I Collect Sewing Books.


I have a confession to make: I buy sewing books and don’t read them.  Criminal, right?  I see reviews of them on blogs, stumble across them on Amazon, and I snatch them up thinking that they’ll help improve my sewing skills/solve my fitting issues/turn me into a fashion designer/whatever.  And then I open them up when they arrive, flip through them, and then file them away onto a shelf in my bookcase. For shame!  Claire Shaeffer will not be put in the corner!

Today that’s going to change.  I was giddy when I saw that Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing was on my doorstep when I came home from work.  I rushed in, opened it, and immediately became absorbed in all of the knowledge Gretchen shares in her book on vintage sewing (more on her book in a later post).  And then I thought: what other great information and tips are sitting on my bookshelf just waiting for me to read and discover?  It’s all right there, I just need to open them.

So I’m starting with two books at once:  High Fashion Sewing Secrets by Claire Shaeffer (love her!) and Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing by Gretchen Hirsch.  I’m going to read both of them, cover-to-cover, and share new tips and tricks each week from whatever sewing book I’m reading at the time.  That way, I get to power through my sewing library and learn all sorts of new stuff to apply to my sewing and share with you too, dear readers, tidbits that will hopefully be helpful for you as well.

Edit: for the sake of simplicity, I’m going to start with Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing by Gretchen Hirsch.  Two books at one time is going to be a bit much for me to power through with my limited reading time available.

How about some kind of Sewing Book Club?  Leave me a comment if you plan on joining me for a read-along on either book and share your thoughts of the book on your blog.  When I do my post on the book, towards the end of the month, I’ll include a link to your blog as well.  Sound fun?

Now if this works out, I need to try this with my knitting books as well…stay tuned!



  1. September 10, 2012 / 10:54 pm

    Oh, I have bought them, read them, and THEN put them in the corner!

    • September 10, 2012 / 11:10 pm

      You are more disciplined than I am!

  2. Anonymous
    September 10, 2012 / 11:34 pm

    Nice to find a kindred spirit. I too "collect" sewing books. I probably would put you to shame with the number of sewing books I've accumulated and have yet to read. I recently received the Gertie book also and would love a read-a-long! Thanks for the nice nudge!

  3. September 11, 2012 / 3:53 am

    I'm a book collector also. I do use them, but not as much as I need too. Just got Gertie's book and have already applied one technique from it. So I'll say that I will join in too. What's the criteria???

    • September 12, 2012 / 12:40 am

      Just read along! I'm going to do one post a week on something I've learned so far from the book we're reading. At the end of the month, I'll write a more comprehensive review and link to everyone else's blog posts on the book. Any other ideas on something I missed?

  4. Jenny
    September 11, 2012 / 6:17 am

    Me too! I keep buying them because I know they will be interesting and helpful… and never read them!
    I have resisted buying Gertie's book yet -as I am trying to impose budgetary restraint. Perhaps for Christmas. But when you get on to some of the others, I can join in the readalong – great idea!

    • September 12, 2012 / 12:41 am

      Jenny – I think the next one will be Claire Shaeffer's High Fashion Sewing Secrets

  5. Jenny
    September 11, 2012 / 6:18 am

    PS I even get excited when I see a pile of books like this – what haven't I bought yet that I can buy…. what's the Hollahan book like? Ha!

    • September 12, 2012 / 12:42 am

      It's pretty good! I've flipped through it but have yet to apply what I learned 😉

  6. Jenny
    September 16, 2012 / 2:19 pm

    Great – I have High Fashion Sewing Secrets. Look forward to reading your review of Gertie's book, and joining in the Claire Shaeffer readalong!

    While we're on the subject of sewing 🙂 I have really lost my sewing mojo… And lost confidence in my sewing. It's been a while and I feel all fingers and thumbs. Any suggestions? I think it's partly because I've put on weight and don't think fitted things are the way to go. Sigh. But I can't wait until I lose weight to sew again. Don't mean to take over your blog 🙂

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