Well, I’ve done it.

I’ve gone and bought the first Christmas gift, and now it starts.

Every year I say I won’t start until September, and I usually don’t, which is good because I usually don’t stop until mid December.  I love figuring out gifts for my guys and enjoy the challenge. (And it IS a challenge buying for three grown guys, let me tell you.)

The most painful part of Christmas gifts for me is that hubby does NOT think that way.

Nope, not one little bit.

Sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving I start dropping hints at least twice weekly.  You know, we’re out shopping and I say something like, “Ooooo, I LOVE the color of that sweater.” [holding up up to self’] “Hmmmm, I think a medium would fit me, don’t you? ” [Admiring in the mirror.] “Oh and look, it’s on sale until Saturday.”

Hubby [looking away bored] “Uh-huh.”

Or we’re watching an ad on TV and I say, “Hey wow, that’s an interesting product.  I’ll bet I could use that.  A red one would go really well in our kitchen, doncha think?” [Writing down name and model number on notepad.]

Hubby [clicking remote to find the football game] “Uh-huh.”


Hubby [strolling though my craft room] “Watcha doin’?”

Me – “I’m working with these great markers (inks, paints, stamps, whatever.) Aren’t they cool?” [Waving one, label side UP, at him.]  ” I like them but I only have them in two colors.  It’s a shame I don’t have them in MORE colors.  PURPLE would be good, for example.”

Hubby [blank stare into space] “Uh-huh.”

Fast forward to December 23rd.

Hubby – “What do you want for Christmas?”

Me- “What?”

Hubby – “You haven’t told me anything you want for Christmas.”

Me – “I don’t want to have to tell you.  I like surprises.”

Hubby  – “Well, I don’t have any idea.”

Me – “Whaddya mean, you don’t have any idea?  I’ve been dropping hints for months!”

Hubby – “No, you haven’t. I haven’t heard any hints.”

Me – “Well, then, what’s this?” [Waving notepad with name, model and  1-800 number.]

Hubby – “Oh. How was I supposed to know you wanted that?”

Me – [sighing] “Weren’t you listening at all?”

Hubby – “I still don’t know what to get you.”

Me – “Nothing.  I don’t need anything.”

Hubby – “Ok fine.” [Meaning it.]  “I won’t get you anything.”

Me – [sigh] “I’ll make a list.”

So, in the interest of saving someone else this aggravation here is a list of the most helpful sewing books I know of to add to your library.  Or ask someone else to add to your library. 🙂

Favorite Sewing Book #1

Vogue Sewing, Revised and Updated

This book is an amazing reference of information and techniques, some basic, some more complicated.

What I love most about this book is that they explain WHY you should do something a certain way and when to use one variation over another.  For example, under bound buttonholes there are six different types, with an explanation of why and when you’d use each one.

In the fitting sections they explain  not only how a good fit should look in each garment piece, but what corrections to make to achieve good results.

Every technique has clear and well-drawn illustrations. I’ve yet to look up something in this book and not find it.

I highly recommend it for every sewer, from the beginner on up to the advanced.

Favorite Sewing Book #2

Power Sewing Step-By-Step

Sandra’s book walks you through the ins and outs of using patterns. How to change them, how to improve fit and fixing common problems, like “Armhole Gaposis Fix,” or “A Better Pattern Lining.” These tweaks make a huge difference in to final appearance of your garments. She understands how fabric flows over a body and how to use that knowledge to get the best results.

Favorite Sewing Book #3

Fabric Savvy: The Essential Guide for Every Sewer

Even if you’re already familiar with the different types of fabrics and their properties, you will find this book useful.

Under each fabric type Sandra lists important information like how to mark, cut and interface it, what kinds of seam finishes to use, as well as which sewing machine needles, presser feet and threads will work best.

Fabric Savvy is full of tips and tricks that will make your fabric handling much more successful.

Favorite Sewing Book #4

The Busy Woman’s Fitting Book

Nancy’s Zeiman’s pivot-and-slide fitting technique is quick & easy, but certainly not the only way to make fitting adjustments.  However, like I said, it’s quick and easy.  If you are new to making pattern adjustments, it’s a good place to start.

This little book is full of clear illustrations that will help you to make the changes to your patterns so you have a better fit.

Favorite Sewing Book #5

More polarfleece pizzazz

This book is chock full of great polar fleece projects. Ruthann knows how to make the best use of polar fleece’s properties (like the fact that it doesn’t fray, no fancy seam finishes here!) and gives great ideas for variations and embellishments.

Looking through the table of contents, I’d say I’ve made at least half the patterns in there.  A family favorite are the One Piece Polarsox, which can be whipped up in under 30 minutes.  One Christmas all my nieces and nephews got the funky hats (like the Mohawk and the Goat Roper hats) and they absolutely loved ’em.

If you have lots of gifts to make, or just need warm cozy items to wear, you’ll have fun sewing up the projects in this book.

Quilting, Polymer Clay and Jewelry Making Favorites Coming Soon

So there are my top five favorite sewing books. Feel free to send friends and loved ones to this post if they are in need of gift ideas.

If your crafty interests lie elsewhere stay tuned, as I’ll be sharing my favorite quilting, polymer claying and jewelry making books in upcoming posts.

Happy creating!

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1 thought on “My Top 5 Most Helpful Sewing Books

  1. Hahahaha! Men share at least one universal characteristic, don’t they? That’s funny.

    Wow, your knowledge of fabrics and sewing is pretty comprehensive. I will keep this list in mind. Happy Christmas shopping!

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