Top 5 Sewing Books for Beginners

top 5 sewing books for beginnersEveryone who is learning to sew or loves to sew already wants to learn new sewing tips and tricks and read guides directly from the experts themselves. Even though nowadays, there are already many videos about sewing with all the topics that a beginner needs to know including our own very popular YouTube channel, having a book about sewing sometimes feels like the easiest and best way to learn.  Some would still prefer physical books or sometimes e-books which they can browse at their own pace, refer to diagrams and illustrations and even annotate if a thought or question comes to mind.

We've also received a lot of requests from readers for a list of what we thought were the best sewing books for beginners.  So we spent some time gathering up our favorite sewing books that would benefit not only those who have just started sewing but also those who are into sewing for many years.  In our view, these books are the Top 5 Sewing Books for Beginners which all of you should have in your sewing room.

Sew Everything Workshop by Diana Rupp

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S.E.W. is a must-buy sewing book for beginners. It comes with 10 free patterns which you can use as your initial sewing projects. This informational book talks about a lot of very basic questions on several topics. If you are just starting to give in to your sewing passion, this book is for you. From hand stitches, basic questions on sewing machines, deciding on what sewing machine you should buy, attaching zippers, how to layout and modify patterns, how to put on bias tape, and much more. There are also clear illustrations of patterns and image-based instructions that are useful especially if you are a visual learner.

Unfortunately, this book is currently out-of-print now but there are many copies still around.  If you check our store at the bottom o the page, I'm sure you'll be able to find a copy.

How to Speak Fluent Sewing by Christine Haynes

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This for me, is like a sewing language guide book. It defines and explains more than 300 sewing terms and words that a beginner sewist needs and wants to know. If you are still struggling to remember all the terms that you hear from other sewers around you, this book is a perfect choice.  The topics are also arranged based on categories so you can browse it easily.

In this book, the author broadly explains the “what” and “why” of the sewing world, from threads to buttonholes to seams and so much more. If you want to keep the book on your iPad or any digital device, there's also an e-book version of How to Speak Fluent Sewing.

Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts by Martha Stewart

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As many of us know, Martha Stewart makes guide books covering almost all topic.  Her guides are well written, professionally published and very easy for the novice sewist to understand. This book is a great source of sewing information and patterns which any novice sewer could follow. It also covers several basic topics like fabric identification, which threads to use, sewing machine accidents and how to deal with them and so much more. The several projects featured in this book will keep your sewing room busy for a long time.

School of Sewing by Shea Henderson

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School of Sewing is an engaging and entertaining book that beginners can really relate to. This book talks about a shared goal of a group of novice sewers who wanted to learn how to use their sewing machines. This is a perfect guide as you take a similar journey like what this group has gone through in learning to sew.  The book starts with instructions that are practical and easy-to-follow. It also tackles 12 projects which are perfect for you and your friends to learn and sew together as a group. Sounds fun, right?  Topics covered range from choosing fabrics, using sewing tools, and much more. One of the best features of this book is the photo diagrams which serve as visual guides throughout the projects.

The Sewing Book: An Encyclopedic Resource of Step-by-Step Techniques

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This is a go-to book for sewers –beginners and non-beginners alike. Carefully and skillfully partitioned per section, it is a perfect book to build your library. Equipped with clear images of tools, sewing techniques and projects, you won’t get bored by just reading text and explanations. Each of the photos is artistically shot with the goal to present the topics in a simple and interesting manner, all complete with directional arrows to emphasize key concepts. Covering several topics like techniques, the basic toolkit, patterns, all of your sewing questions have their answers in this book.

If you've read any of these, I'm sure the other readers would love to see your reviews in the comments below.

Also, please let me know if you have other top sewing books for beginners that you think we should include in this list.

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10 Responses to Top 5 Sewing Books for Beginners

  1. C says:

    I own couple of these books and some if not all are available in my public library. It is exactly how I discovered them. Now, I do have one that I discovered “by accident” in said public library. It is called “Sewtionary: A to Z Guide to Sewing Techniques” by Tasia St. Germaine. It is an excellent book that defines and shows you how to make different sewing techniques. It has excellent pictures and is well explained. I believe is a good book to have for any level of sewing skills. Another one I recommend, is “Sew Retro A Stylish History of The Sewing Revolution” by Judy Ketteler. Part history book, it is a time traveling item that is worth to have as it comes with 25 vintage projects which most are very easy to make. It covers topics from fabric types and origins to how it came to be the craft that continues to pass the test of time.

  2. Karen says:

    I would also recommend the Simplicity Sewing Book, several different copyright dates, as a good beginner’s book. Just like the patterns, they are simple and clear, meant for beginners.

  3. Yolande Bergeron says:

    I have an old 1978 Guide from Reader’s Digest Sewing Guide(in French) it is excellent. It has everything to know for whatever you want to sew, practical and creative

  4. sewfor says:

    You made me discover two new ones…. Thank you for sharing!

    Nha Phong

  5. MammaKeile says:

    Lovely choice of sewing blogs, and you made me discover two new ones…. Let’s go discovering, pinning… but sewing, when? Too much perfect sewing blogs and not enough time a day…

  6. Linda G says:

    Although not specifically a book for beginners, I found the Vogue Sewing book to be helpful in understanding how to do most sewing techniques, from the basic to more complex construction. It is a book to serve as a guide for beginners and more experienced sewing enthusiasts.

  7. Leanna says:

    I’ve found Martha Stewart’s guide books very useful.

    I found the Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts very useful.

    Thanks for putting this together!

  8. Debbie G says:

    I have S.E.W and The Sewing Book, and I agree that these are excellent resources. Diana Rupp also has a Craftsy class that demonstrates a few of the projects in the S.E.W book.

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