Restart for Fall: Learn a New Skill with Help from Your Library!

Restart for fall by Shannon LirondelleWelcome Fall! Days of sweater weather, spiced lattes and watching the leaves turn color. I look forward to the reorganization of fall, a tightening up of the willy-nilly threads of summer. But what to do now? You could binge watch Netflix or clean and organize your home. Nope, been there done that. Instead, why not begin fall with a creative process? One that is new to you or maybe something to pick up again. Sourdough bread, anyone? 

Learning how to sew has been on my list of things to do for a while now. I have played around with hemming and mending and I have made a placemat or two, but I have yet to make an article of clothing. I want to make clothing that I would actually wear in public. I am going to try it out and see how it works. I have a few tools that will help me, like a sewing machine, and I have invested in new scissors, but I am lacking the most important thing – know how.  I am a beginner. I repeat, I am a beginner. 

This is where my library comes in handy! There are so many books that I could choose, ranging from beginner to advanced. And they are not the stodgy ones from the 70s either!  Some books have great tutorials on basics with bonus CDs and others have high fashion flare for the serious seamstress. Some books have free patterns in them, too. I tested these books so you can see which would apply best to your current sewing status.

And if you don’t want to sew there is a lovely fiction suggestion at the end to help you still feel part of my sewing community!

How to Use A Sewing Machine

This one is helping me understand what all those neat-o functions are and what it can actually do. I am looking forward to using my machine more efficiently.

Sewing Love

I love this book.  Makes me believe I really can do this and the author has a great story to share. Pictures are great and the feel is cozy and optimistic.

Sew Caroline, Weekend Style

Easy sew patterns for those that want comfy basics, includes a bonus CD tutorial. Also has great infographics.

Print, Pattern, Sew

Instructions for making your own printed fabrics and 7 full patterns- including a cross body bag. Not super instructional for the beginner, but has lots of information related to sewing. I have learned a few basics from the text.


We carry the current copy and the entire last year of this sewing magazine. Checked out just like a book for three weeks you can stay on top of the sewing trends. 

P.S. There’s one for quilters too!

Sewing your Perfect Capsule Wardrobe

This book has lots of good info. It is a step up from the beginner basics that I need. I was a little overwhelmed by it, but I would keep it on my to-be-read list. 

Twinkle Sews

High fashion sew alongs. Interesting pieces if you are a more advanced sewer.

Ahead of the Curve

5 full size patterns within, and heaps of body positivity! I highly recommend this one.

Breaking the Pattern

Another higher fashion one, but great offering of a choose your own adventure in sewing. Options to create a secondary version based on preference. 

The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle

This adorable fiction selection is on this list as a balm. When we get tired of sewing, we might find comfort in the community that sewing can offer. Any sewing fan will enjoy this selection. Jennifer Ryan has a knack of bringing you into the book, so you are a part of it, like a family. 

To view my full list of book recommendations, click here! >>, opens a new window

I hope these sewing selections will inspire you to sew something new this fall. And feel free to leave your comments about this and, if you are sewing along with me, photos of your progress. I would love to hear your stories! I will share updates on mine.

— Shannon