Sewing can be such a joy. Being able to mend or even sew clothes for your family can make anyone feel productive and well accomplished. If you think sewing is a cheap hobby, think again. You can spend more on a pattern then for the fabric itself.
Beth from Life is a Musical shares with us some of her favorite pattern books. And Guess what they can all be found for FREE at your local library. Beth says; I sew for my sanity. And, trust me, if I can learn to sew, anyone can. After many projects, I branched out and discovered books at the library (that had the patterns in them!) as well as the internet.
Tips For Using Books From The Library
So, what do you do if you get a book from the library and it has patterns? You can’t cut the patterns. What you can do is iron the pattern (to get the wrinkles out). Yes, you can iron the pattern. It won’t burn up. And then, trace the pattern onto FREEZER PAPER. Yup. The stuff you buy at the grocery store. It is more durable than the tissue paper and if you iron it onto your fabric it will stick to your fabric. No pinning required!
Beth’s Top Free Pattern Books
Quilting For Dummies, For a beginner, it’s perfect. It’s an easy read and the tips in the book really are useful.
From this book I made my husband this quilt from his old t-shirts.
Bend-the-Rules Sewing: The Essential Guide to a Whole New Way to Sew by Amy Karol is a great book for beginners. It listed information on sewing machines, basic sewing tools and notions, as well as fabric information. Amy Karol has a Flickr page and when her book first came out there were lots of swaps arranged. I was involved in one for place-mats.
Sew What! Skirts: 16 Simple Styles You Can Make with Fabulous Fabrics. The very first thing I made for me, and wore outside the house, was a wrap skirt. This book has NO patterns. It has you use math to figure out how to make a pattern to fit you. Brilliant! The only down side is, living near the ocean, wrap skirts are NOT recommended to wear on windy days.
Other Great Books
- Sew U: The Built by Wendy Guide to Making Your Own Wardrobe
- Sew U Home Stretch: The Built by Wendy Guide to Sewing Knit Fabrics
- Amy Butler’s in Stitches: More Than 25 Simple And Stylish Sewing Projects
- A Is for Apron: 25 Fresh & Flirty Designs
- Reusbale Classic Tote Tutorial (Grocery Bags)
For a girl who started out not knowing there was a right and wrong side of the fabric. For not knowing how to thread a sewing machine in middle school. For not knowing not every project had to be made from cotton. To sewing knit shirts that both my husband and friends comment – positively – on. Trust me. If I can learn to sew, so can you.
Knowledge Nuggets from Beth
- Trace your patterns using freezer paper. This way you keep the originals in case you need a different size. Freezer paper is sturdier than the tissue paper patterns are made of. If you iron it onto your fabric it will stick – no pinning required!
- Never pin your pattern to your fabric. Hold the pattern onto your fabric with large washers from your hardware store.
- Change your sewing needles often.
- Visit the library. They have books you can use and decide if they are worthy of a purchase.
- Can’t figure out how to thread your machine? Visit the internet. Most sewing companies have videos on their website. And, there’s always You Tube if you need a visual lesson.
- When quilting and doing free-style fill (sewing through all the layers of the quilt to (1) hold them together and (2) to create a pattern) – have a glass of wine first. Trust me. I’ve made quilts before.