Category: Books

Book Review: Easy Guide to Sewing Skirts

Easy Guide to Sewing SkirtsHave you ever wanted just a little extra help when trying to understand a patterns sewing instructions or just wanted to do things just a little different or wanted to make that ordinary skirt pattern and make an extraordinary skirt, then this is a book you need in your sewing library. This book helps with choosing the correct pattern for your body type to fitting and all stages of construction. It even gives you a little test on your skills at the end. Of all the books in my library when I’m sewing a skirt and need help or looking to do something different this is one of my first books I go to.

This book is one of the very first books I purchased when I first started sewing. It was just on a whim, I had stopped past BAM and they were having some kind of book clearance sale where they had all these books on a table and were selling them really cheap. Sewing was just starting to become an obsession for me so of course my eyes quickly landed on the sewing books. At the time I didn’t understand most of it but over time it became one of my favorite go to books. This is the first book to teach me about straightening the grainline on my fabric.

easy guide sewing skirts

This book was written by Marcy Tilton who is well-known in the sewing world from her patterns with Vogue, former school and articles she has written for Threads magazine. She has written the book using four main chapters that take you from choosing your skirt to fabrics and fitting and finally construction. The book is written in the same order you would normally construct a skirt so your flow through to book is easy and continuous. It uses both pictures and illustrations to show the different techniques. The illustrations are just plain black and white and clear enough to understand. But the pictures are the majority in this book. It is like a mini skirt sewing class in a book.easy guide sewing skirts

easy guide sewing skirts

With all that this book has to offer I was a bit surprised that it doesn’t include shaped waistbands, but other than that this book will help you through sewing most skirts and is worth the investment if you like to sew skirts.

Easy Guide Series

This book nor any of the other books in this series are no longer in print but you can find them on some of the used book sites and on Ebay here and there. Taunton did publish an all in one book called “Easy Guide to Sewing Tops and T-Shirts Skirts and Pants” but not sure of how much it is like the original book and if it was undated at all.But if you want me to review any of the other books in the series do let me know in the comments section.

And until next time, happy sewing…

Book Review: Sew What! Skirts

Sew What Skirts

Sew What! Skirts is one of those books I think anyone who sews and enjoy wearing skirts would really appreciate. With this book you can draft and sew an entire wardrobe of one of a kind skirts made to fit you or who ever you sew for. Even if you follow the latest trends their is a skirt in here for it. This is a very easy book to read and understand, but that said I would only recommend it to someone who has some sewing experience, since it is not very heavy on showing you how to sew the skirts once you have drafted them. With that said here is a quick review of what you get.

sew what skirts

The book contains 9 chapters

  1. How to use this book
  2. Basic skills
  3. Which waistline?
  4. The Classic A-Line
  5. Wrap It!
  6. Circles & Squares
  7. Play it straight with flair
  8. Layer It
  9. How Many Tiers?

There are all pretty much pretty explanatory with each chapter containing at least two skirts.

sew what skirt

The book is a hardback with a spiral binding, which is good for someone like me who can be a little hard on books and is easy to keep open when following the directions to drafting a new pattern.


sew what skirts sew what skirts

The book has both pictures and illustrations. The illustrations are used to show drafting, cutting layouts, and some sewing instructions. The pictures are of the finished skirts.

sew what skirts

Of all the books in my sewing library, is ONE I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to draft their own personal set of skirt sewing patterns. I use this book to draft my first version of the Sabriya Maxi wrap skirt about 10 years ago, which I have since improved upon with more professional drafting techniques.

Do you have a favorite book for drafting skirts, if so do let me know in the comments. And as always until next time, happy sewing…

Sewing Book Review – Making A Complete Wardrobe From 4 Basic Patterns

wardrobe with 4 basic patterns book   Since I posted this on my Instagram account that I had two of these books, I decided to review them for today’s post.

I first found out about this book a few years ago on the Sewing Plum blog. It peaked my interest when she mentioned that Rusty says that you can use one top pattern and making into 6 different items a pullover, a button down shirt, a vest, a dress, jacket, and a coat. I would think that if you’re into layering then at some point there would be some bunching around the sleeves but then again this is the 80s were oversize was the norm. But any book that shows and tells how to maximize with minimal patterns, I’m on it, I just love the idea.

 making a wardrobe

Ms. Rusty  does very well explaining just how to make many other items using just four base patterns. The styles are a bit out of date but the information I believe can still be applied to any modern pattern. There no pictures only black and white illustrations and no many at that. She shows you how to draft patterns for a pullover top, dirndl skirt, circle skirt, and pants, and then how to make a few variations on each. drafting the pullover

The book is not very thick with only 158 pages and can be found online pretty cheap.

making a wardrobe of skirts


While the styles in the book are not my taste, the ideas can still be applied to any modern pattern with just a few adjustments. I think a book like this is something that is still very much needed in 2016 with the slow fashion movement taking off and with our busy lives, having a few tried and tested patterns that can be used to make an entire wardrobe. It is not a must have book but it would make a nice addition to a sewing library.

making a complete wardrobe from 4 basic patterns

Until next time, happy sewing…

Book Review: The Sewing Book

the sewing book       The Sewing Book by Alison Smith: If you are a beginner when it comes to sewing or even intermediate to advance then this is the book for you. This would probably be the first book I would recommend to anyone just starting out. The step by step pictures make it very easy to understand and follow. The only other book that comes as close to this one in terms of the clarity and quality of pictures are the Singer sewing books. But the one thing this book has over Singer are the step by step pictures.

the sewing book contents

This book is an updated version of The Complete Book Of Sewing. So if you have that book you see a lot reprinted items. All of the techniques are done over and the pictures are a bit bigger for clarity.

the complete book of sewing

the sewing book the complete book of sewing

the sewing book and complete book of sewing

Brief overview: The book contains basically the same sections you would see in general sewing techniques book, sewing equipment, fabrics, patterns, and it goes into the techniques and also has a few projects at the end. The techniques are grouped according to garment sections. For example shaping is all grouped together, this includes darts, tucks, pleats, and gathers. There is also some fitting and tailoring included.

I have a lot of general sewing books but this book is one of some that I really like. As I said before the clear step by step photos making very easy to understand and follow.The only illustrations are showing examples of the variety items in a garment, for example different types of cuffs, different types of darts and so on. Also each technique is rated according to its level of difficulty. And another thing I find interesting but I don’t know how useful it is, is the color coordination that is going on. If the book section is pink then all of techniques are shown on garments that are pink

the sewing book sleeves

The projects section is a nice touch that I don’t find in a lot sewing books. Most of the time you need to buy the patterns as extra. There are a total of 18 sewing projects and just like the techniques they are rated according to difficulty and it list what techniques are used to complete the project.

the sewing book bag project

the sewing book directory

If you’re looking for a sewing book that will teach you the basic, easy to understand and follow even if you are beyond the basics then this would be one book I would recommend.

until next time, happy sewing