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A Sewing Books Shortlist

Celebrate World Book Day by being That Adult in a Young Maker's Life

Believe it or not, my educational background is not in sewing. Who could have guessed that, other than my partner who wipes his beard with a poorly sewn-by-hand napkin every night for dinner?

My educational background is actually in libraries, children's libraries, to be exact, and I'm far better at hosting storytimes than I am at sewing demos. But today is World Book Day and allows me to spread information about two things I'm really passionate about: children's books and making things by hand.

The mission of World Book Day is to spread awareness about the impact reading has on children's lives. Whether a child reads for pleasure or not is the biggest indicator of their success--more than home life, economic standing, or their parents' educational background.

Reading for pleasure is reading anything that isn't required for school or work. Reading for pleasure is not only fiction. It's also the things we read to learn something new--my monthly subscription to Bon Appetite and the bad books that I read to make me a better writer.

Anytime a kid reads anything for pleasure, it matters. (If you want to have a conversation about all kids books being important, even Captain Underpants, please give me a call.) Why not be That Adult in their lives that provides them with a valuable skill as well as encourages reading for pleasure? If you want to be That Adult, here is a short reading list of books I recommend:

Kids (6-9):

  1. See and Sew: No sewing machine? No idea if the child in your life is interested in sewing? Are you the Auntie like me whose gifts reflect myself more than the receiver? The most beginner-oriented of the books, this book does not require a machine or any skills. With how tos of basic stitching and general overview about sewing, this might be The Book that gets the child in your life interested in sewing.

  2. Sewing for Kids: This is the midpoint. You know the child in your life might like sewing or does like sewing or has at least some inclination to crafts. Maybe you're just tired of stepping on beads or finding stains from other crafts. This books is a mix of hand and machine sewing and is a great option for gauging their interest about sewing

  3. My First Sewing Machine: Stepping up the game a little, this is for a child who has access to a sewing machine. Told from the angle of fashion, this book is a great choice for kids who might be on the frontlines of changing the way we look at fast fashion.

Tweens (10-12):

  1. A Kid's Guide to Sewing: written by the daughter of modern quilters Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr, 11-year old Sophie writes to her peers. Along with helping tweens to navigate the sewing machine, this book also brings in the thought process about choosing fabric and provides more advanced projects as the young sewer grows.

  2. OOTD: Also written by a young fashion designer, Outfit of Today approaches sewing from the angle of fashion. The book plays with fashion, showing that fabric is a repurpose-able material over and over again!

Teens (13+, or 24-year olds who struggle, like myself!):

  1. Sew Chic: With wide range of projects, Sew Chic is perfect for the "sewing maven or an aspiring novice!" With ideas for customization, readers will have the confidence to truly design their own style!

  2. The Nani Iro Sewing Studio: This is such a beautiful book. A little advanced for beginners, this book shows the Modern Maker how to make their own clothing--from blouses to jumpsuits.

Gifting a book to the child in your life is an incredibly valuable present. By gifting a book, you are making a difference in their life, providing them with knowledge, and setting them up for success. I think that's something we can all get behind.

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