It’s a beginners world

Type ‘beginners how to’ and millions of search results will appear. Try to search for something a little more advance and nothing… well, some stuff will appear but not related to what you want… That’s because most people (and companies) concentrate on providing information for the entry level of any market. Doesn’t matter what sector, catering for beginners always seems the most attractive point of entry or marketing strategy.

SEO and social media push “search-ability/ Pin-ability” so as many people get traffic by providing free information for a wider group.
Helps create a relationship with the user.
Beginners content is available… no need of an expert to just repackage into something.
Get’s the finance: the YES from directors, stakeholders! It’s risk averse people!

Don’t beginners go and develop and became improvers? they do but they don’t need attention, do they?– read it in a satirical voice 

With sewing this gap is too close to my heart.

I understand the financial implication of WHY makes sense to cater for the wide world… let’s be honest here… home sewing has been growing ( thanks to popularisation of TV shows and the increase of ‘coolness’ factor) but still a pretty small niche market.

And if we segment it by age, motivation, spare income etc…

Not everyone that get excited about the idea of sewing will actually became fanatic about it. Seems like so many of us because its easy to find each other but there are a bunch of people that see and act  about sewing differently.

When I get asked to review sewing products, books, patterns, magazines… there is a little bit of hope that I will be surprised by something more challenging. 

During my blog life I have been approached by different publishers about writing a sewing book. I get excited, start planing based on the scope agreed but after a few meetings It’s obvious that they don’t want a more advance book. I than say: Thank you so much for the opportunity.  And we part ways with a reminder that if they ever need someone that has a different point of view on what people want in a book, they could call me back! 

I’m not saying I’m an expert. So many people have been sewing a lot longer than me. I’m saying I got something else to bring to the conversation. I really applaud people that ventures on more advanced market.

In a way blogs have filled some part of the market desperate for something others that sewing for total beginners as much as they filled with ‘how to’ tutorials.

Could we run the risk of sewing blogs going to dark side and only write for the beginner sewist? Thankfully there are too many of us that think otherwise!  I honesty love real sewists info exchange!

Do you have a view on this subject? What would be your personal expectations?

Similar conversations: 
Karen’s review of Lauren’s book
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  • Yes! Please write that book 🙂 I don’t really buy sewing books anymore as they don’t have a lot in that I don’t have in another sewing book!

    • nothing in the horizon but who knows.. thanks for adding to the conversation. xx

    • You could self publish an e-book……. 😉

  • I’ve been sewing off and on since I was 8 years old. However, there are still techniques that I would classify myself as a beginner on. I do believe there is a definite gap in the market for advanced sewing books that contain projects and patterns to utilize those techniques covered in the book. I pass up many attractive sewing books because I have ZERO interest in making an apron, pillow case, table runner, tote bag, etc.

    • I agree. It is a waste of money to buy a book that don’t get your imagination running and turning challenging you to think outside the box. That’s what I base my book purchases on, I don’t want to make aprons!

    • Exactly… how to make the intermediate work better is missing. Loads of people can sew but lack refinement on finishing, or even confidence. Or the projects aren’t exciting enough .

  • I love this post. I think you’re completely right about most of the marketing being aimed towards beginners. Not that we don’t all have the capacity to be a beginner in some sense of the word, but what I’ve found after many years of sewing is that the things that can take me from intermediate to advanced are not necessarily things that can be bought. At this point, time and effort actually spent sewing is 9 times out of 10 going to make way more difference in my results than reading more instructions. The learning happens more organically, small tricks or techniques that make things more polished.
    Blogging is a great venue for intermediate level sewers to share those small tips and tricks as well as to show off those things they are making as they practice their skills. I’d love to see a move toward those kinds of blog tours and e-books.

  • I hear you! I was just searching for some techniques online for detailed pattern matching and all I could find is the. Basic stuff I already know. With the lack of info out there for more intermediate seamstresses on the interwebs I tend to do a lot of trial and error, or just doing things the long way.

    I could use a book targeted towards seamstresses like myself. If you ever get the book offer you want I most definitely will be buying it.

