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7 Best Sewing Books With Patterns

Whether you’re a sewing beginner or a more advanced seamstress, sewing books with patterns are always a winner. I’ve been sewing for years and still love a good sewing book that tucks patterns away in the back cover for us to trace off!

And nowadays there are also sewing books that come with downloadable patterns to print off. Win-win!

There are sewing books designed for those who are just learning to sew, and then there are the more advanced sewing books for those who’ve been hanging out behind a sewing machine for a while.

There are also sewing books with patterns for knit fabric, and sewing books with woven fabric patterns. There really is no end to all the sewing books you can buy, that have patterns included, so I’ve broken them down for you here, highlighting only the absolute best!

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you make a purchase at no further cost to you.

7 Best Sewing Books With Patterns

Sewing Books With Knit Patterns

There are now many sewing books with patterns focusing on just sewing garments with knit fabrics. And whilst I do like some knit garments in my wardrobe, I’m kind of fussy about what.

For knit patterns, I’m more likely to buy individual sewing patterns that reflect my style, but as this is a post about sewing books with patterns, I’m gonna get to the point, and share the two I consider to be the absolute best out there!

I could share more, but we’re focusing on the very top of the crop! 😉

1. A Beginners Guide To Sewing With Knitted Fabrics by Wendy Ward

A Beginners Guide To Sewing With Knitted Fabrics by Wendy Ward

This is one of my all time favourite sewing books. It’s a new release from Wendy, having been published in early 2018, and I love it. It’s one of the few books that didn’t go into storage when I moved to Wales for a year!

I’m going to add that this book is so good, it was nominated as ‘Best Craft Book’ in the 2018 British Sewing Awards!

First up, this book contains lots of useful tips and techniques for sewing with knit fabrics, making it an essential resource for sewing beginners who have yet to try sewing with knitted fabrics!!

It also features 6 sewing projects, which can be adapted into many more with the variations that Wendy supplies!

You can buy your very own signed copy here directly from Wendy (recommended!) or if you’re elsewhere in the world you can buy a non signed version from Amazon here!

As soon as my sewing machine arrived in the Netherlands, I’ll be whizzing up some more of the Monsal Lounge Pants! I need them for this damp, rainy weather!

2. Tilly And The Buttons Stretch

Stretch: Make Yourself Comfortable Sewing With Knit Fabrics by Tilly And The Buttons

This book from Tilly and the Buttons came out in the Spring of 2018, and is also a good one for sewing beginners and more advanced seamstresses!

I find the patterns a little ‘young’ for my taste, but to be honest, if they were in woven fabrics there are several that I would adapt and make for myself. I just don’t wear a lot of knit garments.

That said I do love the Stella hoodie as a pattern, and will probably make one or two up in the summer for the Dutch autumn nights!

If you’d like to see more about Stretch: Make Yourself Comfortable Sewing With Knit Fabrics, click here!

Sewing Books With *Mostly* Woven Patterns

When it comes to sewing my own clothes – or even pattern drafting my own designs – I consistently prefer to work with woven fabric. Perhaps it is my love of structured fabrics, but I always feel like I can achieve a more distinctive and unique look in woven fabrics.

To that end, here are my absolute favourite sewing books with patterns for woven garments, though some do contain knitted sewing pattern options too!

3. Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book: A Modern Guide To Sewing Fabulous Vintage Styles

Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book is a must have for anyone that loves vintage inspired dresses! With patterns (and instruction!) for 23 dresses you are sure to find at least one dress that you want to make over and over – especially with all the possible mix and match elements!

I love dresses but haven’t worn one in a while due to living in a remote place in Wales. Now though? I’ll be making the Polka Dot Day Dress from the book – only, in a fabric other than polka dots! 😉

4. Breaking The Pattern: A Modern Way To Sew by Named Patterns

Breaking The Pattern: A Modern Way To Sew By Named Clothing Patterns

I was drooling over this book so much when it was released back in November 2018, and refused to buy it in case it turned out to be a Christmas gift! Which was smart thinking on my part! 😉

Created by Finnish designers Saara and Laura Huhta who design sewing patterns under the ‘Named Clothing’ brand, this book is a must have for anyone that loves contemporary Scandinavian design.

I love the ethics of Named Clothing, and this beautiful book is another way for me to enjoy slow fashion, making myself some beautiful pieces.

Also to note, the projects start from easy and get harder as you progress through the book! (I’ll be writing a full review of this book in April!)

