March 29, 2021

Sewing Books For Beginners

Have you been interested in learning to sew, but you aren't sure where to start? Do you find most sewing guides frustrating and complicated? You might need a sewing book for beginners.

Sewing books come in all shapes and sizes. They vary widely in their techniques, purposes, and skill levels. We've taken a look at some of the top books for beginning sewers.

Whether you want to use a sewing machine or sew by hand, there's a book that can suit your needs.

Best Sewing Books For Beginners

#1. First Time Sewing: The Absolute Beginner's Guide

First Time Sewing: The Absolute Beginner's Guide

This is the best option for beginners overall. It teaches you how to sew by hand and with a machine, and the book is written like a personal guide. The book is descriptive without being too jargon-heavy.

The book describes all of the tools and materials you'll need, explaining what each is called and how to use it. Every basic sewing technique comes with step-by-step instructions. You'll learn to make projects including pillows, aprons, and even pants.

All of the projects in the book are relatively simple. You will build upon the skills that you learn throughout the book. By the end of the book, you'll know how to balance tension, use patterns, create seams, and create hems.

In addition to the previously mentioned projects, you'll learn to make unlined jackets, t-shirts, skirts, baby blankets, zipper closures, and tablecloths.

The goal of the book is to teach you enough about sewing that you can take on your own projects with confidence once you finish.

Pros
  • The book teaches you about all the basic hand-sewing and machine-sewing techniques.
  • The step-by-step instructions include explanations of what tools you're using, how to use them, and why they're important.
  • You'll complete multiple versatile projects while picking up your skills.
Cons
  • Since the book focuses on the basics, it's not the best resource for more advanced sewing.

#2. Sewing for Beginners 5th Edition

Sewing for Beginners 5th Edition

This sewing book for beginners is on its fifth edition, which means that it's been improved upon multiple times. The author takes into account feedback from her readers when she makes the updated versions.

The book is meant to make sewing quick and simple to learn. You don't have to fuss with a lot of overcomplicated diagrams or terms. There are 50 total patterns for beginners to learn from.

The purpose of the book is to teach people to sew without the weeks of trial and error that you might have otherwise. Even if you've never sewed before, this book has you covered. It shows you how to go from a beginner to a skilled sewer in just a few days.

You will learn different techniques to repair fabrics and create clothes. Each of the patterns allows you to practice a new technique.

The author, Kitty Moore, is an accomplished artisan who has written multiple books on arts and crafts. Her guides and how-to books have become bestsellers. After she'd been sewing for years, she discovered that the process of sewing could be streamlined.

That means that people could learn sewing much more quickly than they currently were. Techniques that took weeks to pick up could actually be acquired in days.

Kitty then put together the How to Sew guide with this in mind. It shows you the techniques you'll need to do common household projects. You'll learn the most vital techniques right from the start, which means you'll be practicing the most important skills as soon as you begin.

The book will explain the "sewing hacks" that will let you acquire these skills. You'll learn how to use a sewing machine with much more versatility than the average person, even if you've never touched one before.

If you're interested in picking up the basics of sewing fast, or you've had trouble with other more complicated guides, this book will work for you. If you're overwhelmed by the idea of getting started, but you want to start sewing, it's a good pick.

In addition to telling you about the techniques and tools, the book will give you patterns and full lists of instructions. Each part of the process has included images, allowing you to learn faster without needing to parse jargon.

The included patterns range from beginner to expert level. As you work through the projects, you will learn new techniques and practice your bedrock skills. The more you practice, the easier it will be to work on your projects.

Even if you don't know anything about sewing, the step-by-step instructions will teach you what to do. You will also have access to the author's email address, so you can get consumer support if you have questions.

One important note is that this book focuses on machine sewing. If you're looking for something that focuses on sewing by hand, this won't be the best option.

Pros
  • The book uses a proven methodology to teach you the skills you need right from the beginning.
  • The projects range from beginner to advanced, so you build upon your skills as you go.
  • You can learn enough to take care of almost every basic household project and even make your own clothes.
Cons
  • The book focuses on machine sewing, so it's not the best resource to learn about hand sewing.

#3. Sewing for Beginners by Diana Hansen

Sewing for Beginners by Diana Hansen

This step-by-step guide teaches you about hand sewing. It walks you through the different techniques used to make stitches, and it shows you how to complete different projects. If you're interested in hand sewing, this is a great choice.

In addition to being a great learning resource, the book is just fun to read! It's filled with wit and humor, along with practical advice for everyday life. You'll appreciate the encouraging tone and the advice alike.

The pictures help you understand each part of the process. Every technique has a step-by-step explanation that shows you how to do it. You'll learn how to take care of your clothes and repair them with hand sewing.

The print is a little small, so this might not be the best book if you have trouble with small text.

Each chapter focuses on a different part of sewing. They all have witty titles, too. The introduction explains how you're going to learn, and it encourages you not to be intimidated if you're a beginner.

The next chapter tells you about the basics. You'll learn what you need to do different projects. In the third chapter, you'll learn to prepare to sew. That will involve ironing your fabrics so that they're ready to be stitched.

