking forward to exploring some more.
The Complete Book Of Sewing by DK Publishers
Need to know how to mitre a corner, how to install some piping or how to press properly? This book uses step-by-step photo instructions to demonstrate a massive range of basic and not-so-basic techniques. A lot of sewing friends also swear by The Reader’s Digest Complete Guide To Sewing. I don’t have this one in my library but I think I need to fix that!
Sew What! Skirts by Francesca Denhartog and Carole Ann Camp
I love that this book makes it so simple to draft a skirt pattern that you’ll love. Filled with lots of inspiring examples and easy to follow instructions, this is a book I turn to again and again – just for the inspiration alone.
Oh my goodness, how GOOD is Craftsy? I’ve previously written about my Craftsy love affair here, but the platform is just so damn good I’m going to write about it again. I’ve enrolled in quite a few Craftsy classes (actually 52 at last count) and I always learn something new and useful.
Craftsy have some very useful free-mini classes, which are fantastic for sewing newbies. I particularly recommend these two:
Steffani Lincecum is an experienced costume designer, pattern maker and teacher. She’s very thorough and provides clear instructions that are easy to understand.
Zippers have been known to strike fear into the hearts of many sewing newbies. I love Sunni Standing’s class because she explains what the different zipper feet do. She also gives clear and achieveable methods for installing slot, lapped and invisible zippers, among other things. So good!
It didn’t take me long to graduate from Craftsy’s free mini-classes to their paid classes (yeah, like about a minute!) and my favourites include:
This was my first Craftsy class and I loved it! With Deborah Moebes’ help I managed to draft a simple A-line skirt easily. My basic skirt gets worn all the time in summer and always gets some great compliments. It’s a great introduction to simple pattern drafting – yay!
I loved watching Katrina Walker’s class as it inspired me to consider some different construction methods and embellishment ideas. She’s a great teacher!
This was how I discovered the work of Natalie Chanin from Alabama Chanin (<— not an affliliate link, I just adore her work). Her designs and business philosophy blows my freaking mind. Seriously. Natalie Chanin is officially one of my heroes and one day I WILL travel to Florence, Alabama just to meet her. When that day comes I will cry happy tears of crafty joy. I might even post photos!
These two classes are among the best I’ve ever done. I’ll be honest, they are not easy and really not for complete newbies as they’re very technical, but I came away with a great understanding of pattern drafting, fit and ease.
I thoroughly enjoyed Suzy Furrer’s teaching style and the level of technical information she presents. If you’re ready to start learning more about drafting your own patterns then start with these two classes – then consider doing the rest in her series, which include Creative Darts and Seam Lines, Creative Necklines and Creative Sleeves.
What sewing resources do you regularly turn to for inspiration and guidance? Have I missed your favourite? If so, tell me in the comments below!