a holiday book giveaway: school of sewing

’Tis the season to be sewing! For people who are new to sewing or who want to teach others who are new to sewing, the School of Sewing is for you! We are giving away a copy of the book to one lucky winner. To enter the giveaway, read to the bottom of the post and leave a comment answering the question you’ll find there.

 © Lauren Hunt from School of Sewing, reprinted with permission from Lucky Spool Media, LLC.

You are already familiar with the author Shea Henderson, as she has shared her Christmas pajama and dress traditions with us recently. She is a pattern designer, former educator, wife, mother to three, and lover of all things sewing. You can always see what she is up to at her Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio website and by following her on Instagram.

 © Lauren Hunt from School of Sewing, reprinted with permission from Lucky Spool Media, LLC.

Do you know someone who owns a sewing machine, but doesn’t know how to use it? This informative book is for those people who want to learn how to sew. It’s recommended as everyone’s first sewing book. It covers everything from shopping for a machine, to fabric and supplies. Then it goes on to cover how to thread a machine, sew, and rip out a seam. It also covers ruffles, pleats, zippers, hems. All that and more. Everything is broken down into straightforward and easy tasks.

 © Lauren Hunt from School of Sewing, reprinted with permission from Lucky Spool Media, LLC.

The book is a back-to-basics guide for beginners and is designed to tackle one project a month with each building on the skills learned in the previous lesson. It offers twelve attractive projects that increase in difficulty starting with a pillowcase and ending with a quilt. Just to let you know it is not aimed at children with juvenile projects. Instead its technique-based method is for a mature student.

 © Lauren Hunt from School of Sewing, reprinted with permission from Lucky Spool Media, LLC.

I found it so interesting to discover that the book is based on Shea’s year of teaching group lessons to friends and acquaintances, all with little to no sewing experience. That’s such a unique approach and different from a lot of other sewing books out there.

 © Lauren Hunt from School of Sewing, reprinted with permission from Lucky Spool Media, LLC.

To enter to win a copy of School of Sewing, leave a comment below telling us what your favorite sewing tool is. Only one entry per person, please. Comments will close at 9:00 AM ET Friday, December 18th, 2015, and we will select a winner at random. The winner will be notified by email. This giveaway is international, so it is open to everyone!

All photographs © Lauren Hunt from School of Sewing, reprinted with permission from Lucky Spool Media, LLC.



  1. Lizabeth

    Seam ripper, definitely! And sharp scissors, tailor’s chalk, and seam guides with sticky backs you put on the plate to make sure the quarter inch seam is REALLY a quarter inch when you’re sewing. Rats! that’s more than one…

  2. Beth

    My favorite tool is by brand new walking foot for my machine. I can’t believe how much easier it has made my holiday sewing!!

  3. Maryann Czolgosz

    I love my led machine light! I can sew on cloudy days and in the evening!

    1. Maryann Czolgosz I have never heard of an LED machine light. I have extrememly poor lighting throughout my living quarters and when it comes to sewing I want better light more than ANYTHING. Would you please email me and tell me where I can get either the light or is it just a different bulb? okterlox0@gmail.com (that is a zero before the @ )
      Thank you so much!

      Laura Lanter

  4. Sherrell

    My favorite tool is the rotary cutter. How did they manage without it back in the day.

  5. Jessica

    Pinking shears! I trim all of my seam allowances with it. It reduces bulk, fraying, and helps tidy curved seams.

  6. liz n

    This is the book I used to teach sewing to my sister-in-law’s Girl Scout troop! It’s excellent! True, it isn’t designed for very young children to use, but it’s an excellent primer for middle school age and up. (Don’t enter me in the giveaway; obviously, I already have a copy!)

  7. Valerie Myers

    Magnetic Pin Cushion

  8. Carol Evans

    My favorite sewing tool is the Bernina 560! I had tried to sew in the past, often ending with frustration just trying to thread the machine. This Bernina is a powerful tool that makes even a novice like me produce some beautiful, fun things! Now I want to learn how to use this tool even better, by embarking on projects that are not beyond the beginner in me.

