Sewn with love by Rebekah

Sun Jul 12 Back to Blog Home

My Favourite Sewing Books

I hope you enjoy reading through my favourite sewing books so lets go!

Tilly and the Buttons - Stretch!

This book by Tilly and the Buttons called Stretch! is a great book for anyone wanting to get started with sewing knit fabrics. Tilly takes you through the best tools for stretch projects, there's a jargon buster and also a section on shopping for stretch fabrics. Very handy if this type of fabric is new to you! You will learn how to fit knit garments for your body as of course it will differ to sewing with woven fabrics. 

The book teaches many a technique so you are sure to come away with lots of new skills. Some of the techniques include laying out stretch fabric, matching stripes, quartering, sewing buttonholes on knit fabric and so many more techniques. There is also a fantastic section on sewing knit fabrics on the overlocker with very clear photographs to take you along the process.

There is a wonderful range of projects both casual and dressy garments. So far from this book I have made the Frankie T-shirt, Joni Dress and the Bibi Pinafore. My favourite of these probably has to be the Joni Dress, it was also perfect for my pregancy as I was able to adapt it for my growing bump while I still got to feel glam but comfortable. There are still projects I would love to give a go though including - the Freya Sweater, Stella Hoodie and Joggers. 

For each of the projects, there is many a variation for you to make it your own and stand out. 

Overall this is a fantastic book whether you are a beginner through to advanced sewist. It is so beautifully laid out with pastel colours easy on the eye, clear photographs and easy to understand instructions.

Tilly and the Buttons Stretch

Learn all about sewing with stretch fabrics

Tilly and the Buttons - Make It Simple

Well Tilly just went and wrote another fabulous book! As soon as I saw Tilly give us the sneak peek that this book was on the way I pre-ordered immediately. Of course this is my opinion, but I just knew I would love this book before I heard more or saw inside it. It has a delightful lilac cover, one of my favourite colours. 

The idea of Make It Simple is to make it easier for us sewists to get our creative fix when we don't have much spare time whether it be because of work or family life. What I love about this book is there, are short projects, easy to fit, minimal steps and can be sewn in a few hours. Whats better with these patterns is that there are no fiddly zips, buttonholes, gathering or set in sleeves!

Like her last book, Tilly explains the different types of fabric you may use for the projects in this book. Even though I have knowledge of the different types of fabrics, I always like to read about the fabrics. You'll also get taken through how to measure yourself and choosing a pattern size. If you fall in between pattern sizes, Tilly takes you through how to do simple pattern adjustments. 

As the book is about making it simple for our sewing time, there are a lot of tips for efficient sewing including - chain stitching, bundling projects and batching tasks. I love batch cutting projects and that way I always have something ready to sew. I usually cut 3-5 projects at a time. 

I have only made a couple of projects so far but I have lots of plans! As soon I saw the book before it was released I loved Tilly's lilac pair of Safiya dungarees so knew I wanted to recreate these. Another of my favourite patterns or variation from the book that I have made are the Safiya trousers. With only two pattern pieces these are super easy to cut out and assemble. They have the comfort of pyjamas but are stylish at the same time. 

Other patterns I would love to try from Make It Simple are the Bertha Cardigan, Olive Pinafore and the Suki Dress. 

Like Tilly's other books she explains different variations for each pattern and how you can make it your own. I also love the different tips throughout the book how to be creative in a short space of time. Who knew there were so many sewing tasks we can accomplish if we only have 5 minutes to spare, but we still feel like we have achieved something! I could keep talking about this book because I just adore it, so I recommend buying it. 

Tilly and the Buttons Make It Simple

Named Breaking the Pattern

Named - Breaking the Pattern

Breaking the Pattern by Named Clothing is by Saara and Laura Huhta. It's such a beautiful book with modern style patterns. At the beginning of the new book it starts with basic sewing instructions, picking your size and making pattern alterations. So if you are just beginning to sew, this would be a great book with all those essential skills you need to learn. The book also talks you through fabrics so whether you want to learn first time or refresh your knowledge you can read up on them here. 

