Whether you’re a novice or a pro, dressmaking books provide endless inspiration and useful information to keep you sewing. Here at BurdaStyle, we love books, and we’ve picked out our top 10 that we think should definitely be on your shelf…
Possibly the most essential book of all is The Dressmaking Technique Bible. Recently revised and updated, with a brand new textile directory, this is effectively a pocket-sized encyclopedia of fabrics, stitches and techniques that you’ll find invaluable whatever your skill level. A complete guide to dressmaking, it covers fabric manipulation and embellishment ideas, as well as all of the basics.
Showing how to take classic mending techniques one step further to add personality and style to your clothes, Mend & Make Fabulous is a uniquely comprehensive resource that combines visual inspiration with practical advice for the fashion conscious sewer. The ability to repair and restore clothes is priceless, and this comprehensive guide will teach you all of the techniques you need to fix your favourite garments, as well as adding some creativity to make your clothes even more fabulous than they were the first time around.
Written by Tilly Walnes, author of popular sewing blog Tilly and the Buttons, Love At First Stitch presents the core sewing basics, from how to thread your machine through to stitching buttonholes and creating beautiful French seams. Unlike more traditional sewing manuals, this book is about learning by doing so you can get making straight away. Each chapter is centred around a gorgeous garment project, guiding you through the steps to creating made-to-measure clothes, with garments ranging from a simple scarf through to an impressive dress.
With 25 simple designs to sew, I Am Cute Dresses certainly offers great value for money! The dresses are loose and effortlessly stylish, and they’re all designed from basic, simple shapes that require no difficult or advanced tailoring and will be flattering on everyone. You just need the basic template for each dress. There are instructions for adjusting the width and length, so you can adapt the patterns to suit you.
The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook is the ultimate resource for learning to sew clothes with style. With this book you’ll learn everything you need to know to design and sew an entire wardrobe of fashion-forward looks using the five fully customisable sewing patterns included. Filled with gorgeous photography, step-by-step instruction, and contributions by 78 designers from 22 countries, this is a great go-to guide for every fashion sewer.
New book The Beginner’s Guide To Dressmaking offers an exciting range of garments from skirts and dresses to a simple jacket and trousers. There are even multi-sized paper patterns for all the garments so you can get started immediately! The author has included advanced techniques for optional extras such as pockets and collars which you can choose to add to the basic patterns as your dressmaking skills improve.
The Great British Sewing Bee’s latest book, Sew Your Own Wardrobe, has been a real hit with fans of the show. At the heart of this new book is a diverse selection of projects, with a core collection of wardrobe essentials, from a pencil skirt and an easy T-shirt top to a wrap dress, so that you can build up a capsule wardrobe. The tempting range of projects reflects the breadth of the TV challenges and includes menswear, a selection of designs for babies and small children, as well as some retro and glamorous garments.
Packed with useful advice and practical instruction, Pattern Cutting for Kids’ Clothes is the ultimate resource for anyone looking to design, adapt, or customize sewing patterns for children’s clothes. Clarifying sewing jargon with its highly accessible instructions, this book addresses a wide range of considerations specific to kids’ clothing, taking into account key priorities such as comfort, functionality, durability, ease of care, and incorporating extra room for growth.
The Sewtionary is a simple-to-use sewing reference book, with a variety of sewing terms organised alphabetically, featuring tutorials and step-by-step photos. Its A-Z organisation, small format and coil-bound binding that allows it to lie flat for easy reference give it an edge over the competition. Currently there are no other sewing books organized in this manner, so it’s a really useful book for your sewing table.
The editors of BurdaStyle introduce key fashion looks of the past in Sewing Vintage Modern and deconstruct them so you can learn to use these iconic elements to make your own stylish clothes. Using five basic patterns for a dress, blouse, trousers, trench and skirt, the book gives step-by-step instructions on how to apply versatile techniques from the 1920s through to the 1980s to create an inspiring collection of fresh, new looks.
Do you own any of these dressmaking books, or do you have a recommendation for another book that you couldn’t live without? Leave a comment below or post on our Facebook page to tell us more. And if you’re looking for inspiration, don’t forget to check out our full range of dressmaking books.