Blog, Sewing for Beginners

Learn What Books to Buy to Learn Sewing a Dress

By Jessica Strohlson

Calling all fashionistas and crafty designers! Is your next big sewing project learning to sew a dress? Have you completely mastered the art of sewing machines and pattern making and want to expand your skills even further by creating your own unique dress?

Well, you are most certainly in the right place to help get you started on this new journey. So, what are the first steps in learning to sew your own dress? From pattern making to picking out the perfect fabric to finally getting down to business and sewing the garment together, there is a lot to learn when it comes to this particular sewing project.

However, do not let this steer you away. Sewing your own dress, whether it be for you, your mother, your partner, or even your dolls, is a fulfilling process and it is truly a joy watching the process come to life.

Now, without further ado, below is a list of our favorite books to guide you on this exciting new sewing project:

The Best Books to Buy When Learning to Sew a Dress

How to Design Your Own Dress Patterns: A primer in pattern making for women who like to sew

How to Design Your Own Dress Patterns: A primer in pattern making for women who like to sew
  • Hardcover Book
  • Margolis, Adele (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 290 Pages - 02/08/2019 (Publication Date) - Echo Point Books & Media (Publisher)

This particular book is known to be one of the most highly-rated sewing guides on amazon. For a small amount of $24.95 on amazon prime, you too can purchase this amazing and helpful guidebook. How to Design Your Own Dress Patterns is extremely thorough, meaning yes, there is a lot to get through, but it is definitely for your own benefit! This book is informative and tends to focus strictly on pattern manipulation, which is the first step needed in learning how to sew your very own dress. 

Who Should Buy This Sewing Book?

Though this book is well suited for beginners in the sewing world who are looking to learn how to create their very own dress patterns, it also requires a basic knowledge of pattern drafting. This book is designed for women who love to sew and want to expand their knowledge on creating dress patterns for their own unique style and designs.

The Good

  • As previously mentioned, this book is extremely thorough making it very helpful for beginners out there.
  • This book also offers practice exercises to make learning even easier with hands-on lessons.
  • Many users have stated that this is a high-quality book as it is extremely well written and gets down to the basics of pattern making.

The Bad

  • Although this should not necessarily be considered a “bad” quality, it is worth mentioning that this book is lengthy. This is due to the fact that it wants to be as helpful as possible, giving you all of the tools necessary to create your own unique dress pattern.
  • With that being said, this means there could be a chapter that gives you over five different options on how to create a pattern for your sleeve. However, this is only designed this way to help you in the long-run. Afterall, sewing is personal is it not?

Beginner’s Guide To Dress & Skirt Making With Sewing Machine: Step By Step Visual Illustrated Guide

Beginner's Guide To Dress & Skirt Making With Sewing Machine: Step By Step Visual Illustrated Guide
  • Morris, Catherine (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 132 Pages - 03/10/2018 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)

This book is written by a fellow dressmaker. The sole purpose of this book is to get down to the basics of how to sew your very own dress. This helpful guide will cover things such as common sewing terminology, how to thread a sewing machine, how to make various seams, the tools and equipment needed, and finally the different kinds of dresses you can make such as: sheath dresses, shift dresses, skirts, and more. You will also be learning how to incorporate different stitches and seams all while getting a quick tutorial on the basics of sewing, yes please!

Who Should Buy This Sewing Book?

Calling in all beginners! This book is specifically designed for those who have no prior experience when it comes to sewing, this is guaranteed by the author. This is also the perfect book for the beginners who require more visual steps rather than lengthy paragraphs with too many details.

The Good

  • This book is perfect for beginners.
  • The visual guide is easy to follow.
  • This is another book that is very thorough as it has plenty of helpful images as well as clear instructions on how to get started on your project, whether it be a dress or a skirt.
  • While this book is thorough, it is also a quick and easy read.

The Bad

  • The pictures and helpful illustrations in this book are in black and white, whereas if it were in color it has the potential to be even more helpful.
  • This guide is basic but still very informative.

The Dressmaking Book: A Simplified Guide For Beginners

Sale
The Dressmaking Book: A Simplified Guide for Beginners
  • Margolis, Adele (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 314 Pages - 02/08/2019 (Publication Date) - Echo Point Books & Media (Publisher)

This is another helpful, illustrated guide on dressmaking. The author of this book truly makes it a goal to cover all of the basics in order to give every dressmaker everything one needs to know. From sewing machine basics to the various hand stitching for those finer dressmaking techniques, this book covers it all while being thorough and easy to follow.

Who Should Buy This Sewing Book?

An amazing book for beginners! This book is specifically designed to target those who are new to sewing.

The Good

  • A short, simple and easy to read guide on dressmaking.
  • An extremely helpful book with helpful tips on basic sewing as well as alterations.
  • This is not a book you will outgrow as it has many useful instructions that you can always come back to when needed.

The Bad

  • The only “bad” quality this book has is the fact that the pictures are in black and white. This, however, does not alter the learning process in any way.

Make Your Own Dress Patterns

Sale
Make Your Own Dress Patterns: With over 1,000 how-to illustrations: A Primer in Patternmaking for Those Who Like to Sew (Dover Crafts: Clothing Design)
  • Margolis, Adele P. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 480 Pages - 10/06/2006 (Publication Date) - Dover Publications (Publisher)

When it comes to sewing, the first step is always understanding how to create the pattern for your unique design. This easy-to-follow book is specifically designed to help all fellow dressmakers alike understand the different techniques on dress pattern making as well as mastering the art of shaping your fabric. This book also offers helpful illustrations for all of us visual learners out there.

Who Should Buy This Sewing Book?

This book is made for anyone who wants to understand the art of pattern making. More specifically, this guidebook is targeted more so for the art of making dresses, blouses and skirts.

The Good

  • This book is extremely thorough and it is as though you are taking a semester class of fashion school – talk about a free course!
  • An easy-to-read book filled with different techniques.
  • This is known to be one of the best books on the market on pattern cutting.

The Bad

  • While this book is extremely helpful for beginners, it definitely helps if you have a small amount of pattern drafting experience as it would help you to better understand this book.
  • There are no photos.

Illustrated Guide to Advanced Dressmaking & Alteration

Another quick and easy read sitting at just 212 pages. This illustrated guide is designed to help dressmakers learn new skills on how to make dresses as well as learn to alter not only dresses but slacks, skirts and more. The best part is you do not have to have any previous knowledge or be a master in sewing to learn to buy this book. The topics covered in this book include: how to control fullness, darts and dart manipulation methods, how to make 6 types of sleeves, how to make different yokes, cuffs, waistbands and more. 

Who Should Buy This Sewing Book?

As previously mentioned, this is targeted for all dressmakers but more so beginners as it covers the inner workings of dressmaking as well as how to alter different types of garments.

The Good

  • This is a great resource for beginners.
  • A thorough, wonderful guide for those who are also simply looking to advance their skills.
  • Easy to follow instructions on example projects

The Bad

  • The photos and illustrations in this book are dark and not as easy to read.
  • Not a great book on advanced alterations.
  • Black and white photos.

Go Get Started On Sewing Your Dress!

Now that you have a lengthy list of helpful guides and tools to get you started on your dress, the next step is to determine what dress style best suits your unique personality, or that of the person for whom this dress is being created for. So, grab a few books, start making your patterns and design the dress of your dreams. As always, happy sewing!


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