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How to Start Sewing


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A few years ago, Assembil set out to write and illustrate the ultimate sewing book.

The sort of book that is perfect for beginners, but that you keep next to your sewing machine for years as your skills grow.

Published in December 2016, How To Start Sewing is a big, thick, and very comprehensive sewing book filled with practical sewing exercises for all types of sewers. This book will help you understand the how and why of garment construction.

A Sewing Course in a Book

Chapters are structured so you learn as you go, working your way through practical exercises.

Learn at your own pace as you work through the book, starting with the simplest of stitches and slowly building your confidence towards more complex techniques.

Learn to use Essential Equipment and Materials

Most sewing books list all the equipment right at the beginning, but you don’t really need to buy everything on day one to get started. So how do you know what tools are the most essential?

In How To Start Sewing there are equipment and materials lists spread throughout the book. So you can buy a few tools and try them out in a couple of exercises before you move on to the next stage.

Learn to use Sewing Machines and Overlockers

Just getting a machine fired up and working correctly can be a major obstacle for new sewers.

Let us talk you through the process of how to buy and set up a sewing machine. We also cover information on how to buy an industrial sewing machine and an overlocker.

We’ll also help you get the best possible stitch quality from your machines by explaining how to adjust all the settings to get the best results.

Includes a Library of Sample Patterns

You may have found it hard to learn sewing techniques in the past, especially if the instructions in the sewing book you had didn’t quite match up with the pattern you were using.

To solve this common problem, there is a library of small patterns in the back of the book. Trace off the patterns, and cut them out in fabric, and then you can easily follow along with the steps and diagrams in each exercise.

Create Your Own Reference Samples

As you work your way through the book, trying out any techniques that interest you, you can slowly build up a library of reference samples.

This is just like how you would learn to sew as part of a fashion design course, building up skills in a modular way so that you can mix and match the techniques on your own designs.

This also lets you try out techniques in your own fabric before moving on to make full garments.

Versatile Garment Details

While many of the sewing skills shown in the book can also be applied to other projects, we have focused on the most common techniques used to construct high-quality clothing for womenswear and menswear.

Expect to find detailed explanations of methods for sewing seam finishes, zips and buttons alongside methods that are often left untouched by other books such as how to test and use fusing, or how to add lining around zippers.

Plan Your Own Projects

Once you enter the wonderful world of sewing, you will soon realise there is a seemingly never-ending list of skills to learn. But you don’t need to know many skills before you can start bringing them together to make garments.

In the last part of the book, we’ll show you how to pull together different combinations of details when working from your own patterns, or when working with commercial patterns, so that you can start to apply your new skills to full garments.