How To Start Sewing Book from Assembil

How To Start Sewing

A few years ago, Assembil set out to write and illustrate the ultimate sewing book.

The sort of book that is perfect for beginners, but that you keep next to your sewing machine for years as your skills grow.

Published in December 2016, How To Start Sewing is a very comprehensive sewing book filled with practical sewing exercises with matching patterns for all types of sewers. This book will help you understand the how and why of garment construction.

Total Beginner

Literally can’t sew on a button? It’s ok, you’ve come to the right place. What sewing machine should you buy? How do you buy fabric? Why do you keep breaking needles? Nothing is too simple to be covered in this book – we’ll hold your hand and talk you through all of it. You’ll be whipping up clothes in no time.

Home Sewers

For talented home sewists, How To Start Sewing explains familiar techniques, but with more technical detail than regular sewing books. You’ll gain a better understanding of the principles at work in garment construction and raise the standard of your own sewing.

Fashion Design Students

About to start a fashion design course? This book will teach you core sewing skills and show you how to use an industrial sewing machine. Learn to troubleshoot your way through professional techniques to achieve high-end, ready-to-wear results in your own collection.

Fashion Professionals

Got your own label? Already working professionally as a sewing machinist or pattern maker? Training junior staff members? With patterns to match each sewing technique you can easily create small reference samples to check that everyone in the sample room is on the same page to avoid costly mistakes.

A Sewing Course in a Book

Chapters are structured so you learn as you go, working your way through practical exercises.

Learn at your own pace as you work through the book, starting with the simplest of stitches and slowly building your confidence towards more complex techniques.

Learn to use Essential Equipment and Materials

Most sewing books list all the equipment right at the beginning, but you don’t really need to buy everything on day one to get started. So how do you know what tools are the most essential?

In How To Start Sewing there are equipment and materials lists spread throughout the book. So you can buy a few tools and try them out in a couple of exercises before you move on to the next stage.

Learn to use Sewing Machines and Overlockers

Just getting a machine fired up and working correctly can be a major obstacle for new sewers.

Let us talk you through the process of how to buy and set up a sewing machine. We also cover information on how to buy an industrial sewing machine and an overlocker.

We’ll also help you get the best possible stitch quality from your machines by explaining how to adjust all the settings to get the best results.

Includes a Library of Sample Patterns

You may have found it hard to learn sewing techniques in the past, especially if the instructions in the sewing book you had didn’t quite match up with the pattern you were using.

To solve this common problem, there is a library of small patterns in the back of the book. Trace off the patterns, and cut them out in fabric, and then you can easily follow along with the steps and diagrams in each exercise.

Or download the sample patterns to print your own copies.

Create Your Own Reference Samples

As you work your way through the book, trying out any techniques that interest you, you can slowly build up a library of reference samples.

This is just like how you would learn to sew as part of a fashion design course, building up skills in a modular way so that you can mix and match the techniques on your own designs.

This also lets you try out techniques in your own fabric before moving on to make full garments.

Versatile Garment Details

While many of the sewing skills shown in the book can also be applied to other projects, we have focused on the most common techniques used to construct high-quality clothing for womenswear and menswear.

Expect to find detailed explanations of methods for sewing seam finishes, zips and buttons alongside methods that are often left untouched by other books such as how to test and use fusing, or how to add lining around zippers.

Plan Your Own Projects

Once you enter the wonderful world of sewing, you will soon realise there is a seemingly never-ending list of skills to learn. But you don’t need to know many skills before you can start bringing them together to make garments.

In the last part of the book, we’ll show you how to pull together different combinations of details when working from your own patterns, or when working with commercial patterns, so that you can start to apply your new skills to full garments.

How To Start Sewing

Print Edition

630 pages of detailed black and white images and step-by-step instructions for versatile sewing techniques.

Designed to be the perfect starter book for beginner sewers, but still comprehensive enough to act as a thorough reference guide for fashion design students and more experienced sewers. Includes small patterns to match the sewing exercises.

Published December 2016.
ISBN-13: 978-1700478191
ISBN-10: 1700478192
£30 / $40 / €38


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How To Start Sewing

Kindle Edition

Everything to love about the sewing book How To Start Sewing, but in a more portable format. This edition can also be used on an iPad, iPhone, Android device or desktop computer using the Kindle app. See the Buying Options pages for more information. Patterns that complement this edition can be accessed on the Assembil blog.

£19.50 / $25.00 / €22.00


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How To Start Sewing

iPad Edition

The iPad edition of our sewing book How To Start Sewing is an ePub version, identical in content and format to the Kindle edition and can be opened using the Books app on your phone or computer. A free sample is available to download through Apple Books. Available for over 50 countries.

£19.99 / $24.99 / €21.99

Assembil Sewing Reference Folder with Sample Patterns and Gathering Sample

Teachers, Tutors and Sewing Instructors

How To Start Sewing has been designed to work as a teaching aid for students at different ability levels. In particular, it has been designed for use in fashion design courses at universities and colleges with an emphasis on skills needed to work in the garment industry.

However, the use of straightforward language and clear diagrams also make the book ideal for teaching sewers of all ages and abilities. You can use the patterns and exercises to structure lesson plans around your own projects.

Get in contact with us if you would like to request a review copy for your course. We can also help you organise discounts for bulk orders.


Wholesale Orders for Shops

Looking to stock How To Start Sewing in your bookstore or sewing shop? We can set you up with a wholesale discount to purchase bulk orders, so just get in contact below and we can help you out.


Dear Assembil,
Big huge congratulations to you for writing the most no nonsense straightforward sewing book I have ever read. It’s for everyone, beginners will become really good in months! Sewing instructors will love it! Experienced seamstresses will find neat crunchy bits and gain understanding! I strongly recommend it.

Carmen Bouchard
Winner of Cousu Main (the Great French Sewing Bee)

This book is like a sewing bible…. everything you need to know about sewing in a comprehensive manner with illustrations and exercises that help you easily assimilate countless techniques…

Lulia E
How To Start Sewing Paperback

This is an excellent book… I highly recommend this book to any level of sewer as the layout makes it an effective reference guide for learning and practising particular skills and techniques…

How To Start Sewing Paperback

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