  • Yes, this. I follow you, lladybird, Ginger Makes, Sew Country Chick, etc. because your my level of sewing. I’m not going to learn anything from another potholder or elastic waist skirt

  • it is, isn’t it? And thats real dissapointing for me, since I am not a beginner. I am a menswear tailor by education.
    It was only few years ago that I felt my English was good enough to start reading sewing books. I searched high and low for books in my profession to teach me for something I already didn’t know.
    Sadly, there isn’t many, and at some point they all start to repeat eachother. It’s ok.
    I’ve found secret gardens on internet that have provided me with some new information.
    The same goes for dressmaking. I had no clue how to make a propper gown. I most likely still dont. And I wont waist over 100 bucks on a book that will walk me trough different types of gowns. I want plain simple tehniques!
    Most books have been a huge letdown and got returned to Amazon. I really feel for the person who has to handle all the returns.

    I wonder if there really is a subject in sewing that hasnt been allready covered in another book. Most seem to be built the same way – a blogger and his/her personal style, patterns and a walk-trough how to assamble those garments featured in the book.
    Publishing houses seem to use a formula – a blogger with a decent following + great/quirky personal style = a book that will sell.
    No one seems to be doing research (at the publishing house) on what type of books are missing from the market, what could add to a pool of good beginners books! Isnt it part of evolution to advance and grow?!?!
    I would welcome any book that would take a beginners hand and walk them smoothly to a next level of skills. Maybe a series. But then again, how many shift dress tutorials world needs? With a scalloped hem or not.

    My advice for you, if a books is something you would like to do, is to start writing it. But for the love of God, don’t start it with how a sewing machine works and how to wind a bobbin! Get a profecional to advise you. And then feed it to publishing houses. People who dont sew most likely do not know what this world has been missing so far!

  • I hear you Rachel! The problem is publishing houses need to sell and bloggers turned writers need to eat… Especially if they took a leap of faith and quit their previous job. So the publisher will approach a blogger with the book that will sell most and generally the blogger will be happy to take the deal. After all if a beginner book sells well it’s more money for them too! I would love a book on garment construction techniques, efficient assembling and so

  • Of the recent books that have been published I think “Complete Dressmaking Skills” by Lorna Knight is one that is useful for beginners and also goes beyond that stage for more intermediate sewing. It is published by Search Press at £14.99. I use my local library to have a look at sewing books, they have everything from beginner books to couture. Why not check out your library and if they have not got any sewing books then ask them why not.

    • You can go online and search the inter library loan system which includes university libraries and more. You can find almost anything. That is how I get many of my sewing reads. Its also how I get the newbie books for beginners. I like to read them and self review. Most are very lacking, in skill and substance.

    • thanks for the advice ladies xx

  • I totally agree! To be honest with you I’m a little tired of all the sewing books for beginners out there. I don’t say I’m an advanced sewer or anything, but I know how to sew straight, I know how to install a zipper and I know how to make an A line skirt. What’s next people? I feel that most sewing books out there, despite how lovely they are, only address these issues and nothing more. I would love a sewing book that has something more to give. And I think it would be awesome if you would write one. Your point of view is really interesting and I would be really interested in a book from you!

  • Hi Rachel, I totally agree with you. Every time I go to the sewing section of a bookshop the shelves are full of books for beginners on how to make a scarf or cushion cover – nothing is aimed at intermediate level. I’ve bought books on the internet which are better but it’s not the same because you can’t flick through them before you buy and I’d like to support bookshops. I think that publishers are very cautious about the amount of interest there is out there for sewing and would rather entice people who are new to sewing in with easy projects and pretty pictures. The truth is that people (even beginners) want something to aspire to so actually more complicated projects could be a marketing win. Also, a lot of the books are full of chintzy, cutesy vintagey projects which is fine if that’s your style, but I’d like to see more real fashion in sewing books.

    It’s not just books either, a lot of sewing workshops and courses are aimed at beginners too. I rely mostly on blogging and Craftsy for intermediate skills level tutorials. I think it would be amazing if you published a book Rachel, but until the publishing industry realises that there’s a serious market out there for intermediate sewing, it might be difficult to find a deal.

    • I think a lot of indie sewing patterns are teaching people how to sew beginners stuff better than beginner books too . Indeed, a huge lack of fashion forward but wearable projects missing.

  • Thank you for writing what I have been thinking for a long time. I am fed up seeing so many sewing courses for making a bag, a cushion, an A-line skirt, etc and so few courses for more advanced projects and techniques.

  • Rachel you have certainly hit a ‘HOT’ topic. I was the first to comment on Karen’s ‘Did You Make That’ blog and she had 42 hits all saying similar things.
    Have you considered self publishing? Why don’t you, Karen and Tilly get together and collaborate. You all have the brilliant writing skills as well as expert tips and tricks and an excellent way of explaining them that will give us intermediate sewists what we crave. From beginner to advanced couture is a MASSIVE gap but I do understand that each sewist may at that stage be going in a different direction or specialising. For me it’s designing and drafting clothes for me, others my be looking at shirts for men or wedding gowns etc. I want to master tailoring but it’s an area you can’t afford to make too many mistakes so getting help along the way is vital.
    Well done on your fantastic blog, I never miss it.

