Good Sewing Books

I’ve muttered recently about starting to sew some of my own clothes, and whilst I’m definitely rusty, I’m also definitely not a beginner. As I ponder my first project – first if you don’t count the PJ bottoms – I’ve been thinking thoughts Such as:  What is tissue fitting? Why does everyone on GBSB use pebbles instead of pins when they cut out? What new machine feet are there now to make things easier? The internet is great for all sorts of questions, but what I’d also like is a good reference book. Which is where you guys come in. What would you recommend? I’m thinking I want the sewing equivalent of June Hemmons Hiat’s  Principles of Knitting.


The sort of book I want isn’t padded out with projects, aimed at beginners, or written by someone who’s not a hugely experience dressmaker, but just good at PR.  I want the sort of book you dip into when you know in the dark recesses of your mind there is better way to do something; a book that feels as if it’s full of facts; a book so big you can press flowers in it. I want a book that tells you all the ways to do something, the pros and cons, and the practical reasons for choosing one method over another.

Having said all that, if you’ve any other favourites that don’t fit my want, but you’d recommend, I’d love to know about them too.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Look forward hearing what you suggest.

Until next time.

Bekki x


10 thoughts on “Good Sewing Books

  1. Interesting question… I look forward to seeing suggestions. What I am pondering at the moment (also returning to dress-making after many years of only occasional projects) is whether I should get a tailor’s dummy to help with my fitting issues.


    1. I have a tailor’s dummy and have adjusted it to my size as best I can but she isn’t blessed with my embonpoint and so she wears one of my bras stuffed with tissues. It’s a sight to behold. However, you can make a sort of body stocking type thingy to fit over it which is padded like a normal person but it sounds as if Going Batty is going to talk about that.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I want to see corresponded too!! For the dummy hold fire – I will make that my next scrap happy post!


    1. Well,’Vogue Sewing’ is seen by many as a sewing bible. It first came out in the 70s but was revised and updated in 2006.
      I do often refer to it actually.
      It’s ‘proper, serious sewing’ and covers almost everything you could think of from seams to tailoring.
      There are no gimmicks and there are just drawings, no photographs and no telegenic personalities.
      You might be able to find it second hand or they have it on Amazon – read the reviews if you want further confirmation from others.
      I don’t do tissue fitting but, if you want to, the acclaimed series of books ‘for real people’ – i.e. ‘Pants for Real People’ is supposed to be excellent but it made my brain hurt and I couldn’t get past the photographs of the ‘real people’ either.
      Hope that helps.x

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you! I’ve now ordered Vogue Sewing and couldn’t resist having a peek at the ‘real people’. What have you got against them? They’re all so happy 🙂


  3. Well – I have to admit I have to see things to be able to understand them and craftsy – now blueprint has some brilliant courses – you can pay for one month and get access to hundreds of courses on a variety of things, from dressmaking basics, pattern making right up to couture techniques. but that isn’t a book! Glad to hear you have your sewing mojo back!

    Liked by 1 person

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