Best Books For Beginner Dressmakers

Are you looking for the Best Books for Beginner Dressmakers?

As a newbie sewist, it can be daunting to pick a good sewing book to get you started. There are so many on the market, it’s difficult to know where to start. You need a book at will hold your hand through a variety of projects, building your skills as you learn.

So why not take our advice and check out these amazing books.

Love At First Stitch by Tilly & The Buttons

Best Books For Beginner Dressmakers

For many sewists your first dressmaking book is usually written by Tilly Walnes from Tilly & The Buttons. Tilly is an experienced sewist, blogger and ex-contestant from The Great British Sewing Bee. She is a huge part of the sewing community and her patterns are well loved by everyone. She has a brilliant ability to explain sewing steps in a simple and basic way that everyone can understand. Her patterns also have beautiful colour pictures which make it easy to follow.

This book has paper patterns included.

Sewing Basics For Every Body by Wendy Ward


Wendy Ward has her own business based in Brighton: MIY Workshop, where she teaches sewing, dressmaking and pattern cutting to adults. She also designs and sells her own range of sewing patterns: MIY Collection.

This is Wendy’s latest book and it covers some beautiful basics in both woven and knit fabrics. There is also a comprehensive techniques section covering everything from sewing a fly zip to making a traditional shirt collar, alongside the fundamentals such as different seam and hem finishes.

This book has paper dressmaking patterns included.

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The Complete Guide to Dressmaking by Alison Smith


Another encyclopedia-type book for the home sewist, this great book will include all of the tips and techniques you might need in your sewing journey.

This book, written by Alison Smith, includes step-by-step instructions that will show you how to master all the sewing techniques you need, from choosing the right fabrics to hemming and hand stitching. Then put your skills into practice with 12 basic scalable patterns including how to make a dress and how to make a shirt, and make them your own with ideas for customising them so you can make 30 garments in total.

This book has paper dressmaking patterns included.

Girl With A Sewing Machine by Jennifer Taylor


Jenniffer Taylor from The Great British Sewing Bee’s shows you how to make and adapt your own clothes without the need for shop-bought patterns. This book will teach you how to get started transforming unloved items of clothing into new and exciting outfits; how to customise clothes with doilies, tassels, tie-dyeing, and block printing; and finally how to measure yourself, create patterns and make clothes from scratch, including dresses, skirts, tops, trousers and a coat.

How To Start Sewing by Assemble Books


This is a sewing encyclopaedia in one book. With its 630 pages crammed full of useful information you will refer to again and again. With simple illustrations and no nonsense language you can reach for it whenever you need help. This is a sewing book you will want to keep beside your sewing machine for reference whether you are learning a technique for the first time, or reminding yourself of a detail you haven’t sewn for a while.

Sewing Your Perfect Capsule Wardrobe by Arianna Cadwallder


If your goal in sewing is to create your own capsule wardrobe then this book is a great place to start. You will find sewing patterns and instructions for the five key pieces that will form the basis of your own capsule wardrobe – a great shift dress , well-fitting trousers, a simple yet stylish skirt, a light blouse, and a jersey vest.

The focus is on quality and fit – all the patterns can be adapted to fit and suit you perfectly, whether you prefer long, short or cap sleeves, high or low waistbands, and slim, straight or wide-legged trousers. Aimed at advanced beginners, the book guides you through how to measure yourself and all the techniques you will need.

This book has paper dressmaking patterns included.

Want to learn how to use a sewing pattern?

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Gertie Sews Vintage Casual by Gretchen Hirsch


Gertie has produced quite a few books and patterns in her time but we both love the Vintage Casual book. She brings her vintage style to separates in this book, think wide-legged trousers, playful beach rompers, ‘50s style shorts, casual dresses, fitted capri pants and casual jackets, and coats. She also covers tricky steps in detail, such as buttonholes, collars, interfacings, pockets for shirts, special considerations when working with knit fabrics and the intricacies of pant-making.

This book has paper dressmaking patterns included.

The Sewing Book by Alison Smith


DK books are always a great source of information for any hobbyist. The Sewing Book is a great resource for the beginner sewist, covering over 1500 techniques. With step-by-step instructions and photographs, this informative book will guide you through every stitch. Although this book doesn’t include patterns, it’s a great resource for any beginner.

Make It Simple by Tilly & The Buttons


Tilly’s books are so good she had to have two mentions! This book is her most recent creation and it gives you easy, speedy sewing projects to sew in an afternoon. With everything from dresses to Pajamas, Tilly will once again hold your hand and make it easy to sew your first garments.

Her patterns come in a good size range and the instructions are super clear and easy to follow.

This book has paper dressmaking patterns included.

The Dressmaking Book by Adele P Margolis


The Dressmaking Book by Adele Margolis features more than 200 how-to line drawings covering the fundamentals of style and sewing. This includes how to select materials and handle troublesome fabric; alter patterns to fit your needs; sewing machine basics, and types of hand stitching for fine dressmaking.

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