5 Helpful & Inspiring Sewing Books

If you’re crazy about buying sewing patterns then you’ll love learning with these inspiring and helpful sewing books. Here are some of the most adorable books which have really shaped me on my sewing journey.

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1. Vogue Sewing

Vogue Sewing is the perfect book for beginner sewers and also an incredible guide for the more advanced. It guides you through the basics of pattern tracing, adjustments, cutting fabric, sewing techniques, machine advice, shaping, finishing and much more. Even after years of sewing I always find this book useful and am continually learning something new.

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2. The Burdastyle Sewing Handbook

I love the BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook because it starts with advice on sewing tips and techniques and then guides you on how to cut out their patterns. This is perfect because it also comes with five basic patterns including a top, a skirt, a dress, a coat and a bag with instructions on how to create them in a few different variations. Such an inspiring way to indicate just how creative you can be when you start playing with fabrics, notions and altering the patterns slightly to give it a different look and style each time.

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3. The Colette Sewing Handbook

The Colette Sewing Handbook is another beautiful book guiding you through some of the fundamentals of sewing, plus useful cutting, fabric and sewing techniques. It also includes five patterns including the Meringue skirt, Pastille dress, Truffle dress, Taffy blouse Licorice dress, all with step-by-step instructions and information on how to alter them to make the perfect fit!

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4. Couture Sewing Techniques

Couture Sewing Techniques takes a deep dive into the art of sewing and how to master a number of techniques to make your garments look couture and professionally finished. I’d definitely recommend this book for those wanting to advance your skills with some simple and effective methods from stitching, facings, closures, sleeves, fitting, pockets and much more.

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5. The Dressmaker’s Technique Bible

The Dressmaker’s Technique Bible truly is a bible for everything dressmaking and sewing. This would be the perfect book for beginner sewers and something you can revert back to at any time throughout your sewing journey. It has definitions of a huge range of sewing techniques including picture diagrams on the best method of mastering these techniques. Plus, it’s also a great size to take with you to sewing lessons or to fit in your bag or next to your machine.

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Books I want to buy

I’ve absolutely loved collecting these beautiful sewing books that you can refer back to at any time throughout your journey. Plus, here are a few books that I’ve been spying on and would love to buy next.

If you’re unsure if any of these sewing books are for right fit for you, then why not check out your local library first. Otherwise, I always find Book Depository quite amazing on price and delivery.

  1. Love at First Stitch – Tilly Walnes
  2. The Beginners Guide to Dressmaking – Wendy Ward
  3. Gertie”s New Book for Better Sewing – Gretchen Hirsch

What’s your favourite sewing books? I’d love to know!

Erin xx

Vogue 1236 Work Dress

Hello corporate world! This week I created two new garments to add to my work wardrobe. This little black and white combo is super comfy and perfect for any corporate office. You could even dress it with a large waist belt.

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My work is in Brisbane city and is VERY corporate but I seriously love it. Despite them moving our teams up and down the floors every few months, it’s a really cool place to work. They hold some crazy events and last week they gave away free gelato in the foyer. Next fortnight they are having a puppies and piccolo coffee day! Every time an email comes around we all Skype each other, “PUPPIES & PICCOLO!!!”

So yes, being in a fun, corporate office means that I love to dress up and get involved with work events and just enjoy being around some of the most amazing, talented and friendly people.

Dress

This is an older DKNY pattern that is no longer in print. I’ve had this pattern from when I first started sewing back around 2012. It a very simple dress and one that would be perfect for beginner sewers. I love that it had these really big deep pockets, had a slip over baggy-style dress which you can dress up with a large waist belt.

1236

Description: Loose fitting pull-on sleeveless dress with waist tie and top front pleats.
Pattern: Vogue 1236
Material: Lightweight Linen

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Shirt

This BurdaStyle shirt is one of my favs to create. I’ve already made it a million times which you can see in my first BurdaStyle button up shirt and the second Checked button up shirt post.

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Description: This chic button up blouse can be made short or long enough to be worn as a tunic with leggings. It features dramatic cuffs and darts for a flattering silhouette.
Pattern: BurdaStyle Button up Tunic
Material: Cotton Voile

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This dress can also be sewn in a number of different fabric types. Below I’ve used a light-weight linen but I’ve previously sewn it in a cotton sateen and it worked just as nice.

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Both outfits are really simple, easy to make and create the perfect work combo. I’ll definitely keep these patterns out to make a few more! Does anyone have any great work patterns that they love to use? I’ve actually worn my new Colette Macaron’s to work a few times now and LOVE them!

Happy Sewing!

Erin xx

Colette Macaron Dress

Hello to the gorgeous dresses in 2019! This year has been so amazing for me, I’m at a point where I’m so happy and content and really want to get back into doing more things that I love, and that includes sewing! I’m taking a step back from some of my side projects and focusing more on myself! So what better way to start by creating a brand new Colette Macaron dress… or two!

