Picture Books to Give to Kids of Sewing Lovers

It’s no secret that I’m sewing obsessed and probably no surprise that I’d love for my daughter to grow up the same. I also love to read and am so excited that my biscuit loves our reading time too (in her own little reading corner in her own little room). I’ve started collecting picture books for her that have to do with sewing to combine the two loves. One awesome thing about picture books is that they entertain kids for many, many years – from being read to to reading themselves. Maybe you have a munchkin of your own and want ideas for books to get from the library or maybe you’re looking for gift ideas for the kiddos of your friends and family. These are all books about sewing that I’ve found and would recommend! (Want even more ideas for kids of textile lovers? Check out my list of knitting picture books coming soon!)

A Pattern for Pepper is a book I want to have in my own collection! It’s a delightful look at the various weaves and patterns that fabric can come in, told through the eyes of a little girl picking out fabric for a special dress. Best part: You’ll learn something new yourself like “The word seersucker comes from the Persian shir o shakkar, which means ‘milk and sugar,’ because of its smooth and bumpy textures.”

Owen is a cute story of a little mouse that’s not quite ready to grow out of his special blanket. There’s not a lot of sewing involved, but the punchline of the story is that Owen’s mom uses sewing to turn his blanket in handkerchiefs that he can carry around with him instead of his outgrown blanket. Best part: Very cheerful illustrations.

Stories in Stitches: Itsy Bitsy Spider and Other Nursery Rhymes doesn’t actually feature any sewing (it is just nursery rhymes) but all of the illustrations are different re-purposed textiles and stitches. Best part: Could inspire creative appliqué in an older child.

Lady Hahn and Her Seven Friends is based on a classical Korean story and tells of the relationship between a seamstress and her anthropomorphic seven friends – Mrs. Ruler, Newlywed Scissors, Young Bride Needle, Young Bride Red Thread, Old Lady Thimble, Young Lady Flatiron, and Little Miss Iron. Best part: Sewing is truly universal and this book is a lovely way to view sewing through the eyes of a different culture.

Just Right for Christmas follows a bolt of the perfect Christmassy fabric as it is sewn into a long list of special Christmas gifts with the scraps of one being used for the next, starting with the King’s daughter, passing to the kitchen maid, a badger, a squirrel and ending with a poor mouse. Best part: If you celebrate Christmas, this book is a lovely way to celebrate the joy of giving handmade gifts.

I Had A Favorite Dress follows a girl’s favorite dress as it gets worn out and re-purposed by her mom’s sewing into a variety of different garments. It’s a fun way to make-do-and-mend and shows how sewing helps the girl be fashionable and original Best part: It seems that picture books featuring people of color are often about the culture and traditions of their ancestral countries, which can be great, but it’s also really important for kids to understand that kids with a range of skin colors lead lives just like them and the girl in this book could be any girl growing up in a city, she just happens to have brown skin.

My Baby describes a girl in Mali that learns to make traditional mud-dyed cloth from her mom and grows up to make a special cloth for the arrival of her own baby. Best part: The book shows how each of the different abstract designs in the cloth is inspired by different elements of the world around the woman, from drums to fish bones to a turtledove.

A Book for Black-Eyed Susan is a moving story of a baby born on the Oregon trail to a mother who dies in childbirth and the cloth book that her sister sews for her so that she can have a remembrance of the life and loves they left behind. Best part: I was obsessed with the Oregon Trail as a little girl (my friends and I would spend countless hours playing pioneers) so this is a book I would have loved. It also does a good job of showing that tragedy and loss are a part of life but we can face them with strength (and sewing).

My Forever Dress follows a girl for several years as her grandmother makes and remakes her party dress. Best part: While a little heavy handed, it is a good conversation started for the importance of recycling and reuse and how sewing can be a part of that.

Mr. Frank is a sweet story of a tailor who thinks back over his many years of quality tailoring work and decides that it’s time to retire because he just completed his most important commission ever (spoiler: it’s a costume for his grandson). Best part: It’s fun for the grown-up reading the book to see the fashions through the years that Mr. Frank reminisces about.

Have you found any other picture books that feature sewing or textiles that you would recommend?

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Comments 12

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  1. Came over from Instagram to suggest “Joseph had a little overcoat”. It’s apparently based on a Jewish song about refashioning.

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  2. I recently purchased A Pattern for Pepper and I love it. I do really like the Quiltmakers Gift. Such beautiful illustrations and generosity.

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  3. I haven’t seen it in the stores yet, but Nancy Zieman wrote a children’s book shortly before she passed away – “The Flying Sewing Machine”.

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  4. Thanks so much for compiling this list, it’s wonderful. Have you heard about Pockets by Jennifer Armstrong (Illustrated by Mary Grandpre) or at The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco?

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  5. I like Grandfather’s Coat. An immigration backstory and a tailor transforming his coat into other things as it wears out over a lifetime.

    Thanks for the list 🧵

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