Book reviews / Video

Best sewing books – livechat and over 15 sewing book recommendations

Here comes a big list of the sewing books mentioned in my sewing book video livestream. I talked about my favourite sewing books and you guys chimed in too and shared your faves – it was such a fun chat and the hour just flew by. I even forgot to talk about some of the books on my list! I would love to do more livestreams in the future and the interactive format was a lot of fun.

Sewing books mentioned in the video

Note: The links below are Amazon affiliate links    

Great reference book for all thing sewing

Reader’s Digest New Complete Guide to Sewing:

Best sewing with knit book

Sewing with Knits: Classic, Stylish Garments from Swimsuits to Eveningwear by Connie Long

Runner-ups for sewing books for knits

Knits for Real People: Fitting and Sewing Fashion Knit Fabrics by Susan Neall Pati Palmer

Sew Knits with Confidence by Nancy Zieman

Book series that deserves more love

Wendy Mullen SewU series

Best industry insider sewing book

Sewing Secrets from the Fashion Industry: Proven Methods To Help You Sew Like the Pros

Great book on sergers

Serger secrets

Best book on how to draft patterns for knits

Pattern making Stretch knits fabrics

Best book on fitting

Fit for real people

Best shirt making book

Shirtmaking: Developing Skills For Fine Sewing by David Coffin

Book suggestions from the chat and comments

Metric Pattern Cutting for Menswear 5th Edition

Sewing Essentials Serger Techniques by Pamela Leggett

Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire B. Shaeffer

Sewing book Couture sewing

The Dressmaker’s Handbook of Couture Sewing Techniques: by Lynda Maynard

The Vogue Sewing book

The Sewing Book

School of Sewing: Learn it, Teach it, Sew Together 
(good beginner sewing book)

There were a few more sewing books mentioned too, but I need to revisit the video to catch them all! Too bad you can’t see the chat afterward.  Also if you have any more faves, please share!

The best sewing books

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, meaning that a commission is earned from qualifying purchases.


  • Faye Lewis
    August 29, 2017 at 12:38 am

    Enjoyed your live appearance yesterday Johanna, even though I had to catch it on the replay.

    • Johanna
      August 29, 2017 at 8:40 am

      Happy to hear you liked it! The chat was lively too with some great suggestions, so I will definitely try to make another livestream too in the future!

  • Anne B.
    August 30, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    So sorry I missed you live! Thank you so much for your suggestions. They will be so helpful as I build my own library!

    • Johanna
      August 31, 2017 at 2:13 pm

      We all need a sewing library for sure! I’ve learned so much from sewing books and I’m happy to give some guidance on which ones that are worth getting!

  • Laura
    August 31, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Missed the live chat but thanks for the book recommendations! Several of those I had not heard of. I just went online and found a secondhand copy of Sewing With Knits 🙂

    • Johanna
      August 31, 2017 at 2:14 pm

      Excellent! Sewing with knits is such a excellent book. I’ve had mine for over 10 years and I still learn new stuff from it ☺

  • Susan S
    September 2, 2017 at 3:32 am

    I finally got around to watching. Thank you for this video. I agree that the Reader’s Digest book is the best sewing reference book. Mine is the 1976 edition! My mom, a sewing teacher, also thought it was the best. I have been sewing my own clothes since I was 10, got a degree in textiles and clothing. I still refer to that book because the info is complete, accurate and easy to find.

    • Johanna
      September 2, 2017 at 9:19 am

      That is validating to hear that you too find the Reader’s Digest book the best! And I love the fact that you can use a sewing book that is over 40 years old and the techniques are still 100% relevant and sometimes even better described than in some newer sewing books. I use a vintage sewing book from the 50’s all the time too because that book explains certain techniques in a way that I find really easy to understand and execute.


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