    • Yes, and thats how much I love discussion post because their inspire and different topics gets talk about differently … Oh, i don’t think self publishing its for me… but THANKs for the confidence and the love on the blog xx

  • I’m not sure I agree about there being a lack of more advanced sewing books out there, so I wonder if we mean different things by the term. The Pattern Magic books, things like David Coffin’s book on shirtmaking, Claire Shaeffer’s books on couture sewing techniques come to my mind. (Hope I spelt the names right!) Vogue Sewing has stuff like how to do bound buttonholes and all sorts of hems although it covers beginner things too.

    Would enjoy hearing your thoughts on what should go into your ideal advanced sewing book! Personally what I would like to see a book on is industrial construction. I’m curious about Kathleen Fasanella’s book but it’s not easily available.

    • I agree with you- I think that as techniques get more advanced, they get more specialized, so the books are more specialized.

      There’s a book on industrial construction coming this fall from Laurence King (I saw a preview of it somewhere). I’m interested to check it out since the price point is generally so reasonable for their books. There are industrial construction textbooks available (Professional Sewing Techniques for Designers is one I’ve seen used at FIT), but they’re very expensive, so it would be nice to have an alternative to that!

    • What I really meant is the bridge between those worlds. As mention, there isn’t anything really new but there is a way of sharing, a point of view. I will defiantly will be looking for those books you girls mention. thanks for adding to this topic. love xx

  • I think you are right! Sometimes beyond the “how to” (plenty of tutorials out there) there is the “why” that is important – the understanding of the priciple behind a process. The “why” is never discussed in a beginner’s book. I have been sewing for nine months now and I think all the progress I’ve made (and I’m pretty proud of) is due to me not sticking to the beginner’s books! I hope you get the book deal that is right for you and you get to write a book that is rewarding for you and that represents you … I know I would buy it!

  • I agree! I am aiming to make my own wedding dress and I would love a book that would explain some more advanced techniques and perhaps some projects along the way.

    I knit too and there doesn’t seem to be the same problem!

    Maybe take the plunge and self publish? Xxxx

    • I would suggest khalje’s bridal couture book and if you’re really stuck try reaching out to professional seamstresses in your area, even drapers from local theatre shops have a great knowledge base. Just don’t expect to find them online, pull out that phone book!

  • I don’t think there is a lack of advanced sewing books at all. David Coffin, Sandra Betzina, Pattern Magic Books, Threads Magazine just to list a few. There are also online resources as well by Craftsy people like Angela Wolf, Kenneth King, on and on……..

    • I agree with your comments for advanced resources but the gap appears to be the leap from basic / beginner towards more advanced techniques. The bit where you can master the basics but then need the inspiration to go beyond that. To discover design ideas and gain confidence on style and suitability, to push beyond the pattern envelope and to find an identity that works for you.

  • I have no idea how to judge skills or levels in sewing. If pressed, I guess I’d say I’m no longer a beginner. But I just signed up to take a sewing class and the intermediate level looked too easy/like things I already know. So I signed up to take the advanced class. But there’s no way I consider myself advanced.

    • I know that skill level is a personal measure, so worlds like dance, intermediate get muddle up… I think is really the bridge between what you know and things that get you excited to make and learn next

  • i wanted to increase page views a couple years ago so I wrote some tutorials for beginners and it worked. But it was hard and a little boring. Now I sew what is at my level and my page views have dropped . So true! But I agree that there are very advanced books. But publishers don’t consider most bloggers to be experts maybe because most don’t have professional experience.

    • Its so greta to see your blog at your level of sewing because you are fantastic

  • I think I agree with Catherine and Mary. There are definitely very advanced, couture level books and expertise online out there. But they aren’t very “pretty” and can perhaps seem intimidating. Perhaps this relates to a post that Beth from sunnygal studios did recently where she said there is a lack of challenging independent patterns out there. Maybe a book that combined challenging patterns with advanced techniques is what’s missing?

  • I also agree that publishers don’t want more advanced books simply because the market of folks who sew at our level is quite small. I took a class with Susan Khalje recently. While her book Bridal Couture is the best dressmaking book ever in my opinion , it’s out of print because it won’t sell. That is why we need to blog. Because the information will never be available in books. Unless those beginners stick with sewing.

