Sew Bookish!: My first ever sewing book

sew bookish graphic

Good morning! I had the idea a few weeks ago to host a series highlighting my favorite sewing books. The resources available for sewists–whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pro–are incredible. I’ve mentioned before that I failed to learn sewing while I lived with my parents. So when I decided that I wanted to give it a go, I had to find ways to teach myself. So my hope for this ongoing series is that I can introduce you all to some of my favorite sewing books and give you a chance to win one for yourself!

I expressed my interest in sewing in the fall of 2010 and had started following several sewing blogs for inspiration. One of the blogs I found was Whipstitch. It’s a delightful blog authored by Deborah Moebes, and I really connected with her friendly and inclusive approach to sewing. To my delight I learned that she had just released her first-ever book: Stitch by Stitch: Learning to Sew, One Project at a Time.


This was perfect! The more I read about this book the more I wanted it for myself. I was basically learning to sew from the ground up, and this book was tailored to me. That next Christmas, my husband bought me my first sewing machine, and thanks to some pointed hinting on my part,  my mother-in-law gave me Stitch by Stitch.


Deborah’s book is such a wonderful resource for new sewists. In fact, it’s this book that introduced me to the term sewist in the first place.

A “sewist” is a true craftsperson, an artist with fabric and thread, who creates something new and original and gorgeous.

I love this! Stitch by Stitch  really helped define my whole approach to sewing. The projects in this book are simple and well-taught. Deborah really helps you gain confidence in learning new skills and uses the projects in this book to build on each other. The first part of the book goes over the basic basics: the ins and outs of your sewing machine, how to understand fabric, and what tools you need to get started sewing in the first place. Then you get into the projects, and these projects are useful ones! I still use my cloth napkins with mitered corners I made from Stitch by Stitch, and I loved my eye pack until it met an unfortunate mildewy end not long ago.


With Stitch by Stitch  as my guide I learned how to follow a seam guide while stitching, navigate curves, make custom piping, make continuous bias tape, and how to install a zipper in the back of a pillow cover.

In the introduction, Deborah was straightforward about her mission: she wants you to love sewing. Really love it. And that desire shows in every single tutorial, explanation, and piece of encouragement in this book. Today I’m lucky enough to get to give away one copy to one of you! Deborah was enthusiastic about this giveaway and will be donating a copy of Stitch by Stitch to one lucky reader. I just love how friendly the sewing community is!


To enter, please leave a comment on this blog post telling me one sewing skill you’d like to learn. Then log your entry in the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post. That’s it! You have several ways to earn additional entries, including following The Creative Domestic and Whipstitch on Facebook and other social media platforms. Remember to log each entry with the Rafflecopter–otherwise it won’t count! The giveaway will run until August 1 at midnight. I hope you all are as excited as I am! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. Krista Lowe
    Posted July 24, 2014 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Yea!! I really want to learn to sew clothes!

    • Charlotte
      Posted July 27, 2014 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      Sewing clothes is definitely my favorite way to sew! #obviously

  2. Stacy Allen
    Posted July 24, 2014 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I would love to be able to sew actual adult looking clothes not just the P.J. pants you learn how to sew in middle school.

    • Charlotte
      Posted July 27, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      Stacy! This book goes over all the basics for interpreting patterns and putting together garments. I love being able to sew adult clothes–it’s so satisfying.

  3. Susan
    Posted July 24, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    I want to be able to sew clothes that I’m not embarrassed to wear.

    • Charlotte
      Posted July 27, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      OK, this seriously made me laugh so hard! I love this goal, and have a variation of it in my own aspiration bank.

  4. Jody Walunas
    Posted July 24, 2014 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I would like to know how to sew pillow covers!

    • Charlotte
      Posted July 27, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

      That’s such a fun project! And the best part is that it’s quick, so you can get quick gratification on your sewing!

  5. Posted July 25, 2014 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I know this is a great book. Though I don’t own it, I’ve looked through a friend’s copy. I used to do lots of apparel sewing when I was in high school and college, but very little for a long period. I’m just getting back into it, and this will be a great refresher on all of those tricks and techniques that I’ve completely forgotten!

    • Charlotte
      Posted July 27, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

      Agreed! My sewing skills are now beyond the basics, but I still find myself returning to Stitch by Stitch for a refresher sometimes.

  6. Emily
    Posted July 25, 2014 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Zippers. They just seem so intimidating.