Onto the garments themselves. When I first got this book I planned to make them all but alas as usual I got distracted with other patterns I wanted to make. Nonetheless I still intend to try all these beautiful patterns in the book. One of the first garments I made was the Saraste Shirt Dress in a Gutterman cotton fabric that I purchased from Prague. I loved making this dress and was a good learning curve. It's such a beautiful design with gathers, a collar and buttonholes. The Saraste also has another two versions - a short sleeve blouse and long sleeved shirt. 

One of the next projects I tried from this book was the Nummi bag. Such a practical bag and fun pattern to make! Perfect for presents for a nice make for yourself. I used a strong canvas I bought also in Prague and used some faux leather straps.The faux leather just gave it that bit of extra strength. 

My favourite dress has to be the Solina dress which I made for my Virtual Frocktails outfit. What a stunning yet simple design. I felt amazing in this dress. With a gorgeous split in the front of the dress up to the knee, ties in the waist and on the wrists. It's such an elegant design. I thoroughly enjoyed the process of making this dress. There is also a jumpsuit and top version, I intend trying the top version sometime. 

I recently made the Sade Blouse for my Felicity Fabrics blog (find here). It was a quick pattern to sew and feels so glam to wear! 

I almost forgot the Ruska pattern. I have made 6 or 7 versions of the Ruska T-shirt. Can you guess I love it? I can usually get it out of a metre or sometimes less. It features a seam down the front, though sometimes I have omitted this seam and did the seam down the back instead. Such a great pattern, I can usually make one up within an hour. There is also a longer dress version and a knot dress version. 

There are so many other beautiful patterns to try in this book from beginner to advanced level. You can work your way through them. Others I would like to try are the palo jeans and halla coat.

Inside Breaking the Pattern

Bags by Anna Alicia

Modern Needlework in 600 Pictures 

I found this book in a second hand bookshop in Portrush I think it was, on the North Coast of Northern Ireland. I have to be honest this book is a total gem and I'm so glad I found it. I think I only paid about 3 pounds for it. Bargain!

This book has so much in it! The different chapters in this book include: 

  • Basic Sewing
  • Home Dressmaking 
  • Lingerie and underwear 
  • Tailored Clothes 
  • Renovating Your Wardrobe 
  • Knitting 
  • Crochet 

It just covers just about everthing you need to know. 

The book dates back to the 1940's or 50's. I just love books that have history in them and it's so nice to let this book live on even more.

Anna Alicia - Bags 

This book was released Autumn 2019 and is such a wonderful book that covers all sorts of bags, purses and more. Once you have this book, you won't have to look for another bag pattern again. There are a total of 18 stylish bags for every occasion. It's also a great book if you are making any presents for people. The book explains different tools you may need for each of the projects. In each project it tells you the skill level, materials needed and the pattern pieces that need cut out. The instructions are also very clear to follow too!

I'll take you through some of my favourite patterns from the book. 

First up I love the shopper bag. I made this for a Christmas present and it was super easy. Such a handy pattern and great for bringing to the supermarket to save on the plastic bags! I also love the Day to Evening bag, the pompom bucket bag and the interview bag. 

Another thing I love about this book Bags is that Anna includes a section for core techniques all explained with clear photographs and instructions. Some of the core techniques explained include making bias binding tape, piping, squaring corners and making zip tabs along with other core techniques. 

Overall it is a beautifully put together book with a high qaulity soft cover book, clean crisp white pages with wonderful patterns to try. 

One of my fav patterns from Bags

Modern Needlework in 600 Pictures

One of my new favourite books is The Great British Sewing Bee - Sustainable Style. Though I intend to write a separate blog for this once I make a couple of the projects I have planned!

Hope you enjoyed my rather lengthy blog about my favourite sewing books. Once I got started I couldn't stop writing! 

Thanks for reading, 

Rebekah x

Keyword: Accessories 

ref: 18 | My Favourite Sewing Books