Call me old fashioned, but I just love books. So here is a list of my favorite ones, that have helped me on my journey to a self-made wardrobe. I will add to this page as I discover new tools, so it’s worth bookmarking.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means I will earn a small commission if you make a purchase by going through my link (at no extra cost to you).
Refashioned: Cutting-Edge Clothing from Upcycled Materials – This book shows interesting and beautiful apparel and accessories made with recycled and upcycled textiles. Lots of ideas here to inspire you!
Alabama Studio Sewing + Design – Wonderful hand sewn garments with patterns for a skirt, dress, top and sun hat and many ideas how to embellish them, no need for a sewing machine here. Natalie Chanin has three more books, all of them are worth checking out.
Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns: Custom Fit + Style – This book comes with a CD that combines all the patterns from the three previous books plus three new ones. You can print out the patterns and tape the pages together or have them printed out at a professional printer.
Sew U: The Built by Wendy Guide to Making Your Own Wardrobe – This is a book I’ve been using for years. It has three basic patterns for a skirt, a shirt, and trousers. The pattern for the trousers is great, I have used it with light weight and heavier weight fabric and they fit perfectly every time., here is one example of a pair of trousers I made with this pattern.
Design-It-Yourself Clothes: Patternmaking Simplified – This book teaches you the basics of pattern making, very useful if you want to design your own clothing with the perfect fit. Although the clothes shown are not exactly my style, they only serve as an example. Once you understand the how-to of pattern drafting you can create your own designs.
Ottobre Design – This is a magazine dedicated to sewing for children. Each issue comes with over 40 patterns covering all age ranges from baby to teens. You can either subscribe to the four issues a year or buy single copies.
Elegant Stitches – This book is for the embroidery lovers, it shows a lot of stitches to choose from, I use it all the time.
Stamp Stencil Paint: Making Extraordinary Patterned Projects by Hand – This book offers easy-to-follow-instructions on hand printing techniques like stamping, stenciling, and painting. This is a very inspiring book with beautiful projects, photographs, layout, and drawings.
Fabric Printing at Home: Quick and Easy Fabric Design Using Fresh Produce and Found Objects – Includes Print Blocks, Textures, Stencils, Resists, and More – Many ideas here to create beautiful prints using things we have around us, very inspirational.
Pop Knitting – I like this book because it is different from the usual knitting books, full of fun ideas to inspire and colourful too!
200 Crochet Stitches: A Practical Guide with Actual-size Swatches, Charts and Step-by-step Instructions – As I don’t follow stitch patterns anymore, I just need books with lots of stitches so I can create my own patterns.
The complete guide to natural dyeing – Lots of techniques and recipes for dyeing fabrics, yarns, and fibres at home, I’ve been using it for years.
Eco-Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles – If you love experimenting, here is a treasure trove of ideas to create unique fabrics in an eco-friendly way.
Macrame Pattern Book – My new passion at the moment, I’m dreaming up sandal tops, will show you what I come up with, just need some practicing!
The Practical Spinner’s Guide – Wool – This is an essential resource book for spinners, all about different wool, preparing the wool and the spinning process itself written by a shepherdess.
The Practical Spinner’s Guide – Rare Luxury Fibers – That is so exciting, there is more than wool to spin and try out, love all these fibers and the endless possibilities to create yarn.
Spin Art: Mastering the Craft of Spinning Textured Yarn – This book shows you how to create beautiful yarns combining traditional and modern techniques, comes with a DVD!
How to make unique leather sandals – Well this is my book, everything you need to know about making sandals with step-by-step instructions and lots of photos!
The Art of Hand Sewing Leather – A gem of a book from the ’70s describing many stitches which can give leather craft projects that extra sparkle.
Inspire children to make things
How to Make Jewellery Charms From Polymer Clay – This book is great for making jewellery with children, both of my children (12 and 5 years old) had days of fun creating the projects.
Felt Wee Folk – Enchanting Projects and Felt-Wee-Folk – New Adventures – These books have inspired many doll making sessions in our house. When my daughter was younger I made the dolls for her, now that she is older she makes them herself, what more could I wish for?
Making Things – A Handbook of Creative Discovery –one of our favourite crafting books, love the illustrations as well!