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Recommend me a sewing book please!

(8 Posts)
lurcherlover Mon 17-Dec-12 22:04:29

It's to be a Christmas present for my mum, who used to be a keen sewist (?) but hasn't done any for a while. She's retiring soon and wants to get back into it. She is good at using a machine and could make a skirt, pair of curtains with pelmets, trousers etc fairly easily and she can follow patterns. I think what I'm after is a book with lots of different projects to give her ideas, and preferably the patterns too so she can get stuck in and have a go. The ones I've seen on Amazon look like they're intended for absolute beginners though (lots of pages telling you how to thread the machine or sew a buttonhole, which she doesn't need). Does anyone have any good books they'd recommend?

lurcherlover Tue 18-Dec-12 21:28:36

Bump - anyone?

RooibosWithMilk Wed 19-Dec-12 14:18:07

I haven't used it myself, but I know the Colette Sewing Handbook has five different garment patterns and sections on getting a good fit etc - it's been recommended by lots of sewing bloggers and although it has basic information at the beginning I don't think it's just for beginners. How appropriate it would be kind of depends on whether your mum would be likely to want to make any of the projects in the book - you can see details here:

The Burdastyle Sewing Handbook again starts with a section for beginners, but has some basic patterns that can be adapted for lots of different projects; you can look at that here: Again I haven't used it myself but have seen good reviews.

If your mum would potentially be interested in drafting her own patterns I can definitely recommend Design-It-Yourself Clothes by Cal Patch. The book contains simple instructions for drafting your own patterns based on your own body measurements. It does involve a bit of messing about with rulers, set squares and large pieces of paper but even as a beginner I didn't find it too challenging and really enjoyed sewing clothes I had designed myself. They fit really well too because patterns are based on body measurements! The actual sewing instructions are fairly minimal but doesn't sound like your mum would struggle with that. As long as you think your mum would find the pattern-drafting process interesting as well as the sewing (because it can take a little while) then I'd recommend this book. Definitely my favourite sewing book! (Amazon link here:

BigBoobiedBertha Wed 19-Dec-12 23:29:57

I think you need to be more specific about what you want really. A lot of the general sewing books are aimed at beginners. The books for the more experienced sewer tend to be more focussed than that. They go into more depth about a particular area like dressmaking, patchwork and quilting, home furnishings etc.

I have a good book somewhere which I can't find at the moment but it tells you how to adapt patterns or make your own which is obviously not something for the beginner. I had a look on Amazon and I found this which is similar.

Do you think she might be interested in patchwork and quilting? It is a huge subject and it can be as easy or as challenging as you like. If you think that might be something of interest I have several books I could mention for that.

cate16 Thu 20-Dec-12 09:22:22

I agree with bigboobie - you need to be more specific about interests.
I sound very similar to your mum, and would find some of the books mentioned a bit 'hmm' for my needs.
Me personally keep hinting about 'Swedish style crafty type books' if that's any help.

Practicallyperfectnot Sun 23-Dec-12 09:54:48

How about a Threads magazine (Taunton Press USA) subscription - dressmakers rave about this!

tiggy114 Mon 24-Dec-12 08:48:33

I've seen the reviews for the cath kidston 'sew' book being described as not easy enough for beginners. So this could be a good choice. Plus she might make the free bag for you wink any cath kidston stuff will be lovely imo. You could order her some of tjeir lovely fabric to go with it.

LatteLady Mon 24-Dec-12 18:04:46

I know that this is late but a subscription to Sew magazine would be great. If you can sew, most of the projects are fairly easy in books but Sew magazine has a good breadth of projects from home stuff to tailoring. And you get a paper pattern each month smile

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