  9. Anne Robertson

    My favorite sewing tool is the seam ripper that came with my first sewing machine – an Elnita I bought thirty something years ago. When I use it I know it will do a good job taking out my stitches without leaving much of a trace because it has kept its sharp blade. Quality lasts and good design endures.

  10. Dot Brewer

    Love love to sew! I grew up sewing with my mom. My youngest daughter of 3 who has 3 daughters who had NO interest before just has been been bitten by the sewing bug. I would love this for her❤️ She is adopting a baby with downs and is making hand made items to sale to fund the adoption❤️

    1. Dot Brewer

      My favorite tool is great scissors. Love my Judy Buckley ones!!

  11. Laura

    My Kai scissors!

  12. Britta

    Hallo,my favorite sewing tool is my seam ripper… 😉

  13. My favorite sewing tool is a sharp rotary cutter?

  14. JEB O'Barr

    My favorite tool is my tweezers. It came with my server, but I use it just as much with my sewing machine. I use it to pull thread through my needle, and pull out threads when removing seams.

    1. Audrey

      I had not thought of that. Thanks!

  15. Annalisa F

    What a lovely giveaway to share with all of us! Thank you for the opportunity, and I will definitely be checking out the website. Favorite tool……I’m really just starting out with my sewing so I don’t have many tools. I’m so tempted to say my seam ripper because now that I learned how to correctly use it……making corrections is a breeze now! Maybe that and my rotary cutter. Thanks again!

  16. Hi My favourite sewing tool has to be my small Kai scissors. I cannot start to sew at the machine if they are not on the right side of the machine and right in front of me, ready to trim as I go along. Next is my favourite thimble, cannot hand sew without it!

  17. Love my mechanical Bernina and Singer machines. They have served me well for almost 50 years. I suppose I should check out the computerized machines but have not had the need so far. A computerized Husqvarna serger sits unused as it is way too complicated. Keeping up with technology is rough but learning new techniques is a good thing.

  18. Kerri Cayo

    Rotary Cutter!

  19. Kim

    I have to agree, my walking foot.

  20. Victoria

    My best friend is my seam ripper ! X

  21. Hi, my favourite sewing tool is also my seam ripper! Try try again!

  22. I, too, love my walking foot, a recent addition to my beloved Bernina 1080. It makes sewing shifty fabrics a breeze and machine quilting so accurate!

  23. Hannah

    The newest of the newbies, I love a good needle. Best way to sew on a button 😛

  24. My edge stitch foot! I get SO many compliments about my “perfect lines”, and I always feel a little guilty inside because I’m actually cheating a bit – the foot is doing all the work! 🙂

  25. Kie

    Rowanta steam iron and 6-inch metal ruler.

  26. Sarah

    My favorite new discovery (I am an older sewer learning updated tricks!) is the washable marking pens. No more pins – thread for marking center dots, pocket placement and dart lines! That little trick alone has increased my accuracy so much!

  27. Jaime Laugelli

    My pinking shears! They were my grandmother’s and when I first started sewing, I used them to finish seams quickly.

  28. Eleanor

    So hard to choose a favourite tool! It is a toss up between my 4mm narrow hemmer foot (I adore perfect hems in a quarter of the time!), my rotary cutter and my machine. In the end my machine, a bernina 215, wins out simply because it was the machine I learnt on it is perfect for a beginner AND an experienced sewist and it has almost everything I want (if it had the option for a knee lever and a few automatic buttonholes it would be absolutely perfect!).

  29. My favorite sewing tool is my sharp fabric scissors! Thank you for this giveaway!

  30. Laura

    I learned to sew on my Grandma’s treadle sewing machine which I now have, but I love the walking foot on my Janome machine. Also love using a blue water soluble marker!

