What are the best books to buy for Stitching or Sewing to learn the correct techniques?
So that you don't miss any pattern-making instruction while watching video tutorials to learn sewing.
I believe that cutting & tailoring, sewing or for that matter, Fashion Designing is very individualistic.
It’s just like cooking.
If you know the basic ingredients right , you can cook anything. Likewise, if you know your basics right, you can stitch just anything.
And books help you know the basics in the right sequence.
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Tips to effectively learn Stitching | Sewing from a book
Before you decide to buy books for learning stitching, it will help you to know, if you can really learn from a book or not.
These are some of the reasons, why you must buy books for learning stitching and how best to learn with books.
#1. Your Circumstances
I learned stitching since school years and in 90's when books were the primary source of learning.
We didn't have video tutorials that time. Learning stitching or sewing could only be through a regular sewing course or books.
Secondly, my father didn't think very highly for a stitching related career, which was also a reason why I was entirely self-taught, via books.
If you are also in some of these situations, you may find it easier to learn stitching from books.
If the book has good explanations, and pictures, there is no reason you can’t learn sewing from a book.
You can also learn quite a bit from the instructions on patterns.
However, books are limited in what they can teach, especially the practical stitching part of dress making.
So, when you start joining the pieces together, you don't solely rely on just books.
#2. Your Learning Style
If you learn best with clear, concisely written directions, coupled with good diagrams, then books are the best instructors for you.
But not everyone can learn that way. It really depends on your learning style.
If you learn best with videos or in-person demonstrations, where they can actually see what’s being done, or you need to hear verbal instructions, it's better to join stitching classes or watch sewing videos.
In fact, if you are self taught sewer, a combination of books and videos will help you improve your current sewing level.
Videos can show you what books cannot. If you took a local sewing class you would see demonstrations. Videos provide that same type of demonstration.
#3. Your Attention Span
If you get distracted easily and loose your focus easily, then learning through reading a book may be difficult for you.
Even if you follow online sewing videos or a sewing class to learn sewing, it may be taxing for your attention span.
It also matters how dedicated you are to learning something new.
You can try reading and if that doesn’t work for you, move on to tutorials or find a skilled sewer willing to teach you - hands on.
Or you should learn from a mentor + video + books, to understand the basics better.
#4. Books are Best for Pattern Cutting
Books are best for pattern cutting and detailed instructions.
But for stitching part, it is always better seeing the video tutorial rather than the book, because in the books they show you very few in-progress pictures and the final result.
Moreover, video tutorials are more accessible since you can stop and re-watch whenever you like rather than scrambling through a book to find what type of finishing or stitching you want to learn to better your stitching.
#5. You Want to Master the Skill
Books are good source of learning when you wish to master the skill of stitching in depth, chapter wise. . You can also learn quite a bit from the instructions on patterns.
Do you know the easiest way to learn a skill is with books. You need a detailed book on a topic to learn in the steps, which are essential.
A well written book saves you from confusion and frustration.
Of course, there are DIY video tutorials but it becomes easier to learn sewing if you are going step-by-step.
Videos make a great supplement if you need to see something in action.
Is it better to learn stitching | sewing from another seamstress or from books and instructions?
#1. Find the right source of learning
Ask yourself, if you are learning stitching as a hobby or you are willing to make it a profession.
Then, how much time you have given to your target of learning. Suppose, you want to learn within a month.
Now if you hop around the wrong seamstress, it would consume your time, energy and money.
For instance, I wanted to learn stitching my own dresses as a hobby but I happened to be with someone, who convinced me to join her fashion designing institute and full time one year course in fashion designing.
That took a lot of my energy and money because I didn't want that much file work. I simply wanted to learn practical sewing.
Of course, that helped me but are you invested into that much commitment?
#2. Books are inexpensive way to start exploring a subject in detail
Books are cheaper than your time on different online sewing classes or your negotiations with sewing schools.
You can explore a few sewing books / blogs to understand the topics of your interest.
Then it would be easier for your to explore sewing videos and classes.
