what's on my crafty bookshelf

i am super excited for today's confident crafter post,
because you get to snoop inside my crafty bookshelf!

when you're learning a new crafty skill or looking for some fun new projects to do
it can be really nice to have a couple great craft reference books on hand.
here are a few of my go to favorite books for the crafts i love to do!

the heavy hitters:

The New Complete Guide to Sewing (Reader's Digest)
  - this was actually one of my textbooks in college, that just goes to show you how fantastic it is!
  if you want to learn how to sew clothes you definitely need this book!
  it shows you how to sew every single part of a garment in very clear illustrated pictures,
  from waistbands, to collars, to lining a suit jacket.
  i come back to this time and time again when i'm trying to remember tricky things
  like putting in a fly zipper or a certain kind of seam.
  definitely the most used book on my shelf!

Fitting and Pattern Alteration
  - another college textbook, but so stinking helpful if you want to learn how to sew clothes
  that actually fit you and your friends/family.
  it goes through every single possible fitting scenario,
  like sloping shoulders, a scoliosis back, or one leg longer than the other,
  and shows you how to alter your flat pattern and your garment to make it fit like it should.
  this book taught me so much, and has been really helpful to have to look back on
  when i'm sewing with a friend and forget how to alter a certain area.
  and it's so much more fun it is to wear something that you made that actually fits right!

Patternmaking for Fashion Design
  - last of my textbooks, this is a fabulous resource for learning pattern making.
  pattern making is by far my favorite part of clothes sewing, so i just adore this book.
  it shows you step by step how to create any little fashion detail you could imagine!
  i love having it on hand to be able to look back on
  when i need a little inspiration or help drafting a tricky pattern.

the basics

Sew U: The Built by Wendy Guide to Making Your Own Wardrobe
- this is a great beginner's book for learning how to sew clothes that are cute and contemporary.
i got it just because i really liked the standard patterns it came with!
she shows you how to make a basic (and super cute) skirt, shirt, and pants,
and also goes through and shows how you can put slight variations on the included patterns.
great book for learning how to sew if you don't like reading textbooks (like me the super nerd ;])

Design-It-Yourself Clothes: Patternmaking Simplified
- this is also a great beginner's, non-text book, reference book,
and the clothes she shows how to draft patterns for are so so cute.
she teaches the very basics of drafting a pattern from scratch using your measurements
and then altering it to create shirts, jackets, dresses, skirts, and pants.
i also just love the clean styling of this book.

Fabrics A-to-Z: The Essential Guide to Choosing and Using Fabric for Sewing
- this is a fairly new to me book, but i just adore it!
it tells you about the unique properties, ways to use,
and how to clean with a great close up picture of just about every type of fabric you can think of!
i also love that it's a super cute smaller size and styled so clean and beautifully.
i can tell this book is going to be very very handy when i'm out fabric shopping.

the crafty books

Klutz Knitting Book Kit
- yes, i learned how to knit from a klutz book!
i just loved klutz books and kits when i was a kid, and this one is so awesome i still have it on my bookshelf.
it teaches only the most basic knitting stitches and know how,
casting on, knitting, purling, and casting off,
but it has gotten me through so many knitting projects!
and it comes with yarn and cute knitting needles, doesn't get much better than that, haha!

Mary Thomas's Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches
- i'm a little sad i haven't used this book more
because there is so much good stuff in it!
pretty much every embroidery stitch you could think of, with nice and clear directions on how to stitch it.
i don't embroider too often, but when i want to add a pretty stitch here or there, this is where i refresh my memory.

Printing by Hand: A Modern Guide to Printing with Handmade Stamps, Stencils, and Silk Screens
- this is such a great intro to printing book!
it covers all of the basic ways of hand printing from home,
like using stamps, stencils, and screen printing,
and has some really gorgeous designs and pictures.
any time i do a printing project, i double check this book first.

can you believe that's only my list of favorites?!
there are just so many good craft reference books out there,
i wish i had more space for them all!

so tell me, my crafty friends, 
what are your absolute favorite craft books?
which books do i need to add to my shelf? 
(but don't tell my husband i asked... haha!)


  1. I have Printing by Hand, too, and I love it :)

    You can never go wrong with Martha Stewart. I have her Encyclopedia of Crafts and the Encyclopedia of Sewing & Fabric Crafts. I've made more things from the Craft one, but both are well-designed, easy to follow, and are full of beautiful photography.

    I really want to get Sewing in A Straight Line by Brett Bara. It made the blog rounds last summer and looks like such a great resource for beginner sewers like me (or maybe as a fun project book for more advanced folk!)

  2. Not very exciting I know, but my favourite book would be my Singer Complete Photo Guide to Sewing. The pictures look dated, but it has every technique in it and I'm always pulling it out! I also have this book from the 70s full of macrame, crochet, batik dying...lots of cool stuff!

  3. I have most of those books, I feel cool! Something I just recently discovered is Ottobre Magazine. It's like maybe $50 or something for a year's subscription (kinda pricey), but SOO worth it. The patterns are unbeatable! They're modern and cute and super functional. You do have to be pretty familiar with sewing construction as there aren't any diagrams, just detailed descriptions, but seriously. A year will give you EVERY pattern for baby to 12 years old you'll ever need. Love! PS I love this series, and your blog!


Post a Comment

thanks for stopping by :]

i love replying to comments, either here or by email.
so be sure to check back if you have a question!