    • I think they don’t sell because the people that buy books are fedd colourful, pretty beginners book and they look hard, and the are not project based…

  • Total agreement. The publishing company are just not interested, it’s the same with quilting too. Beginner books are where the money is- people buy the book who may never sew but like to have the book because its interesting and a statement of intention even if it is unrealised. Its the same with magazines- many sewing/quilting magazines are sold to those who enjoy the eye candy and inspiration but have maybe not the time/interest or inclination to make. Its all down to economics in the end. I look to other countries and other mediums- Craftsy has been very interesting, and I also buy older books and patterns from 70s and 80s which have more challenging designs/skills

  • As someone who works in publishing (and sits opposite an editor who receives sewing book proposals!) I think there are multiple issues. Yes, undoubtedly, entry level books written by youthful and charming and stylish bloggers, aimed at the beginner market, are very appealing indeed to publishers and understandably so in a really, REALLY tough book market. Even for those beginner-level books, I think there are only two or three publishers in the UK who really know how to produce them. I’m sure Tilly and Guthrie would tell you how incredibly intense the work is on a non-fiction illustrated title. I agree completely that the advanced level books are a) niche and b) don’t lend themselves to a prettified treatment. They’re likely to be published by niche publishers and, yes, go out of print because it’s probably hundreds – if that – of people seeking out these specialist topics. There has been a glut of beginner-level sewing books in the past 18 months and my personal opinion is that the market is saturated. So a canny publisher such as Quadrille must surely be looking at the market and seeking out a new USP. I really do think that a forward-thinking, innovative publisher could do something rather lovely for readers who just want a bit more to get stuck into! And finally on the self-publishing question: anyone can self publish a book. As long as they don’t mind minimal editing, design, marketing and publicity…

  • Thank you for this post. This is exactly what I commented on the coletterie discussion. I also made the experience in sewing classes. Everytime I asked for more advanced techniques I got raised eyebrows and answers like “this is too time-consuming” or “we do not teach this”. I really felt akward when I included some hand stitching….My resources for improving my skills are sewing Blogs and the online courses from craftsy and the books from Claire Shaeffer.

    • Keep picking projects that scary you and even if they don’t turn out great, you will learn loads

  • I just go for the couture books and fitting books. Everything else I’ve been able to fine easily online. Couture is harder, fitting hard, but not as much sad couture.

    I’m with Catherine asking what do you think should go into a more advanced book. I’ve been thinking about this for a while and I’m not sure about it.

    • I mentioned above, Not advanced in a way couture but a bridge between beginners to advance, project based book

  • I studied sewing at university as well as working in an archival sewing library and I can tell you there is almost nothing about advanced sewing that hasn’t already been written. The problem is they are a little rare to find and sometimes are difficult to follow because they are written as a textbook to accompany a class or use terminology that is unfamiliar. The best way to learn advanced sewing is to take a class. You will learn it faster and better because of the nature of sewing.

    • Indeed, and i never thought about reinventing the wheel but a bridge on projects based learning experience

  • Your spot on with this one! It seems like everyone is releasing a book (that’s not a bad thing) but it doesn’t bring anything new to the table! I also find that it jumps from one extreme to the other from beginner sewing then to couture with seemingly nothing in between it would be nice to see a new book released that isn’t beginner targeted.

  • Seems to me that the more advanced it becomes, the harder it is to know what to write about – beginners all pretty much start at the same beginning. In my business we offer Absolute Beginners Sewing, every month for a four week block, and it is usually full. The other classes specialise one a particular project that can be very advanced, and they are harder to fill. Not because of the lack of advanced sewers out there, but because people want to learn specific things at specific times. One person’s idea of an advanced book may not be another’s.
    Having said that, it would be neat to see a series of books about specific things – trousers maybe then jackets, working with chiffon and charmeuse etc etc. Mind you, isn’t that what blogs are about? 😉

    • Taunton Press has books that are more specific and they “get it”. They are publishers for the sewing public, not fiction readers. Check out the Threads website store to see what they offer. NAYY.