It would also help you to ask the right questions and see how it’s done firsthand, in which case a sewing instructor is your best bet. Moreover, you will explore more books to buy for learning stitching or fashion design.
Try the different ways and see which works for you.
It's better to learn it however you can!
That said, it's a tactile, physical process that is easier learned if you can be guided in person. A good book or video is a close second though.
I have a few books saved in my personal library for decades and I use them a lot besides adding some of the recent design books.
I am sure if you are serious about learning to sew, you should have good books to buy for stitching, which you can refer regularly.
My Personal Favorite Stitching Books
#1. Complete Sewing | Stitching Book
This is the ultimate sewing bible for beginners, students and seasoned stitchers wanting to perfect their skills.
Whether you want to make soft furnishings, clothing or just do alterations this is the book that everyone interested in sewing needs.
Follow step-by-steps and master every technique you'll ever need; from machine-stitching a buttonhole and attaching a collar, to altering patterns and building a basic sewing kit.
Every hand and machine stitch and technique is clearly shown and easy to follow, guiding you through every move.
#2. Pattern making for Fashion Design Students
This is the book for you, if you are able to make patterns and sew them yourself.
It is your go-to pattern making guide especially if you are a fashion design student.
It has everything. With the help of this book, you can make any pattern you could think of!
The author seems to have put in her entire life's wisdom on Fashion in this text book.
#3. Zarapkar-Cutting (English)
This Book contains all the basics and advance cutting methods in simple steps for beginners.
It may feel somewhat tough but after some practice you can master the cuttings.
Superb book with every guidance you need to sew any dress. One of the best comprehensive books.
I make most of my dresses using the pattern making methods in this book. And I get perfect fittings.
#4. Katai-Silai Theory (Drafting)
Cutting & Tailoring Course by Gayatri Verma (Hindi Edition) – This book is very practical. Can be used for home tailoring purpose.
Reading theory part is important to grasp the lay out and pattern cutting.
Rapidex Home Tailoring Course by Asha Rani Vohra
The book offers good content with diagrams and designs at all the appropriate places.
#5. Fashion Patterns
Once you learn the basics, you itch to make casual, trendy, classic, day wear, evening gowns and so many other dresses.
I love Moda Marfy because it has special section dedicated to instructions and tips on how to use the patterns, how to make eventual alterations and how to put them on fabric, with particular attention to the various kind of fabrics and their characteristic.
With every issue, we also get 10 printed patterns.
#6. Dressmaking: Complete Step-by-Step Guide
Amazing book to learn sewing if you are a beginner.
Excellent book to improve sewing if you already know to sew.
This book has all information and is much much better than the The Sewing Book because you can create a whole wardrobe of clothes from it.
The method of making is explained in super big photographs.
Every step is photographed so you can never go wrong while stitching.
Useful Tips if you are planning to buy a book to learn fashion design on your own
If you plan to learn fashion design on your own, you must understand a few things before you buy fashion books.
1.) Study textiles. Create color variations, choose different materials, and learn to design your own fashion clothing.
2.) Know how to sew, tailor and drape fabrics. Use inspiration from the natural world, everyday life, and your own imagination.
Design outfits from scratch and learn how to put together the clothes and accessories you already own in a fun, stylish way
3.) Study pattern making.
4.) Practice sketching and drawing. Do some fashion Illustrations.
Choose gorgeous colors, design dress shapes, customize T-shirts, design a bag, pick a color palette, design with texture, and add sparkle to accessories in simple, easy-to-follow design tasks and simple practical projects.
5.) Learn merchandising and market trends of fashion.
6.) Enjoy experimenting with new ideas.
And then start studying fashion books. These books will be more useful now.
Recommended Books for Learning Fashion Design
2. Different Like Coco
Tapping into her creativity and her sewing skills, she began making clothes that suited her (and her pocketbook) — and soon a new generation of independent working women craved her sleek, comfortable, and practical designs.
Now an icon of fashion and culture, Coco Chanel continues to inspire young readers, showing just how far a person can come with spunk, determination, and flair.
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