good reads: fashion library edition

We all know what makes for a workable, functioning sewing room: machines, fabric, and supplies. For me, an equally important part of any creative space is the library. Textbooks, magazines, and design journals are a treasure trove of information, and I can promise you this: you will never be so experienced that you never need a refresher on how to do something. Now, don’t get me wrong, the internet is a great place to learn a lot of things, but there’s something about having a book right in front of me that is much more appealing. I’m okay with being old fashioned in that way.

There’s no need for a big library, just a few basics. Then, you can branch out into the specialty subjects that interest you. For me, these are leather crafting and vintage fashion and design. But first, any good library needs the following three books: a sewing book, a patternmaking book, and a fabric book.

I really like Vogue Sewing. The instructions are easy to understand and the illustrations are great. Lots of basic information, which makes it a good book for beginners too.

I still use the same patternmaking book I got in college. It’s excellent. I’ve used it so much, in fact, that a couple years ago I had to transfer the pages to a binder and toss the cover. It was falling apart, which I took as a sign that I’d gotten my money out of it, and then some. It’s Patternmaking for Fashion Design, and I think there may be a newer edition or two, so look for that if you’re interested in buying this book. I still reference the circle skirt chart all the time, and my notes fill up just about every page.

I had a couple of textile textbooks (there’s a tongue twister for you) from college, but along the way I got rid of them. I no longer needed the scientific, technical stuff. I replaced them with one fabric book, and this is the one I like. There’s plenty of fabric books out there, so it’s hard to wrong, but this one, Fabric Savvy, has information on needle size and how to treat your fabric, which I think is good to know. It’s just a nice, concise reference.

My leather crafting book.

Vogue, and a few extras I’ve picked up along the way.

I always appreciate a good book recommendation so if you have one, let me know! Happy Sewing!


  1. Elizabeth | 1st Mar 17

    Hey Emily!

    My grandmother gave me her 1970s Readers Digest Complete Guide to Sewing book for Christmas. It is my first sewing book and it is wonderful. You can find them on Amazon. I difinately suggest giving it a look. Lots of cool information on tools, threads, fabrics, fitting etc…

    • Emily | 1st Mar 17

      Hey! That’s a great book too! There’s so many great books out there, it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. Can’t go wrong with the Reader’s Digest guidebook. 🙂

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