  31. Tonia Jeffery

    I really love my wonder clips.

  32. Michelle Wyman

    I have a quarter inch foot with a metal “guide” that I use when piecing quilt tops on my Mother-in-law’s 221 Singer Featherweight. I inherited her machine when she passed away, had it tuned up and it sews like a dream. The new quarter inch foot makes those seam allowances accurate. I’d love to teach sewing and pass on my passion for making quilts and other fun projects!

  33. Shelley

    So many tools to consider! In times of stress, my seam ripper! When things are going smoothly, my walking foot.

  34. Mimi

    After many years of sewing my new best tool is my Gingher thread clipper. It is lightweight and able to cut very closely. (I still seem to use my seam ripper a kit!)

  35. Joan

    My old workhorse of a sewing machine is my favorite tool !

  36. Amanda

    My favorite tool is my walking foot my husband bought me for my birthday 🙂

  37. Brenda Melahn

    My absolute favorite sewing tool is my fantabulous Baby Lock Destiny — it makes sewing, embroidering, and quilting so easy. It was worth retirement to get this machine!! It also threads my needle — which may sound lame to some, but I’ve never had a self-threader and it is amazing.

  38. My favorite tool is my rotary cutter. When I found out about using one it cut my prep time down so much! 🙂 and they can be fun.

  39. Isabelle

    My best friend is my seam ripper. Do and always do.

  40. Rebecca

    Oh my gosh, so many wonderful tools to pick from! I would say my favorite sewing tool is actually wonder tape. I use it so often and it’s a life saver with piping, trims, waistbands or anytime where you want to cover existing stitching and then topstitch. Besides from that, my large cutting board, rotary cutter, clear rulers of all sizes, great scissors, wonder clips, edge stitching foot and of course a good sturdy seam ripper. 😉
    Thank you for this wonderful opportunity!

  41. Kathie

    My seam gauge. I double check my sewing machine each time I sit down to sew since there are so many seam allowance widths on patterns.

  42. Veronica Gronek

    My favorite sewing tool is my tape measure. Measure twice, cut once!
    A self taught sewer, I love sewing for my granddaughter!

  43. Jill

    My favorite tool is an L-Square so I can cut straight!

  44. After my rotary cutting, I love my pressing ham and Crayola washable markers for transferring pattern markings. So easy!

  45. Ana

    My sewing machines! One is almost 40 years older than the other but I love them both and sewing is a pleasure and joy.

  46. Sherri

    My favorite tool is an old wooden table that I recently found at a local flea market and am using as a sewing table — big and with cool vintage character. And with enough space underneath for my dog to comfortably sleep at my feet while I sew = bliss!

  47. Shannon

    The sewing machine my in-laws gave me. It made it possible for me to finally start really learning how to sew.

  48. Christeen

    My walking foot. It really helps with working with knits.

  49. sop.hie.s

    As a newbie seamstress, my favorite tool is my seam ripper which I obviously still need quite a lot…

  50. Sara Fitzpatrick

    Like so many others, my seam ripper and walking foot are my favorites. I must add, I also have a soft spot for my little goose neck sewing lamp, an essential. Couldn’t sew without these.

  51. My favorite tool is my rotary cutter 🙂

  52. kathy mcenearney

    My favorite sewing tool has to be reading glasses. No matter where I am sewing – at the machine, on the couch, in the car, or just threading a needle — I can’t function without them — and they sure do make threading a needle a lot easier.

  53. Enbee

    Rotary cutter, all the way!

  54. Barbara

    Pinking Shears. I guess the others I take for granted. I still remember realizing how much easier it would be to trim the rounded edges with pinking shears instead of cutting out little triangles. Every time I use them, I remember life without them and so glad I bought them.

  55. Lynn Shepard

    My favorite new tool is my rotary cutter. My favorite old tool is my 50 year old singer sewing machine! Still going strong! I will be retiring in January and some friends have asked for sewing lessons. I can’t wait!

