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The Best Hand Sewing Projects In 2023

If you are looking for a hand sewing project, you have a lot of options, but how do you choose one that’s fun, interesting, and suitably challenging without being frustrating?

We’ve looked at which home sewing projects are the most appealing, what you can learn from them, and even a few best choice home sewing projects available from that you might like to try for yourself.

Why Might I Try Sewing At Home?

Whether or not you’re a keen crafter, you may have found yourself inspired in recent years by the wave of craft projects that are cropping up on the internet. Pinterest and Etsy are flooded with amazing makes, and a lot of people are trying to bring back skills that we heavily depended on in years gone by.

Home sewing is a particularly advantageous one; it helps you to mend or even make your own clothes, which is a skill everyone should have. No longer will a loose button or a small burst seam ruin your favorite outfit. Even if you don’t want to become a master seamstress or seamster, you can benefit from learning to sew.

One of the great things about it is that you don’t need to buy a whole pile of expensive materials or any fancy equipment. A needle, some thread, and a piece of scrap fabric are all you need in order to see whether hand sewing is for you.

What Simple Hand Sewing Projects Should I Try?

Before we go into the specific books that you can buy to try out different projects, let’s look at a few common sewing projects that people have fun with at home. There are some really simple ways to apply your sewing skills practically, which will result in a finished project that actually has some use.

You should be able to find plenty of instructional videos and guides online, so let’s just cover a few ideas that might inspire you.

A Skirt

A skirt is one of the easiest projects to try with home sewing. 

To make a skirt, all you really need to do is cut a rectangle of fabric that you like to the right size, hem the edges, and sew it into a tube. You may then need to sew elastic or a fastener into the top, but then you have your very own skirt.

This is super simple, good fun, and a great way to get something practical out of your sewing skills. However, be aware that it can take quite a long time to hem edges by hand.

A Cushion

If you don’t fancy the idea of a skirt, a cushion is also a great option. You can make this any size you like, going all the way down to a lavender bag if you don’t want to spend hours hemming and stitching.

Cushions just require you to cut two pieces of fabric to the same size, and then stitch the right sides (the parts of the fabric you want to see) facing inward, creating a hem around most of the edge. You then turn it the other way so the right sides of the fabric are facing out, stuff the cushion, and finish the hem.


For other great hand sewing projects, try learning how to applique. This is a wonderful way to practice getting your stitching even, and it doesn’t have to be too demanding.

You can simply cut some shapes out of fabric and sew them onto another piece of fabric. You might want to add color to an old shirt or brighten up a bag.

It’s a good idea to choose a fabric that won’t fray for this, so you don’t have to spend ages hemming around the edges of complicated shapes. This is another excellent project for children or beginner sewers, as it helps you to focus on making every stitch even.

A Bag

A bag is another great thing to learn how to make, and this can again be as simple or as complicated as you like. There are tutorials for pretty much every kind of bag imaginable online, so if you’re interested in creating a tote or a clutch or almost anything in between, you should be able to find something.

One of the advantages of learning how to create bags is that you need to practice some strong sewing to ensure the straps are firmly attached. You might also get a chance to try out using fasteners, sewing buttons, or even tackling zips.

Related Reading: How to Sew a Patch on a Hat

So Where Do I Start?

If you’re convinced and ready to get sewing, you might be wondering where to begin. Well, you can pick up some needles and a selection of cotton reels very cheaply in many stores, and you may have some scrap fabric lying around. You can always repurpose holey or old clothing.

Next, you may want to look up some guides for beginners online, or you might think about purchasing a sewing book to help you get going and give you some inspiration. We’ll cover three top options below.

1. Hand Sewing Magic
  • Provide an overview of all the materials you need to get started
  • Teach and explain thirty-five different kinds of stitches
  • Expand on basic techniques so you understand how to start and finish neatly
  • Show you how to make ten unique products
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2. Simple Sewing Projects
  • Each Project Is Presented With A Finished Photo
  • Step-by-step Instructions
  • Illustrations, And Photos
  • Corresponding Patterns Where Necessary
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3. Sewn By Hand
  • Part nostalgia, part modern “slow movement,”
  • This contemporary collection allows stitchers to be eco-friendly and mobile
  • Sewers will produce gorgeous results while they experience the simple joys of traditional sewing
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1. Hand Sewing Magic

If you’re looking for a book that will walk you through all the steps of hand sewing, the different kinds of stitches, and the basics of mending, this is a top choice for you.