Then you'll get into the actual sewing itself. You'll learn how to sew a fine seam, and then you'll learn how to alter and repair your own clothes. After that, you'll learn how to repair and create projects around the house, like curtains and tablecloths.

There's a chapter about taking care of your professional wardrobe, which will allow you to tailor your office clothing without any of the potential unprofessional mistakes of a beginner. You'll also learn the very basics of what needlework is, although going in-depth about it would require another book.

The book contains a helpful glossary of terms, which you can use to clarify things if you get stuck. This is super helpful for beginners who might not know all of the ins and outs of the jargon yet.

Pros
  • You'll learn basic hand sewing techniques, information about the terms, and how to prepare to sew.
  • You'll learn to repair your clothes, do household projects, and even tailor your professional wardrobe.
  • The book is humorous, encouraging, and fun to read in addition to being super informative.
Cons
  • Since the book focuses on hand sewing, it's not the best resource for people wanting to sew by machine.

#4. The Sewing Book New Edition

The Sewing Book New Edition

If you're looking for the most comprehensive book on the market, you don't have to look any farther than this sewing guide by Alison Smith. It outdoes all of its predecessors by showing you more than 300 techniques and projects.

You'll learn how to repair fabrics, alter your clothes, and create home decorations. The guide is completely illustrated and can be easily used. It will teach you all of the techniques and skills necessary to both machine and hand sewing.

Whether you're a beginner or an expert, this book has something for you. It goes beyond the basic patterns and teaches you the advanced techniques that most people don't know. At the same time, the basic techniques are very easy to comprehend.

You'll learn things like cutting patterns, stitching hems, creating sleeves, and making clean seams. There are diagrams, illustrations, and photographs. In addition, you can use the glossary of terminology to clarify anything you're confused about.

The book is the perfect guide for anyone who wants to go from a beginner to an expert. It can take you through everything you need. Even tricky techniques become simple with the step-by-step instructions.

You might be intimidated by the inclusion of the tough techniques. But don't be! Every project and technique has a difficulty grade. You'll know going in whether it's a simple technique for beginners or a more complicated challenge for seasoned experts.

In addition to the techniques themselves, the book will walk you through 10 different projects. Each of these allows you to practice multiple techniques. There are descriptions of over 100 sewing tools and 250 techniques, and there's also a directory of over 50 fabrics that teaches you what to use for different projects.

If you're just getting started, don't worry. The book will also tell you what you need for different projects. It will teach you about cutting tools, measuring tools, sewing kits, and marking aids. You'll know exactly what you need to invest in to get started.

This book teaches you about inserting pockets, pleats, darts, fasteners, and liners. It tells you how you can efficiently create seams and hems. It also shows you how to sew different parts of your clothing, which means that you can create an all-new wardrobe.

You'll get information on techniques, how to choose equipment and patterns and fabrics, how to complete projects, and what different tools look like.

Pros
  • This is the most comprehensive book on the list, great for both beginners and experts.
  • You'll learn simple and advanced techniques for machine and hand sewing.
  • Each project and technique is graded by difficulty level, so you know going in how hard it will be.
Cons
  • Since the book goes in-depth on advanced techniques, it might not be the best for people who only want the basics.

Final Thoughts

There are a number of different sewing books that can help you get started. Some focus on machine sewing, while others focus on hand sewing. Some focus on both.

Our top recommendation for beginners is First Time Sewing. This book teaches you about all the basic sewing techniques for both hand and machine. It also explains how to use different tools and how to understand sewing terminology while you do step-by-step projects.

To learn about machine sewing, it's a good idea to check out Kitty Moore's 5th Edition How to Sew book. This book helps you learn the techniques you need right away, so you can become a confident sewer in a matter of days. It also has 50 patterns that range from beginner to advanced in skill level.

For hand sewing, we recommend Diana Hansen's Sewing for Beginners. This book teaches you about the techniques needed to hand sew different pieces. It also tells you about the vocabulary used for sewing and walks you through different projects.

For the most comprehensive encyclopedia of sewing, we recommend Alison Smith's Sewing Book. This book comes with more than 300 techniques that range from beginner to expert level. It's perfect for people who want to learn the basics, and then build upon that to become experts.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the advantages of hand sewing?

Hand sewing is convenient because you can carry the tools more easily. There isn't a bulky machine taking up space. You don't need a battery or a power cord.

Hand sewing also allows for precise detailing, and you can make the fabric beautiful on both sides. Lightweight and fine fabrics are easier to sew by hand due to the increased level of control.

Some people also find hand sewing to be more peaceful, since you can disconnect from technology.

2. What are the advantages of machine sewing?

Machine sewing is much faster than hand sewing, and it will save you a ton of time on larger projects.

In addition, machine stitching is tougher than hand stitching. Machines use two threads that are secured with a knot. Your stitches are less likely to rip.

Sewing machines can handle all fabric types, including heavy fabrics that you can't sew by hand. In addition, the machines are accurate thanks to the predetermined settings.

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