I’m sure that all of you hobby seamstresses out there have your own little stash of sewing books as references. Even with the ever popular YouTube and all the wonderful sewing blogs that I constantly stalk, it’s still nice to have the actual books to leaf through (plus all the great paper patterns that a lot of these books come with). Aside from my iPad, these are what I take with me while waiting for my turn at my ob-gyne’s clinic or at the salon. Hehehe.
I ordered most of them through Amazon because there used to be very few sewing books in Manila bookstores. Luckily (or unluckily for me since I had to pay shipping), local bookstores like Fully Booked and Powerbooks have been carrying more and more sewing books. This isn’t my full stash since I have some on Kindle (the Nancy Zieman ones and Me and My Sewing Machine by Kate Haxell) and some others lying around our flat, but these are the ones that I’ve been going through the most as references. There are a lot of patterns that I can’t wait to try out once I give birth!
Most of these are for relative beginners (not absolute beginners) or those with average skills, because they do assume that you already have previous knowledge on basic sewing terms and skills. A lot of them though have patterns and suggestions that advanced seamstresses can easily use to take their projects up a notch or make their projects more complicated.
If you’re into making things aside from clothes, 1-2-3 Sew or One-Yard Wonders (not pictured) are good options since they have projects like bags, electronics cases, pouches, aprons, etc. For absolute beginners though, I love Stitch by Stitch for its clear, detailed instructions (one of the best I think) that gets you started with small crafty projects (napkins) then guides you through projects of increasing complexity until you find yourself making clothing! I used Stitch by Stitch to create my reversible totes (you can read about it here) and found the book simple and easy to follow.
For the books on sewing clothes, I’ll be able to make a better call on the books once I start sewing from them (after I give birth) but so far I’m really liking most of these books. These are the ones that come with basic clothes patterns and offer tips on customizing them:
- BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook by Nora Abousteit and Alison Kelly – purchased in Fully Booked, Greenbelt 5
- Simple Modern Sewing by Shufu To Seikatsu Sha
- Built by Wendy Dresses by Wendy Mullin
- Stitch by Stitch by Deborah Moebes
- Sew U Home Stretch (this is on sewing with knits which I love) by Wendy Mullin
- Sew U by Wendy Mullin
- Sew Serendipity by Kay Whitt
These books don’t come with any patterns:
- Couture Sewing Techniques by Lynda Maynard
- Sew What! Skirts (not pictured) by Francesca DenHartog
- Fashion Sewing by Carole Camp – purchased in National Bookstore, Greenbelt 1
- Patternmaking for a Perfect Fit by Steffani Lincecum (this one is cool since it teaches you how to use your existing clothes to make new patterns using the rub-off technique)
- Design it Yourself Clothes by Cal Patch
- The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting (not pictured) – purchased in National Bookstore, Greenbelt 1
Another great book that I read through is Claire Shaeffer’s Fabric Sewing Guide that I bought on Kindle. It gives you an awesome reference on types of fabric and what presser foot, thread, needle, hems, seams and finishings to use for the best results. When in doubt, this is my go-to book!
If you have any questions about any of these do let me know, I’ll try to put up some reviews on the individual books soon. =)