  56. June Varricchione

    My favorite tools would have to be my Bernina (mechanical) 801 which has served me faithfully for over 30 years and my Rowenta steam iron. A good steam iron is a must for any type of sewing, giving projects a professional look!

  57. mirabelle004

    Seam ripper!

  58. Elizabeth

    My Gingher shears that I finally splurged on!!

  59. Maureen

    I love the buttonhole attachment to my Elna sewing machine…makes buttonholes with no stress! I’m teaching my granddaughter to sew… would love to give her this book to inspire another generation of sewers! Thanks so much for a wonderful giveaway…Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  60. My ergonomic rotary cutter. It is so accurate and saves so much time and best of all my hands don’t hurt anymore after a cutting session.

  61. Tamara H.

    Good pair of scissors are a must. So in love with this blog and community. Thanks for everything you do, Oliver + S ; )

  62. Tamara H.

    My Favorite sewing tool are my good pair of scissors – a must-have. Thanks for all you do, Oliver + S – I absolutely love this blog and community ; )

  63. Ivana

    My favorite tool is magnetic pin cushion.

  64. Mel

    I love my stork scissors for clipping threads and, on occasion, ripping stitches. thanks for the chance 🙂

  65. Sarah

    Seam ripper!

  66. Jen

    My Stitch Nerd sewing ham! 🙂 Keeps my seems looking great!

  67. Kathleen

    I’m in love with my seam ripper…apparently…since I have to use it so often! Lol!

  68. My quick unpick is my most used sewing tool. I have a love/hate relationship with it

  69. Helena

    Unpicker/seam ripper, unfortunately!

  70. Bonnie Coles

    My favorite sewing tool is my bookcase filled with so many inspiring ideas and, of course, the manuals for when I’ve forgotten how to do something.

  71. Karen

    I recently discovered Wonder Tape. I love it!

  72. Amanda

    My favourite tool would be my seam gauge ruler, which I am always using to double check my seam allowances, fold up a hem, check that my buttonhole markings are evenly spaced or to help me mark my sewing line if it is a tricky curvy seam where I find it hard to just go off the sewing machine’s markings.

  73. Tina

    My new pair of really sharp fabric scissors to replace the ones repeatedly ‘borrowed’ by various members of my family!

  74. Annette Poole

    Gingher clips are a great saver on the hands when clipping; rag quilts especially.

  75. Fran

    My favourite sewing tool is my mum! Very reliable and fabulous results every time. My second favourite would be my Bernina. I bought her second hand about 8 years ago, I reckon she is about 50 years old but runs like a dream still. I got her in Melbourne but she has the original sales invoice in German – I would love to know where she had been and what she has made over the years. She has obviously been well loved and well treated.

  76. Laverne

    My favorite tools are my rotary cutter and mat.

  77. Jill

    My seam ripper. And my rotary cutters!

  78. Nancy

    My favorite sewing tool is my disappearing ink marking pen. My daughter-in-law recently started sewing! Sharing my love of sewing with her is a joy! This book is a perfect gift!

  79. Marcia

    My favorite tool is my spring action 8″ Ginger scissors. All my sewing scissors are marked with fobs and the family knows NOT to touch!

  80. Lisa

    My friends! They provide so much inspiration and encouragement. They got me sewing in the first place.

  81. Phyllis Singler

    I have to say the rotary cutter.

  82. Jenna Ou

    I love my machine light! I can´t see well so that light is a bless for me!

  83. Krystyna

    A very short pair of fabric scissors

  84. Sue

    I just got the cutest industrial thread snips for $3 and they are my favorite. They are ergonomic and fast to use. And sharp! Actually I love anything that cuts, cutting is my favorite part of sewing! Backwards, right?

  85. Kelly

    My new Janome 3160 QDC sewing machine. It beats my old (10 years, not that old) Kenmore out of the park. It sews so smooth!