5. Basic Black: 26 Edgy Essentials For The Modern Wardrobe by Sato Watanabe

Basic Black 26 Edgy Patterns For The Modern Wardrobe Sato Watanabe

I love this book! One of my very favourite designers when I first ‘got into fashion’ was Yohji Yamamoto. I thought the Japanese’s design aesthetic was simple stunning.

I then later discovered the playfulness of Commes des Garçons – another Japanese brand, designed by Res Kawakubo.

This book from Sato Watanabe feels much like a mashup of Yohji Yamamoto and Commes des Garçons – and I love it!

There are 26 sewing patterns included, but they are all mashed together, looking like quite a mess! You can download the pattern file from the website, print and trace them off, but I will note that the patterns are only graded for UK sizes 8-16. I’m the very last size in this range (and much taller too) so there’s always work involved for me.

If Japanese sewing patterns interest you and you’d like to learn more about this book, click here!

6. Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns: A Guide To Customizing A Hand-Stitched Alabama Chanin Wardrobe

Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns: A Guide To Customizing A Hand-Stitched Alabama Chanin Wardrobe

If you are a fan of real slow making of garments, this book is the cream of the crop! Alabama Chanin is an advocate of slow hand stitching, and this book contains simple designs that you’re sure to love.

The books contains instructions for sewing and adapting the 12 patterns, and is also a great guide to helping you further customise the designs.

With a CD of patterns included, you could combine the patterns from within this book with techniques from any book on my book list in this post to create some truly unique hand made, slow stitched clothes!

7. The Makers Atelier: The Essential Collection by Frances Tobin

The Makers Atelier: The Essential Collection by Frances Tobin

I love the draped front top the most – I’m a sucker for a drapey jersey top! -and will soon be making up at least two of the stretch pencil skirts for the sunny spring days I’m anticipating here in the Netherlands! (Is that really wishful thinking?)

If you like classic – yet adaptable – patterns with your sewing books, this one from The Maker’s Atelier is a great one to buy.

7 Best Sewing Books With Patterns: Final Thoughts

So there you have it – my seven best sewing books with patterns. I love each of these books for different reasons, and happily recommend them all – though do be sure to check that they offer your sizing before you buy, so that you aren’t disappointed!

If you have any thoughts on the books – or perhaps your own recommendations? – do let me know in the comments below!

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    Nilsa

    Saturday 5th of September 2020

    Hello Eve!

    Thanks so much for this post! This list is on point and your reviews make it helpful and exciting! I am familiar with almost all of these books! I have quite of few of these on my shopping list for my sewing book collection.

    Eve Tokens

    Thursday 10th of September 2020

    Hi Nilsa! Oh yay! I think I personally love the Named one best of all! Hope you enjoy your books when you've added them to your collection! :)

    Randy Hall

    Friday 4th of September 2020

    I have really enjoyed this list and the list of pattern making books. I have a suggestion. While this book belongs in the list of pattern making books I think it should go here because it is sort of transitional. In the chapter on necklines, for example, it gives you the information to change the neckline of a bodice block into quite a few different styles. For me it taught me how to and gave me the confidence to hack patterns which then led to wanting to learn to draft pattern. The book is "Make Your Own Patterns" by René Bergh.

    Eve Tokens

    Thursday 10th of September 2020

    That you Randy! I'll take a look - I try to only recommend books that I currently have or previously owned, but am always open to buying a new book! :)

    Kim

    Thursday 2nd of May 2019

    Thank you Eve! I enjoyed your post and am going to try and look through a few of your book suggestions.

    Eve Tokens

    Thursday 9th of May 2019

    Ah, thanks Kim! Let me know if you have any questions about any of them!

    Temitayo Oni

    Wednesday 1st of May 2019

    Reply to BUSBY WANDA

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bw7ZABtg1OA/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=195cyijryw9dx (Lynda Maynard)

    https://instagram.com/sewing_and_design_school?utm_source=ig_profile_share&igshid=18del9nufw6a0 (Ryliss Bod)

    It depends on where you are in the States. You might want to check out these two Instagram accounts. The second one also posts about schools from around the world too so you might find something to your liking. Cheers.

    Busby Wanda

    Thursday 28th of March 2019

    eve. i am having trouble finding pattern that fit and adjusting them. i know you are in europe but is there a place in the states that you know that teaches sewing and pattern making in person!! thanks wanda