It will teach you some beginner tips for stitching, but also some more complicated embroidery methods so you can use this to go from basic sewer to skilled seamstress in minimal time. Follow the easy how-to guides to get repairing and creating.

The book will:

  • Provide an overview of all the materials you need to get started
  • Teach and explain thirty-five different kinds of stitches
  • Expand on basic techniques so you understand how to start and finish neatly
  • Show you how to make ten unique products

This is a great option for anyone wanting to learn about decorative stitching and how to embroider beautifully. It has clear descriptions, accompanied by images, that will help you learn how to sew in very little time. 

It covers many different kinds of stitches, including some you may never have heard of, so it’s a great choice for even confident sewers to expand their scope and skills. Comprehensive descriptions walk you through the different stitches and their applications.

The ten projects suggested are all good fun and you can make some really cute handmade gifts with them.

On the other hand, the book doesn’t offer a lot in terms of practical skills. It won’t teach you how to make clothes, and although it describes different kinds of stitches very thoroughly, it focuses on the craft applications, rather than on making clothes.

The projects are offered at the end of medium usefulness, and besides gifting them, you may find you don’t have much application for them. They are cute, but many of them are focused on the “handmade” vibe, rather than trying to look polished.

Overall, though, this book is a fun and comprehensive guide for anyone looking to learn how to sew.

2. Simple Sewing Projects

With designs to suit a range of abilities, this book is appropriate for both beginners and experts, and the suggested projects are good fun. They are accompanied by a clear picture of what your finished craft should look like, which is great for comparisons.

You’ll learn how to make pillows, bags, home decor items, jewelry bags, projects for the holidays, and even pet mats for your pet’s food and water dishes. The clue is in the name with this option because it teaches users how to make a whole range of very simple items with a needle and thread.

Whether you’re buying for a child or an adult, the book is full of fun ideas and suggestions, with practical steps to help you get creating even if you are a beginner. It also has options for learning to sew using a machine if you would like to be able to do this too.

This book has lots of ideas in it, so anyone who wants a range of things to make for gifts should be satisfied. You will have years’ worth of projects in just this one book, and many could be genuinely useful and interesting to try, rather than sewing for the sake of sewing.

It’s printed on very high-quality paper and should last year on year, even if you use it regularly. It’s also great for a range of ages, so if you have children, they can enjoy making things from the book too. There’s even the option to make a girl’s skirt, which could be done as a joint project to get your child engaged.

You will find that many of the ideas are available online or in other books, but it presents a handy collection for you to browse through and explore. If you’re an experienced sewer, you might find some of the suggested “makes” rather too simple or overdone, but otherwise, you should find this really useful.

3. Sewn By Hand

If you would prefer a book with a dash of nostalgia and a bit of an “old world” feel, this one could be for you. It offers more than twenty different makes, and encourages minimalism in your sewing box to make your sewing more portable and eco-friendly.

The book provides some great suggestions for repurposing old fabric and renewing items around the home, rather than specifically for making new things with new fabric. It’s a wonderfully refreshing take compared with some modern options that require you to buy a lot, and it’s budget-friendly too

With lots of ideas for repurposing and reusing, it offers step-by-step instructions and a real focus on hand sewing, so it’s ideal for adults or children who would like to breathe new life into this old craft.

This book is a fantastic option for anyone who dislikes buying new fabric all the time and would like some cool ideas for repurposing stuff that they already have. It thinks about ways to be a little thrifty and doesn’t demand you buy a whole load of items for every project.

There are some clever ideas for recreating the things you own, and the instructions are very clear and comprehensive. It also offers information on felting, applique, and fraying fabric edges, so you can learn plenty of skills that are almost lost in many modern sewing books.

Advanced sewers may find themselves uninspired, as some of the ideas are quite basic. If you don’t have a lot of fabric to repurpose, it may not be ideal for you, although you could visit some second-hand stores to pick up old t-shirts, dresses, jeans, etc., if you need some material to work with.


There are some fantastic hand sewing projects you can try out at home, and if you want a book to guide you, you’ll find plenty of options. 

If you’re a beginner, don’t be afraid to talk to friends who sew and ask their advice about where to start. This will often give you valuable insights into the craft that may take years to pick up by yourself.

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James M. Rai has been screen printing T-shirts and other textiles professionally and as a hobby for more than 15 years. During that time, he owned and operated a small screen printing shop in northern California for more than 7 years. More recently, James has gotten involved with Cricut and other cutting machines.