Description: This is a beautiful two-toned dress including front pockets a pleated skirt and small capped sleeves. Perfect for beginner sewers as Colette includes easy-to-follow instructions.
Pattern: Colette Macaron Dress
Material: Cotton sateen and cotton jersey

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This is one of my all-time favourite sewing patterns. When I decided to start making myself some new outfits this was at the top of my list. I cut out a size 2 in this pattern and it fit perfectly. I also omitted the band in the centre to bring up the skirt slightly higher on my waist.

The navy cotton sateen material is from Spotlight Australia and was even on sale for only $14 a meter, making this dress about $25. The white material is from an unwanted white t-shirt but you could use any jersey knit material for this comfy, casual look.

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I loved this casual/sweet version so much, I decided to replicate it in a different colour  which I also purchased from Spotlight. What can I say, I’m a sucker for floral material and isn’t that what every girl does? …buy’s pretty things in every possibly colour!

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I love this style of dress so much because you can wear it to work or even out with friends on a weekend.

And if you haven’t already noticed… it has front POCKETS!!! Probably one of my favourite pluses about being able to make your own clothes, adding pockets to everything (hehe).

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I can’t wait to show you what else I’ve been making! Slowly bringing out some of those oldie but goodie patterns that made me fall in love with sewing. Plus, if you’re looking to start sewing I highly recommend this pattern because Colette is fantastic for guiding you through the entire process.

Happy Sewing!!

Erin xx

Pug Embroidered Pencil Case

If you’re looking for some easy sewing patterns check out Craftsy. There are heaps of pencil cases available and some you can download for free.

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When it comes to embroidery designs I love Urban Threads because they do loads of cute characters, like this little pug design.

The final outcome looks so similar to those you would find in stores like Typo! Plus, it’s super easy to make and you only need the starting range embroidery machines to create this, which includes a 4″ x 4″ embroidery hoop.

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And because I like to create more than one project at a time, I’ve experimented with a few different types of fabrics and layouts.

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Here is a quilted example.

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Finally, since I also love my Brother ScanNCut I also created a “Pug Life” pencil case. So easy to set up and iron on!

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I hope you enjoy this quick project!
Erin XX

Blueprint Toys – Sew Desu Ne

I found this designer on Craftsy, which is now called BluePrint and unfortunately it’s super quite hard to find independent pattern designers like this Sew Desu Nu. So instead I’m recommending you to go straight to her blog – Choly Knight.

Designer – Sew Desu Ne

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She has the most gorgeous makes with a huge number of free patterns as well as the affordable patterns in her store. I’ve only made one of her toys but so far I’m really impressed. Her patterns are really well written with step-by-step picture diagrams, which is perfect for any beginner sewer. Plus, they’re absolutely adorable!!

Bat Plush Toy

This is an example of her Bat Plush Toy that I attempted and absolutely love!

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I’ve never really made toys before so I would consider myself a beginner in this field. The brown bat I accidentally put the ears on the wrong way but gosh, he’s still so cutie patoodie!

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If you have kids or friends you can create or give these to, I highly recommend going over to Choly Knight’s blog and checking these out.

Happy Sewing!
Erin xx

Summer Sewing Projects

It’s summer time in Australia, which means it’s time to start stitching up some of my favourite outfits, including dresses, shirts and skirts. I haven’t really made anything for myself for a while, despite sewing most weekends for freelance work.

Here are a few of my top picks to create this summer. Now I just have to make sure I have some nice fabric lined up ready to go!

Dresses

I love making dresses that are trendy for work and that you can also wear on weekends. Here are a few of my latest favourites.

770x967_bs_2017_07_116a_heft_largeBurdaStyle Asymmetric Dress

770x967_bs_2018_05_114a_heft_largeBurdaStyle Striped Sheath Dress

Summer Shirts

I’m loving off the shoulder shirts, which can be super casual but also easy to dress up for a night out.

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newlook-ruffle-blouse-pattern-6490-av1New Look 6490

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McCalls 7601

Work Shirts

I’m still dying to use the fabric that I got from my Bali trip, so I thought the shirt patterns below would be the perfect fit.

b6840_env_frontBurda Style 6840

1170x1470_bs_2017_05_110a_heft_largeBurdaStyle Bow Tank

Skirts & Shorts

High-waisted shorts and skirts are my absolute fav. I’ve got so many patterns in this style but it’s just a matter of finding some good quality fabrics to create them with.

111a-062015-b_largeBurdaStyle Paper Bag Waisted Shorts

770x967_bs_2018_12_117bb_heft_largeBurdaStyle Knee-Length Taran Skirt

770x967_bs_2017_10_109_heft_largeBurdaStyle Pleated Skirt

Happy Sewing!
Erin xx