    • I think for classes, unless the project is an aspiration project you won’t get the middle ground students. I get so many beginners on my complicated classes aimed for intermediate that i turned that class into beginner friendly class … i get where you coming from Maryanne. Bunny, thanks for the tip

    • We do get lots of middle ground students, Rachael, some come over and over again -coming to class is their hobby! And many of our beginner graduates come to project classes too. At least we know what they know. By having one a month, which is generally full, we create a bit of a funnel for the rest. And it is nice to have a mix up of levels of experience. If you keep teaching beginners then eventually you will get a nice blend of your own graduates and others coming to the more complex classes. 🙂

  • Wonderful topic and one dear to my heart. I recently did a post on being a noob. I am a noob at jewelry making. It has given a new perspective to my opinion of the noob sewist. There is an enthusiasm, often unencumbered by the thought process, that belongs to noobs. I am going through this. I want to buy it all, try it all and get ANY book/info I can on the subject. Am I a member of the target market? You betcha! I get it.

    On the other hand I am a very experienced sewist and that vista has been watching the noob phenomena as it applies to sewing. I am thrilled the craft is getting renewed interest from a new generation. I have seen a couple of things reinforced over and over. That are lots of blogs and publishers that literally prey on newbie sewists. They market by appealing to ego, finishing fast, and
    copying so much of what has been done before. In all the blogosphere I can only think of one talented very young sewist/blogger who is bringing a new vision along with quality craftmanship to this art. The rest that I see is pretty much a fan club based on extremely simple, done before designs with no attention to fit. There is a bit of an explanation for this and please know that none of this is meant personally toward anyone. It is just my overview and opinion. The new breed of sewists are teaching each other and because of that there is no foundation of good sewing skills whether its fit or technique. And its a lot of you don’t know what you don’t know. Very, very few have the experience, education or even passion for teaching. But how would you know this? It’s sort of unless you read the fine print or your grandmother is handy to teach you, you don’t. It’s a real conundrum.

    That being said, it will cull out. These books and ill fitting designs can only last so long as those with the passion will find them lacking and will seek out stronger skills and better teachers as can be found on PR or Craftsy, thank heavens. So I am not worried. I give the current phenomenon five years most to cull out and shift and publishers and bloggers will either shift or fall by the wayside. Life is about growing and while we have all been starry eyed newbies, at some point we get a little more serious about our endeavors.

    Like you, I have been approached by publishers and did not like where there ideas were going. For now it’s not for me but that could definitely change given the right opportunity. It would take a lot of thought to decide.

    I want to thank you for your open conversation and really appreciate your thoughts. Lately on several blogs I have seen references to the “next step” in the sewing phenomenon currently occuring. People want more, more substance, more knowledge, more skills. Hopefully all involved will wake up to that evolution. Thanks, again, Rachel.

    • Bunny, thanks for joining and adding so much to this conversation xx

  • I totally agree. I have found a series of quilting books that are more advanced recently which is great. There are more beginners than improvers sadly as people lose interest and drop hobbies, so I guess that’s where the money is.

  • Sewing is a creative endeavor. Once you learn the basics you apply the knowledge you know and get a little creative with it. Think outside the box and apply what you already know to solve the problem. There is no guide for this. I’m not trying to put down your idea, but unless you have definite tried and true, classic techniques this is murky water.
    The problem with advanced sewing is the context. Sewers seem to be looking for that magic bullet that will solve a problem specific to their project. As an example: If you are looking for pattern matching you really are not going to find anything on this topic because it is completely subjective to your fabrication.
    I think the best way to learn is to follow others examples and improve upon them to make them your own. Rachel, your teaching and blogging is doing exactly this for others.
    I work in apparel mass production. I went to school for fashion, doing my time at a pretty prestigious location that should have given me the golden ticket for all apparel knowledge (LOL!), but really 90% of what I know is not from books or school, rather from my work exposure and doing things wrong and learning the hard way. Even what I know now can go completely out the window depending on the project and I have to go back to basics. “Advanced” is applying what you know to make something work.

  • Good conversation but I think there is nothing unusual about this business model whether it be sewing or some other interest area. You target all the free resources and pools of beginner information to attract a new market. Once the beginner is hooked then the money is to be made in selling the next level of information. It’s been a marketing model for many a successful businesses. I think there is plenty of good resources out there for the advances sewists, it’s just that they are no longer free because money needs to be made and I’ve got no problem paying money for good resource, whether that be for my sewing interest or my business. I do think there are snippets of advanced information out there, they just aren’t as prolific.

