Fabulous Fashion & Needlecraft Books

Breaking the Pattern by Saara Huhta and Laura Huhta
paperback, $31.50

Create a complete capsule wardrobe that’s sew Scandinavian with this book from independent Finnish studio Named. I haven’t made any of these clothes yet, but I love their clean, sleek, minimal lines. Each garment includes variations. Sew one for every occasion or season!

The Palmer Pletsch Complete Guide to Fitting: Sew Great Clothes for Every Body, Fit Any Fashion Pattern by Pati Palmer and Marta Alto
paperback, $31.46

Sewing your own clothes changes the way you think about your body– you make the garment to fit you, rather than struggling to fit the garment. But not every pattern is made for every body. Maybe one of your shoulders is higher than the other. Maybe you’ve never worn a dress without getting that weird pool of fabric above your rump. You have solutions!

I’ve referenced this fitting guide several times. It teaches you what good fit looks like and it makes adjustments easy to understand. It’s invaluable for understanding how a two-dimensional piece of fabric becomes a three-dimensional garment.

Tiny Stitches: Buttons, Badges, and Brooches to Embroider by Irem Yazici
paperback, $17.96

Have you ever admired fiber artist Irem Yazici’s tiny needlecrafts? Learn techniques for making buttons, pendants, patches, and pins in her lush, illustrative style. These crafts look just like little paintings, and they remind me of miniature “lover’s eyes” (the Georgian watercolors on ivory that were set in broaches or rings).

Tilly and the Buttons: Stretch! Make Yourself Comfortable Sewing with Knit Fabrics by Tilly Walnes
paperback, $19.99

Knit fabrics are supposed to be scary if you don’t have a serger. Who wants to spend $300 just to make a t-shirt? But knits are comfy and adaptable– and if you look at the ready-to-wear clothes you own, there’s a good chance most them are made with knit. Don’t sacrifice your comfort. This is a great introductory guide to sewing with knits whether you’re using a serger, an overlock machine, or (like me) a straight stitch machine. The second thing I ever made was a knit jacket and I have Tilly’s tips to thank!

Mending Matters: Stitch, Patch, and Repair Your Favorite Denim & More by Katrina Rodabaugh
hardcover, $22.49

Once my dress got caught on the same book cart three times, I snapped my elastic waistband while shelving, and I tore a hole in my cashmere sweater all in the same working day. My natural clumsiness is at odds with my love for lush, expensive, sustainable fabrics and my desire to reduce waste. And you– well, once you’ve sewn your new wardrobe, you want to keep it looking good! These mending projects inspired by the crafts of boro, sashiko, and kantha will ensure a long life for your clothes and redefine your relationship with repair.

–Emily B