Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books Ladies Sewing Patterns

Book Review – Easy Sewing for Beginners

January 20, 2014

Today’s book review is a wonderful find from my trip to Japan. The title is はじめてさんのソーイング. Which roughly translates to First timer’s sewing.


It’s actually a sewing book for beginners, and despite having sewn for many years, I still feel like a beginner sometimes. There are many techniques that I have not mastered. This book does not just cover the basics, but it guides you through projects in order of difficulty so that you can progress as you sew along. The best part is, there are lots and lots of step by step photos.


This book is published by NHK – a name more commonly associated with the TV station. NHK publishing is related to the TV station and in fact, they publish many books and magazines that are related to the content on their TV programs, but at the same time, they are also an established publisher for a wide range of books and magazines.


There are 18 projects included in this book, listed in order of difficulty and covers everything from the most basic straight stitch to even sewing with knits and other fabrics.


Sizes included in this book.


The first project is a simple tote bag, where you learn basic straight stitching, like how to start and end a stitch, sewing around corners, attaching a pocket etc.


Then you move on to something more complex. Projects #2 and #3 are both skirts, but while skirt #2 is a simple gathered skirt, skirt #3 is a more advanced wrap skirt with hidden pockets.  The steps are shown in very detailed photographs even for the simple projects. For example, skirt #2 itself has 8 pages of step by step photos, showing you the proper way to finish seams, sew a proper facing for the elastic band and even the proper insertion and securing of an elastic band.

The following projects are listed in order as shown in the book, and you can see how it gradually becomes more complicated. If you work your way through this book, you will become an accomplished seamstress at the end of it! 😛










A typical how-to-make page looks like this. I love how the color coded boxes helps to divide up the information and make it a lot easier to search for information. Colored diagrams help a lot too in identifying the orientation of the fabric.


NHKeasysewing (2)

An example of a page with detailed photographs. There are only two projects without photographs but colored diagrams instead, probably because most of the techniques involved have already been covered in earlier projects.


Another page sample with detailed steps, this one shows you how to insert a side opening zip for a skirt.

NHKeasysewing (1)

One large pattern sheet included.

NHKeasysewing (3)

If you are interested in picking up garment sewing, this is really a good starting book. The projects are simple and most of the pieces are great for everyday wear, most of all, the step by step photographs make it really easy to understand, without needing much translation work.

Title : はじめてさんのソーイング
ISBN : 978-4-14-199173-1
Author : かわい きみ子
Publisher : NHK Publishing


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  • Reply Nina Fuentes January 20, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    I will have to keep this book in mind I have three books that I need to work through so far! I really enjoy sewing because of Japanese sewing books!

  • Reply Debra Lee January 21, 2014 at 1:13 am

    I love the dress!

  • Reply Kirsten Lemke February 4, 2014 at 2:08 am

    Please would you let me know where I you purchased this beginners sewing book? I’m interested in buying a copy and can’t seem to find it. Thanks. Kirsten

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books February 5, 2014 at 8:53 am

      Hi Kirsten, I bought it from You can click on this link

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