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Beginner sewing book

autumn | Posted in General Discussion on

My granddaughter, 18 yrs. old, is starting to learn to sew. I’d like to give her a good book for Christmas. Any suggestions of a book for someone who is a quick learner, has made about 3 costumes, but is still a beginner?


  1. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #1

    I would recommend a good basic sewing instruction manual.  I have both the Vogue and Singer ones and would say both are good.  They explain basic techniques and have good glossaries of sewing terms.  Cathy

    1. User avater
      rodezzy2 | | #3

      I agree, a basic sewing book for home and clothing is good from Singer and Vogue.  I have a few.

  2. sewelegant | | #2

    I went to Nancy's Notions site (below) because I feel she is an excellent source for learning how to sew.  This page will show you all the books she has for sale as well as a good explanation of each one.  It is probably a very good place to see just what is out there for you to buy.  I think the first book I purchased 50 odd years ago after leaving high school home ec classes was the Vogue Sewing Book and I see there is one listed here.  I cannot vouch for it's value, but I would lean toward the Nancy book and video: "Sew With Confidence".  I have picked up many fine techniques from her.


    Edited 11/9/2008 1:30 pm by sewelegant

  3. Ceeayche | | #4

    Hi Autumn,

    How about a starter kit of resources?  Many young folk are more PC literate than they are focused on books.  A subscription to a magazine like Sew Stylish, Sew Stylish, or Sew News (their projects skew younger and less complicated than Threads), and a list of your favorite online resources typed up on a card, combined with all the tools needed to make one of the projects in the magazine... or for a real jump start include the fabric and notions too.

    You could also subscribe to the sewstylish newsletter and send her an email with your comments on the articles-- a reason to keep the dialogue going between you two with a fresh topic every month.


    Wise woman that she was, my mother also used to give me sewing tools for my birthday and Christmas over the years.... sneaky thing was trying to keep me out of hers, but I now have an interesting and useful assortment of tools, from the Thingamagig to a needle board. Some were practical others were whimsical. A ham was her gift one year-- she actually made a pig outfit for it and wrapped it up.  I thought it was a funny looking stuffed animal at first. We got lots of laughs out of that one.

  4. User avater
    genevieve | | #5

    The best I have seen is the Palmer & Pletsch one called Mother Pletsch's PAINLESS SEWING.   I prefer it to other Vogue & Singer etc, because it is small, lots of simple drawings, and inspires confidence that 'you can do it'.  The advice is exceptionally sound, but it's not preachy.  I am not sure if it is still in print.  Patti if you are still in the wings, could you please comment.  It was great to hear from you recently.

    Best thing of all for a newby starting out, is to be their back up mentor when they hit a snag, and to help them fit their clothes, so they are really thrilled with the result.

    best wishes to all  Genevieve.

    1. sewelegant | | #6

      This book was very useful to me when it first came out in the 70's (?)  I used it all the time and wished it had a spiral cover and now it does come with one!  I have not seen the new version, but I am sure I would still highly recommend it.

      Mother Pletsch's PAINLESS SEWING


      1. User avater
        genevieve | | #7

        Thank you , Happy New Year.  Glad to hear Painless Sewing isout and about again- and spiral back is perfect.  Happy Sewing  Genevieve.

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