Learn How to Sew: Techniques and Dressmaking

Don’t we all have those years when we decide to go for the New Year’s Resolutions and half way January we just fall short on our decisions? We want to lose weight, to exercise more, to stop smoking and such, but couldn’t follow up?

What about instead of cutting ourself short on something, we decide to do something just for fun? 10 years ago I had the chance to start learning how to sew, something I wanted to learn for a few years by then, but never had the opportunity. I had no clue about all those people on social media, YouTube or blog posts, and certainly not about all the books that already existed. But once I learned about them, I decided to dive into it, and nowadays I’m not only a hobby sewer, but a seamstress as well. The journey was not easy, but it was by far one of the most rewarding experiences in my life.

That’s my story – but you can make your own, of course! There are so many different ways to get information on how to start sewing, and in this introduction blog post I’m going to list a few titles that can help you in the beginning of your own, special sewing adventure. In particular, I will introduce those books I think can teach you how to learn some techniques and how to make simple items at first. In future posts, I will talk about other books to learn more sophisticated techniques, how to quilt and how to make bags, for example.

My choices are my own, and with this information you might decide for something else. Whatever you decide, you do you and go for what sparks your interest. Maybe it’s dressmaking, maybe it’s patchwork and quilting, maybe it’s making bags… Just go with the flow!

Sewing Book

Sewing Basics: All You Need to Know About Machine and Hand Sewing, by Sandra Bardwell. Very practical and full of information and great pictures, this is more of a detailed techniques book to help you learn those techniques and try them out on your own.

The Sewing Book, by Alison Smith. Originally published in 2009, Alison Smith came up with a revised edition in 2018 where she updated the projects, but also the materials and tools we can use nowadays. Full of in-depth pictures and step-by-step techniques, this book is a great source of information. Besides that, it comes with 10 projects to teach you how to put into practice those techniques. Whenever I’m in doubt of which technique to use, I check this book and always find useful information for my creations.

One-yard wonders
One-yard wonders fabric-by-fabric
Love at first stitch

One-Yard Wonders, by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins. I love this one because it’s filled with amazing projects that you can make with only one meter (or even a bit less) of fabric. So if you’re starting out and don’t have a fabric collection yet, or if you are a person who jumps into things already making them, this might be a great choice for you.

They also have two other titles that might interest you, depending on what you’d like to make: Fabric-By-Fabric One-Yard Wonders and Little One-Yard WondersLove at First Stitch, by Tilly Walnes. This one has been specifically written for novices to dressmaking and the projects offered are great skill builders. Tilly Walnes combines modern to classic looks and has really great patterns for people wanting to learn how to make their own clothes.

Tilly and the buttons
The act of sewing

Tilly Walnes also has two other titles that can help you further in your personal journey to make your own clothes: Tilly and the Buttons: Stretch! and Tilly and the Buttons: Make It Simple.

The Act of Sewing, by Sonya Philip. Written basically for those wanting to learn dressmaking, this is a great introductory book with a great advantage: patterns go up to a bigger size then most other books go. If you’re used to have problems to finding something that fits you – as I had – or you’d like to make something more to your own taste and choose specific fabrics and details, this is a great book for you to start with.

There are a lot more titles to be found and read about starting to sew, and as I’ve mentioned before this is a small taste of what there is. If you have other titles you’d like to try, or that you know about, don’t hesitate in contacting us about them. We always appreciate our customers’ input!

I hope I could help a bit in your journey to learn how to sew.