  86. Ela

    Exept my hands, my brain and my heart, i Thank my favourjte tools are my two rotary cutters; they cuts fabric ad it were butter.

  87. Heidi

    I love my newest seam ripper that I won in a giveaway 🙂

  88. My favorite tool is one I inherited from my mother-in-law. It is a treasure I found in her sewing box: a little spring snipper that has two little pointy blades. There are no holes for fingers and it is only about three inches long. I keep it right next to my sewing machine and use it every time I sew. I snip all threads as the garment pieces are sewn and can get right next to the fabric. I would love to win the book to give to one of my friends who has had a sewing machine for three years that she has never taken out of the box. I believe that it would give her the confidence to begin.

  89. Hannah W

    I love my sewing scissors.

  90. Emi

    My favorite sewing tool is my seam ripper. It’s been my best friend ever since I started sewing a few years ago!

  91. Erin Ellis

    My favorite sewing tool is my seam ripper! Thank you for the wonderful giveaway.
    ErinLoves2Run at gmail dot com

  92. Leigh

    Seam ripper for sure

  93. Sara

    My favorite sewing tool is my computer! Inspiration and tutorials for this novice. Without it I would not know about Oliver + S.

  94. Probably my 20 year old Bernina is my favorite sewing tool. But I love good threads, sharp scissors of all sizes, rotary cutters, rulers and more. The most unusual gadget may be the extendable magnet from the tool section of Lowe’s or Home Depot. It picks up stray pins and more.

  95. Karen

    I just love my “fasturn” tool for turning those little tubes.

  96. mona b.

    My favorite tool is the blue thread clipper that my mother gave me some years ago. I know that she bought it in Paris in a wonderful but so tiny shop which is the paradise for all sewists: Mercerie Fil 2000 in the Sentier quarter which is traditionaly the textile and garment district in Paris. I love to go there when I visit her in Paris, I would buy EVERYTHING in that shop. It is so chic back here in Montreal to say: “Yes, I got that in Paris…”
    Thank you for your wonderful site, your, oh so precise videos and tutorials, You are my heroin dear Liesl !

  97. My rotary cutter, for sure!

  98. Heather S

    My favorite sewing tool is my grandmothers needle. I inherited her sewing basket and I use her needles to embroider 🙂

  99. Michele OReilly

    My favorite tool is a good small sharp pair of scissors. Snip close and quick.

  100. Favorite tool? Man, that’s hard. I’d probably have to go with my serger. It’s nothing fancy, but using it sure makes me feel fancy!

  101. Tammie

    I love this book

  102. Tina

    Seam ripper! I have had the same one since I was a teenager! Just one of those trusty things.

  103. My favorite sewing tool is a gathering foot. I only have girls and I am constantly gathering fabric on a skirt to fit the bodice or adding a ruffle to the hem of a dress or gathering the ruffles to put at the bottom of their pants or gathering those pretty little angel wing sleeves. I would not have the time to sew as much as I do without it.

    Thank you for this contest. I hope to win the book because my granddaughter is wanting to learn to sew and it would definitely help her a ton!

    Thank you!
    Laura Lanter

  104. Hiroko

    It has to be Clover ironing ruler I bought in Japan. It made hemming so much easier.

  105. My favorite tool is my wrist pin cushion!

  106. Sam

    Just started my sewing journey, so love everything from my needle to measuring tape, sharp scissors, tailor’s chalk

  107. ybat

    I love this tailors chalk that someone gave me but I cant find it anywhere, so I really take care of the last piece that I have.

  108. Anita

    Definitely my walking foot

  109. Ann

    I love my vanishing ink pen for marking on fabric.

  110. Debra Harris

    My all time favorite tool that I don’t leave home without is my extra long measuring tape.

  111. Elena

    I just learned to use the walking foot on my machine and I love it!I don’t know why I had been so scared to use it before now. I also love my edge stitching foot.