    • Charlotte
      Posted July 27, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      It took me a few tries to feel confident with zippers, but once you get it down, it’s like riding a bike!

  7. Posted July 25, 2014 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to learn how to attach zipper pulls to by-the-yard zipper tape. That’s sewing-ey, right? 😀

    • Charlotte
      Posted July 27, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Permalink


  8. Marie
    Posted July 25, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    I want to learn how to do mitered corners and make continuous bias tape. This book looks like a perfect way to build a great sewing skill base!

    • Charlotte
      Posted July 27, 2014 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      This book will cover both of those skills! It’s really such a great reference.

  9. Jess Z
    Posted July 25, 2014 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    I would love to learn to embroider and make a proper men’s shirt collar with enclosed seams.

    • Charlotte
      Posted July 27, 2014 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      Oo, I like this one! I haven’t made any menswear yet, but Colette Patterns has a men’s shirt I’d like to try for my husband sometime. And while I haven’t done any embroidery on clothing, small embroidery projects are some of my favorites.

  10. Laura
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Zippers! I make historical clothes but I’m terified of making modern clothes because I can’t insert zippers!

    • Charlotte
      Posted July 27, 2014 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      Zippers take practice but once you get them down, you’ll be pumping them out in no time!

  11. Heidi K
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    I’d like to learn more about pattern drafting.

    • Charlotte
      Posted July 27, 2014 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      That is definitely something I’d like to learn as well. I’ve been researching drafting classes in my area and might ask for some for a birthday or Christmas!

  12. Posted July 26, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Improve my bias binding finishes and eventually welt pockets

    • Charlotte
      Posted July 27, 2014 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

      Welt pockets are ambitious! I have a project with welt pockets on my docket as well.

  13. Ashleigh
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Bias tape making is definitely something I need to learn!

    • Charlotte
      Posted July 27, 2014 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      I love having bias tape that’s customized to my projects. This is a great skill to have up your sleeve!

  14. Karrie Smith
    Posted July 27, 2014 at 2:50 am | Permalink


    • Charlotte
      Posted July 27, 2014 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      I think that once you can do zippers, you’ve opened a whole new area of sewing for yourself!

  15. Lisa
    Posted July 27, 2014 at 7:16 pm | Permalink


    • Charlotte
      Posted July 27, 2014 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

      Excellent skill! I’ve used a few resources (including asking my mother) to help me really get confident in zippers. I’m not scared of them anymore!

  16. Posted July 28, 2014 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    I’m always hoping to get better at fitting! I wish there was some kind of magic wand I could wave, but it does get better with each item I make 🙂

    • Charlotte
      Posted July 29, 2014 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      I agree! Fitting has always intimidated me, but the more I do it the more confident I get!

  17. BeccaD
    Posted July 29, 2014 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always been too shy to say that watching your sewing journey has inspired me to attempt my own—but I suppose now is a good time! I’m currently working through a practice Peony ( and my first zipper is daunting, but I’d also love to learn to work with jersey and other knits.

    • Charlotte
      Posted July 29, 2014 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      Becca! I love it that you’re sewing! I love the Peony dress. I haven’t made one of my own yet, but I’ve had my eye on the pattern for a while now. I’d recommend practicing the zipper on scrap fabric to get the hang of it before you try it on the dress–I’ve evaded much frustration that way!

  18. Athena
    Posted July 29, 2014 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to be better at sewing on knit… And what everyone else said – zippers 🙂

  19. Rachel
    Posted July 31, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    I am currently working on improving my skills sewing knit clothes for myself and my kids.

  20. Arianne
    Posted July 31, 2014 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Okay this looks like a fun book and much needed around here! I would love to learn to actually follow a pattern- they always confuse me.

    • Charlotte
      Posted August 6, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      I can totally walk you through reading a pattern! Let’s make that happen 🙂

  21. Jerusha
    Posted August 1, 2014 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Buttonholes! Some things I don’t make because buttonholes intimidate me. I’ve got a buttonhole attachment and special stitches on the machine and everything, but since straight lines and I don’t get along, I’m afraid of buttonholes. And knits. I’ve made a few fleece pieces, but I’ve yet to venture into thinner knits, the kinds that show mistakes.

    • Charlotte
      Posted August 6, 2014 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      The key with buttonholes is practicing on scrap fabric until you’re ready to make a go on your actual project!

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