Friday, June 10, 2011

My Sewing Bookshelf and More!


The other day Kelly, over at Careless Catholic, asked me an excellent question.  I thought about typing it all up in the comments and then I thought some other people might like to see it too.

Kelly asked:
“Amy, is there a book that you could recommend to me that could teach me about the basics of running a sewing machine. We inherited my grandmother's Singer and though my daughter knows a little I would like something more. I guess I'm after a very basic beginner teach yourself to sew book.

I would love to be able to make my kids cute stuff and more handmade gifts. Thanks so much.”

The first thing I would recommend, if you don’t have it already, is to try and get the manual for your machine.  Most sewing machine companies have a way you can get a hold of manuals, even if the machine is old.  Some even have them available in PDF format (which would probably be cheaper!).

Next I am going to tell you my secret (lol).  When I break out my machine and have all my bits and pieces ready and waiting, I stick my laptop on the table right next to the machine.  If I come to a term I don’t understand I simply search for it.  There are tons of You Tube videos available now for teaching you to do just about anything!  You will also find that some wonderful ladies (and gents I am sure) have answered your question somewhere on the net.

For specific books in particular, I would recommend for helping you learn to sew:

Stitch by Stitch: Learning to Sew, One Project at a Time

Sew Everything Workshop

Sewing For Dummies

For sewing books I just love (and they usually, like knitting and crochet books, have helpful hints and guides in them too):

Handmade Beginnings

Sew Liberated

Growing Up Sew Liberated

Oliver + S Little Things to Sew

Sew Serendipity

As for websites, I completely l-o-v-e MADE.  I have learned a ton from her and she has tons of great stuff up.  Oh and Sew Liberated!  Meg is amazing, she also knits, and is a great mom!  You can tell I am a fan, since I have both her books and put them on that list up there, lol.


One thing I have learned is that if I put my mind to do something I will learn how to do it (well, maybe except for cake decorating -- at least they tasted good, lol).  Other than will, find some easier patterns you really love.  Invest in a roll of tracing paper.  Trace your patterns, don't cut them.  That way you will always have them and can make different sizes as your children grow.  Oh and a good pair of scissors.  Trust me, I learned that the hard way... not pretty.

I hope that helps and I can't wait to see what you start making Kelly!  I honestly think that learning these skills, like knitting and sewing, have been so good for my family.  It is an outlet for me and a way for me to help provide for my family!

Have fun!


  1. This is wonderful! Thank you so much, Amy!

    I'm making a list and bookmarking the web links and books listed. I don't have the manual for our machine, but I had never thought of trying to find it on the net. Comon Sense isn't always my strong suit. :)

    On a side note: I was out with a girlfriend last night and while window shopping came across a kids clothing shop that had a cute baby bonnet in the front window. I told her about your awesomely cute handmade bonnets for Sweet Pea and how I blame you for giving me the sewing bug.

    May God bless you for being such an inspiration of motherhood for me.

  2. Dear Amy,
    Great infirmation here,
    love the links too.
    I think you did fine with the cup cakes

    BTW which of Your blogs are you posting on now. I followed your web domain a while go and cancelled this one but haven't seen any posts till I came from Kelly today. Just want to follow the right one so I don't miss out.


  3. Thank you so much Kelly, you are being too sweet to me! God bless you!

    Gae, thank you, but the cupcakes were terrible, lol! I survived it though. ;) I am doing this blog now. I went to the other domain but nobody followed over. So I figured it really wasn't worth it. Perhaps if the domain had been closer to what I have here... I don't know. Anyway, I decided to come back to this blogspot.


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