  112. I love my pincushion – especially when the children make pictures with the pins!

  113. I love my…crochet hooks!!! Very easy to use to get nice corners!

  114. Jodie

    Rotary cutter is my most used tool.

  115. Elise O'Connor

    My invisible zipper foot!!

  116. Brooke

    My rotary cutter – a total game changer for slippery and stretchy fabrics, sore hands and time!

  117. Jennifer

    Buttonhole cutter! It’s so much easier than a seam ripper.

  118. Syl

    Does my sewing machine count? I have a Pfaff and I love it!

  119. Libby

    Wow. Looks like a lovely book to win! While my seam ripper is my most USED seeing tool, my FAVORITE is my knitting needles. They help make sharp corners look nice when turning pieces right side out. My straps and edges looks much more professional since learning that little trick.

  120. Ha ha, so many people seem to like their seam rippers but I am usually cursing while using mine. I think my favorite tool is my chopstick that I use to push out corners. My kids think it’s funny too that I am using a food utensil 😉

  121. Mary

    I am self teaching somI found this magnetic tool that helps me keep the fabric moving straight at the right amount of seam allowance…… It’s truly interesting and I cheat and use videos on YouTube and research on the web. ❤️

  122. Kim

    My favorite sewing tool: My little embroidery scissors. I keep them on the right side of my sewing machine to snip threads. They fit my fingers perfectly and work quick every time.

  123. Margaret Newton

    My favorite sewing tool is the size 12 betweens I use for hand-quilting. They make regular small stitches so much easier than the larger needles I used to use.

  124. Chandra

    I wish it wasn’t my favorite, but the seam ripper is a great invention

  125. Angela

    My favorite tool are the patterns by Oliver * S -they teached me so much.
    Thank you for that Liesl!

  126. Ashley

    Oh, a seam ripper, no doubt!

  127. Ruth

    Rotary cutter

  128. Jennifer P

    Definitely my walking foot is my favorite tool. It really changed the level of my sewing.

  129. Leticia

    Seam ripper!

    Although it is a rush when thread matches perfectly, it’s harder to rip out!

  130. Carol H

    I would love to go through this book with my daughter. So many techniques we do not know!

  131. Renee

    My rotary cutter! So much quicker and more accurate than scissors.

  132. Colleen Donnelly

    I’ve just returned to sewing after a looong hiatus, and the self-healing cutting mats and rotary cutters were a revelation to me!

  133. kim t.

    probably just having a sewing machine at all… 🙂

  134. Amy

    I have several pairs of wonderful scissors and love the long/sharp clover flower head pins but I feel absolutely handicapped if I sit to sew without the knee lift on my Bernina. I love having my hands free and being able to maneuver my sewing freely by using my knee to lift the presser foot!

  135. Jenny

    All about the seam ripper.

  136. Zohnia

    I love my rotary cutter!

  137. Imogen

    My quick unpick(seam ripper)! So handy and, as the name suggests, quick.

  138. emily

    Okay I know it is a bit weird but my fav tool that i have acquired is a set of tube turners! They are SO AMAZING and like MAGIC when I turn a little tube for a buttonhole! It is i guess a tool I could live without but it is just awesome…so there!

  139. marci

    Love, love, love my serger!! Used to be obsessive about seam finishing and the serger changed it all. Magnetic pin cushion is a second.

  140. marci

    Serger, just looovve my serger!

    1. marci

      Oops, sorry for the 2x.

  141. Thank you to all of those who entered the giveaway. The giveaway is now closed and the winner is being contacted.

  142. Linda

    My Rowenta iron and glass head pins.

  143. Kathryn prior

    My rotary cutter

  144. Belinda Christopher

    My machines ability to more it’s needle from side to side.This really helps make sewing projects easier. And having a built in walking foot !

  145. Patricia

    Favorite sewing tool has to be a good “sharp” hand sewing needle! … And a charming pincushion to keep it in …

Comments are closed.