As any sewer would, I have a small collection of sewing books sitting on my shelf. It’s not a large selection – with the internet, there really isn’t a need for a large library, but I have been drawn to several sewing books over the past few years and I thought I would share them with you.
Here is my book shelf (Ikea by the way, and for those interested, the magazine box on the right is just a cheap cardboard one which I covered in some scrapbooking paper – I keep things like envelopes, labels, and other office supplies in there)
On to the books: there may be only a handful, but they are full of wonderful information and patterns.
Simple Serger Sewing (Julie Johnson)
I purchased this book after I bought my serger. I really wasn’t too familiar with how to serge and this book not only offers explanations on tension settings and techniques it has a bunch of fun, easy projects that you can make! The projects include a wide range of items – bags, baby items, clothing and home decor. This is a great book to get if you are not well versed in serging. I picked this up on Amazon.com for under $14.00
Sew What, BAGS (Lexie Barnes)
I purchased this book a while back when I was just getting back into sewing. This book focuses on BASIC bag techniques. If you are an advanced bag maker, you may want to skip this one. The book provides the information you need to create some simple designs including eyeglass cases, simple totes, drawstring sacks, messenger style bags and wristlets. It is a great buy for someone who is just starting to sew….
I think I purchased this at Barnes and Noble. The cover price is $16.95, but I’m sure you can find it for less.
Handmade Home (Amanda Blake Soule)
What I love about this book is that is focuses on repurposing. I am a big fan of reusing and recycling. The patterns are not complex, but the book is inspiring with its creative and resourceful use of materials lying around the house! While the book is a nice read, it has a heavy focus on children’s items, so if you aren’t interested in making baby slings, cloth diapers, art trays and the such, this may not be a good match for you. Perhaps one of my favorite projects in this book is the “Memory Tree Quilt Art” which suggests a beautiful way of preserving some of your child’s clothing. If you are on the fence about this book, you may want to check out Amanda Soule’s blog Soule Mamma to get a feel for her vintage style.
This book is about $16.00 on Amazon.
One-Yard Wonders (Rebecca Yaker & Patricia Hoskins)
This book is another one of those fun, but simple sewing books. It’s full of things you can make with just one yard of fabric. I had purchased this “blind” (online without seeing the contents) and was a bit disappointed in the complexity (or lack thereof) in the projects. While an excellent purchase for the beginner sewer, advanced sewers may want to thumb through the book in a store to get some ideas, but skip purchasing it. The patterns are very basic and if you have been sewing for some time, chances are you’ve already made most of what is in this book. This book can be found for under $14.00.
The Bag Making Bible (Lisa Lam)
I recently picked this book up and I am so happy I did! This is what it says…a bible for bag-making. Instead of focusing on patterns (although it does offer a few great ones), it is based around bag-making techniques. From how to read a pattern, to cleanly installing a zipper or twist lock this book has all the information you will need to create your perfect bag. I just love that it offers explanations as to why you would use one technique over the other or how to determine what type of strap you should make. It offers a lot of information on how to use/add/install bag hardware which I find is often avoided in many bag-making books. This book has something for everyone at any sewing level. The pictures are excellent and the directions are clear. This is a great “go-to” book. If you enjoy making bags, I highly recommend it, and this is probably by far, the most useful book on my shelf. If you have a chance, you may want to check out Lisa’s blog/shop U Handbag where you find some free tutorials.
If you have any favorite sewing books, please do share!