I love my sewing books. Love seeing them sat together on a shelf. (Oddly, in the kitchen!) They range between:
- Reference Guides
- Technique Bibles
- Brand Sewing – buying into a lifestyle with Liberty, Sew Over It, Tilly And The Buttons, DIY Couture
And, of course, there’s a lot of crossover in between. One book can be all three of the above. The books often come with added extras. Pattern packs, accompanying DVDs, ring bound spines, slip cases, expandable pockets. Buyers get a lot of bang for their book buck, especially if they take up a deeply discounted offer from an online website.
So, how often do I use these guys? To check a technique – sometimes. The New Complete Reader’s Digest Guide To Sewing remains my definitive technique bible. To sew projects from? Rarely – this dress being a joyous exception.
I can appreciate the massive undertaking that every single one of these books represents, but I still go automatically to my bulging pattern drawers when I’m looking for project inspiration. Why? Honestly, I’m not sure I entirely know. Variety of range? A more accessible package? Level of instructions? No need to trace from nested patterns? Greater access to online reviews? Brand familiarity? Or all of the above?
I’m not going to stop buying or cherishing sewing books. Heck, I also have a lot of cookery books, city guides and hardback novels on my shelves that I barely pick up. I still like having them there. I can’t imagine a home where there aren’t any books on display. Books are covetable objects that we like to stroke and gaze on. Use? Maybe less so. The big question is, if they still manage to inspire does it matter how often we pick them up?
Beginner Tip: support your local library by checking out reference materials if you’re unsure whether or not to invest in a book at the start of your sewing career.