  • I ended up writing my own post on this because it’s something close to my heart too.
    http://tropicalthreads.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/what-is-intermediate-sewing-anyway/

  • I’m an on/off sewer, so I’d probably classify myself as a beginner. However, I’m a professional marketer with over seven years experience and I can say that your article touches on a common misconception about content marketing. Yes, there are more beginners than intermediately experienced hobbyists (for every hobby or profession), BUT the competition is also higher. The beginner market is saturated with content written for them. Also beginners have a shorter lifetime value than the folks who have likely already committed to doing this for the indefinite future. So a lot of writers, content marketers, and businesses would be better served by speaking to the passionate few. Less competition and a more engaged audience means you can charge a higher price and likely make just as much money as you could writing for beginners.

    • Agreed, a blue ocean strategy would be more profitable. The point of this is really to see perception of what’s available and open a discussion. Thanks for joining

  • I feel the exact same way. I love that bloggers are sharing their journey and I hope to continue to see this experience shared. However I have long since outgrown my beginner sewing & knitting books and I’ve stopped visiting the company blogs whose content and product is based on this beginner consumer. I now only purchase quality materials, tools and buy books that offer a unique insight/use for a specific subject.

  • I’m SOOOOOO GLAD you addressed this – I appreciate the fact that there are lots of great beginners’ resources, because obviously the more people who get into sewing, the better! But I’m definitely beyond that stage, so I really appreciate resources that target those of us who loved sewing enough to pursue it past that first stage 🙂

  • What a great conversation! Thanks for getting it started. I agree with your sentiments. I rarely buy a new sewing book anymore because it feels like the same few techniques/projects rehashed again and again. For me, blogs (like yours!) help fill the void.

  • Aqui no brasil tá onda do grande livro de costura de tal editora de tal marca de maquina de costura comprei dois o ultimo 92,00 reais para meu desespero nada me acrescentou, gostaria de um que falasse de acabamentos de detalhes e dicas como por exemplo como ajustar um bojo em um corpete coisas dos gênero outro dia em um blog vi uma costura dupla de um macacão de jeans que eu nem imaginava que poderia ser tão fácil. Então não comprarei mais livros a não ser que possa ver o conteúdo antes. Adorei a abordagem do assunto. Beijos

  • As a man who sews, I don’t have much use for a lot of the new books that have come out. Lots are showing the beginner techniques needed to turn a shapeless item that resembles a pillowcase into a dress. I’ve found it really hard to locate good tutorials on sewing things like shirt plackets, collars, notched lapels and fly front zips. These seem to be the skills I really need to perfect in order to make my homemade items look really nice and not too ‘Little House On the Prarie’ ! I’ve seen people on other sewing blogs recommend some out of print tailoring books. When I’ve googled these they run anywhere from £25-100. That’s ridiculous ! If people are willing to pay a decent sum for out of print text, surely some of the companies like Quadrafyle who produce quite a few craft books, should jump on board. There seems to be a huge push to get out all these beginning text by people who are immediate familiar through various television and other media outlets.

  • I wholeheartedly agree with you on this subject. In fact I just turned down a book deal because I don’t have an interest in adding yet another learn-to-sew book to the market. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy there are so many resources out there for beginners because I want people to fall in love with sewing, but then what about after that?! You’re kind of on your own to continue google-ing more advances tips and techniques. So many in-person classes are only for beginners as well. There definitely needs to be more sewing books (and classes) for intermediate to advanced sewers!

  • Oh, this is what I’ve been moaning about for ages! I was lucky enough to learn from my aunt who was an adult in WWII so her techniques were what we’d call vintage – she was obsessed with fit and finish, as am I. Have quite a collection of sewing books, Claire Schaeffer, 30s and 40s, old Reader’s Digest….

    I bought Colette’s and Tilly’s books because I liked the look of a couple of the patterns, and enjoyed reading through the beginner’s stuff – even if you think you’re won’t you always pick up something or other. As per books – Gertie’s first book included some interesting projects, and encouragement to creatively change patterns too – as does her second, even though it’s less advanced.

    I can highly recommend https://www.bookdepository.com/Vintage-Couture-Tailoring-Thomas-Von-Nordheim/9781847973733 – brilliant book with lots of great info in it all to do with creating a tailored jacket with all the proper techniques.

    Also, I just received Famous Frocks – the Little Black dress – lots of lovely designs definitely not aimed at beginners. Nothing to do with the other Famous Frocks that came out a few years ago and had limited sizes and no finished outfits in it. I recommend as being non-dumbed down sewing – very few instruction pages, and some lovely stuff.

    There’s a new indie designer – Capital Chic – making rather more advanced patterns too. Not my style per se, most of them, but very stylish.

    I really wish one of you would do an in-between book – I’d grab it:)