How to start Sewing – book review

A while back I posted about sewing books and in particular some of the hidden gems you can find. One book I mentioned was “How to Start Sewing” by Assembil Books. I always promised to do a review…but never quite got round to it. Well the time has come but for another reason!

NOTE: I was kindly gifted a copy of the book in both formats but not in payment for this review. I am not in any way affiliated to the publisher or Assembil books and my review will be completely based on my own views and experience.

The Book

How to start sewing by Assembil books was first published in 2016 is a complete sewing course, for the beginner and a great reference book for more advanced sewers. So why am I writing a review about it in 2020? Well from 31st March 2020 the book is available as a Kindle version. Read to the end for your chance to win a free Kindle copy!

First of all I must mention that the book is massive! It realy is, with over 600 pages and 47 chapters of sewing; from the absolute basics to much more advanced skills. As mentioned above the book really is a complete sewing course. What sets the book apart for me is the lack of ‘twee’ photographs that we so often see in sewing books. No, this book features clear, annotated, drawings that make following a section simple.

The book also includes over 100 pattern pieces to help you practise the skills shown throughout the book.

Since receiving a copy a few years back I have used it for reference on many occasions and also used it when teaching others to sew. So is it a good book? Absolutely! (Ready for the but…..) but it is a beast of a book. It is big and heavy, as you would expect with so much inside the covers. It is great to keep in your sewing space but what about wanting to read a copy in bed, on your commute, on holiday or anywhere that takes your fancy.

Kindle Version

Assembil have this covered with the launch of their Kindle version. Here is all you need to know:

  • Kindle Edition Release Date is Tuesday 31st March 2020.
  • Available for pre-order from Amazon now. Pre-order links can be accessed from the Assembil website:
  • Although this is Kindle edition you don’t have to have a Kindle – can also be used on the Kindle app on iPad, iPhone, Android or on the Kindle desktop app.
  • Patterns that go with the Kindle edition can be accessed on the Assembil website for you to print out at home on A4 or Letter size paper Here
  • The printable PDF is a free download, there is no extra cost for this.
Features of the Kindle Edition:
  • All the features of the print edition – 630 pages worth of content, over 1000 images of step-by-step instructions. This is a hefty ebook.
  • Access to the printable patterns via the Assembil website.
  • It’s portable! While many sewers love a print book while they are sewing, the Kindle edition allows you to keep learning in bed, on the tube at a more relaxed pace or you can take it with you to a sewing course.
  • Additional perks in terms of navigation to help you jump around easily:
    • Table of Contents has two version – one more brief version, and a full TOC that lets you jump straight to specific content.
    • Index is fully linked to relevant pages.
    • Within the text all references to other chapters and exercises are linked so that you can easily jump between sections.

Does it work?

Whilst I do love a ‘real’ book, I also love having the freedom of an eBook. There are often some problems however, especially how the eBook version is rendered. I have downloaded many non-fiction books to Kindle only to find the images/photos are difficult to see and often not well presented. Assembil have, obviously, worked hard to get it right for Kindle. All images are crystal clear and are in the correct place.

Here is an example running on my own Kindle Paperwhite so yes it definitely works!










Overall another great success from Assembil Books now who would like to win a free Kindle copy? If so, make sure you are following me on Instagram and watch for details.

Until next time……Stay Safe and happy Sewing

14 thoughts on “How to start Sewing – book review”

  1. Looks like a fantastic book. I really do prefer books with clear diagrams and for me, as much as I love physical books, I’d cope with a 600 odd page book far better on my tablet. Will be entering the draw but If I’m not successful I can see me getting this as it looks like an excellent resource.

    1. Oops, sorry Jamie I don’t have Facebook or Twitter, but do have Pinterest and Instagram… Have shared this blog post on both of those instead (gosh, I really should read all the instructions first, no wonder I need help with my sewing!) 😄

  2. Hi Jamie – looks like a great book. I love the idea that it renders properly on a Kindle and, anyway, you can download it as a pdf. I recently came across the Vogue Book of Smart Dressmaking that looked like a classic too; packed full of illustrated techniques. It’s available cheaply in a modern edition – unlike vintage copies!

  3. I left a comment on Instagram but I wasn’t sure if your instructions meant to leave a comment on your blog I am doing both. I shared the book review on my Facebook newsfeed. I would really love to win a copy. The Kindle really helps me to read more easily since I can enlarge the font. I’m happy to get your feedback that the pages load correctly in the e version.

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