The Best 5 Sewing Books to Learn to Sew

As some of you may know, I began my sewing journey a year ago, completely on my own. I used blogs, tutorials, videos, online classes, and my favorite, books, to learn to sew garments and plush toys. Of all the books that I have explored, there are 5 that I keep turning to time and time again. Here are the books that I have found to be the most helpful.

1. The Sewing Book by Alison Smith


My favorite point of reference, this book covers tools and techniques to help you complete projects. It offers a thorough fabric guide which comes in handy for new sewers, and it has clear but concise instructions on how to sew darts, facings, collars, waistlines, pockets, hems and more.

The book also contains several sewing projects to help you get started, or to learn to apply new techniques.

You can buy the book here.

2. Sew Many Dresses, Sew Little Time by Tanya Whelan


This is a great book for anyone beginning to sew garments. The patterns cover many techniques that you’ll use to create other pieces, and they are easy enough to be created by someone without much experience.

The best thing about this book is that the bodices and the skirts are drafted separately, allowing you to combine whatever top and bottom you choose to create a dress that fits your body and your personality.

You can buy the book here.

3. The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting by Sarah Veblen


I bought this book after having trouble with fitting several dress bodices. I’m only 5’4″ and have an extremely short torso, as well as big hips, which was creating fitting issues above my bust which I couldn’t figure out how to adjust.

This book shows very thorough and clear examples on different fitting issues and how to fix them, and within the first chapter I had figured out what I needed to adjust to make the bodices fit perfectly. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in garment sewing.

You can buy the book here.

4. Stuffed Animals: From Concept to Construction by Abigail Patner Glassenberg


When I first started sewing the dimensions of garment sewing were really challenging to me, and after a couple of horribly failed projects I switched over to stuffed toys to learn the basics.

This book walks you through the process, tips, and techniques to successfully create plush toys from patterns, and gives you the tools to make your own designs.

You can buy the book here.

5. We Make Dolls by Jenny Doh


I received this book as a gift, but I had been eyeing it for quite a while. What’s interesting about it is that although the instructions are not the most thorough, they give you insight into different artists’ approaches to toy making.

You can find some really cool patterns in this book, and also inspiration and techniques to apply to your own designs.

You can buy the book here.

Extra: In Patterns by Marimekko


Something that can really allow you to bring your vision to life is to design your own fabric. There are classes you can take online that walk you through that process, such as Creativebug‘s “How to Design Fabric” class, and Spoonflower allows you to print out your design with amazing quality at a very reasonable price.

This book is a wonderful source of inspiration, including high resolution versions of their patterns and examples of how the patterns were used on fabrics and products.

You can buy the book here.


Disclaimer: I’m not currently affiliated with any other websites or merchants. Anything that I recommend is solely because it has worked for me. 



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