The Sewing Book: Over 300 Step-by-Step Techniques Review

The Sewing Book is jam-packed with 300 techniques that will help beginners move into intermediate and advanced levels, or help intermediate users go into advanced levels of sewing. Even advanced seamstresses will be able to use this book as a reference for sewing.

But, contrary to the title, this hardcover book by Alison Smith provides readers with a lot more information than just techniques.

You’ll also find:

  • 10 stylish projects
  • Information on 100 tools
  • Information on 50 fabrics

So, it’s an information-filled book that is comprised of 400 impressive pages of instruction. Smith, a premier sewing school founder, has been offering courses in sewing for years. She’s well-known in the industry, and is known for her talks and contributions at Sewing World.

The Sewing Book includes:

  • Threads. A section on threads and how to choose the right thread for your project. You’ll learn which threads work best and all about stitch quality of a serger or sewing machine.
  • Learn from the pros which extras and accessories will help advance your sewing, making your projects easier in the process.
  • A section on all of the “bits” that sewers will need for their projects. Notions can include a lot of things, but they tend to include your fasteners, hooks, eyes, snaps, buttons, ribbons, elastics and other items that complete a sewing project.
  • Collars. The introduction of collars and how to create them is also an impressive feat. A lot of people get stuck when creating collars because they consist of multiple pieces and will need to be sewn properly to look and function Collars are covered in-depth so that you know how design and sew them properly.

And when you dive into the book, you’ll come across:


Over 70 pages dedicated to tools. The section starts off with sewing equipment and a list of sewing tools that can be purchased to make your life as a seamstress easier. You’ll learn about all of the basic and advanced tools that professionals are using to create projects faster and with more precision.

You’ll also come across a rich section all dedicated to fabrics.

The fabric section really helps the reader better understand the role fabrics play in a project and how to best use each type of fabric. The section ends with a lot of information on patterns and how to use them properly.

If you’re looking for an introduction into sewing, the first 70 pages of this book are some of the best in the industry.


A list of techniques is provided through nearly 300 pages of content starting with essential sewing techniques. It’s these techniques that will help a person really understand sewing on a deeper level.

You’ll also come across techniques for:

  • Darts
  • Gathers
  • Tucks
  • Pleats
  • Necklines
  • Facings
  • Collars
  • Sleeves
  • Hems
  • Edges
  • Pockets
  • Waistlines
  • Linings
  • Mending
  • Professionals
  • Interfacing
  • Fasteners

You’ll find techniques for every project in nearly 300 pages of instruction. This is by far the vastest section of the book, and the techniques will make you a much better seamstress.

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Project Patterns

The section on project patterns is a great addition because a lot of new seamstresses get stuck on patterns. If you’re not using patterns properly, you’re not going to be able to create projects that are professional in quality.

You’ll also find that there are projects splattered throughout the book.

When you dig into the book, you’ll find projects that include creating:

  • Oven mitts
  • Storage baskets
  • Totes
  • Dresses
  • Gowns
  • Skirts
  • Bags
  • Jackets
  • Cushions
  • Roman blinds

These are all projects that will work off of the information learned in previous pages to complete. When you use the techniques and information you learn in the book, you’ll be solidifying the information in your mind, making it stick.

The book uses heavy use of imagery to try and teach the reader.

Sometimes, the imagery may seem like too much without enough text accompanying it. And some readers prefer a book that makes heavier usage of text. What I found refreshing is that the book does provide a lot of imagery because I am a visual learned that needs only a little guidance through text to make it “stick.”

The step-by-step format also helps the information stick as a beginner.

It’s a lot of information, and while it may sometimes feel rushed, it’s also a great addition for any beginner. You’ll be able to learn how to sew from the baby steps to the advanced techniques that matter the most.

Perfect for beginners and even advanced readers that need an in-depth reference guide, The Sewing Book, is the book that all visual learners need to read.

For beginners, you’d be lucky to find a better book.

If you’re interested in an “encyclopedia” for seamstresses, this is the book for you. There’s even a full glossary that covers sewing terminology to teach everyone the lingo behind sewing. Click here to see some other great sewing books we recommend.

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