Sunday, July 12, 2020

Weekend Review: Sewing With Knitted Fabrics

A Beginner's Guide to Sewing with Knitted Fabrics / Wendy Ward
London: CICO, c2018
128 p.
I picked up this one recently -- I've read her other books and found them quite well done, so was very interested to see what this one would be like. 

I bought it for the patterns, but have found that they are almost just a bonus element to this book -- the meat of it, for me, is the extensive information about sewing with knits. The first 37 pages cover techniques of all kinds -- from identifying fabrics and the right/wrong sides, to choosing the right knit for a project, to construction advice (seams, needles, stitches, all with charts to help out). She goes over pattern prep and fabric prep, from washing to cutting, to gathering and pressing. There are detailed instructions about elastic insertion and more unusual design details she uses, like shirring in a block. 
photo Wendy Ward

Then come all the patterns. There are 6 designs -- t-shirt, trousers, tank, lounge pant, cardigan and skirt -- and then multiple variations of each one, which I guess brings it up to the 20 patterns noted on the cover. They are quite basic patterns, not a lot of extra fuss about them. There is a nice detail of shirring on the tee that elevates it a little, though. If you are into casual knit clothing this will be a great choice for you. I'm not much for tees or lounge pants so would probably make the cardigan -- a nice shape to it and many lengths to choose from -- or the dress from the combo of tee and skirt. The Longshaw Skirt is the most unusual design, with side drapes that form pockets. I'm not sure this short pear shaped person could carry it off, but it's a cool look. 

photo Wendy Ward
The pattern sheets are all in the back with each pattern in a different colour to be traced off. The size range is from a 31.5" bust/34.75" hip to a 47.75" bust/51" hip. Each project includes a chart with actual size and finished garment size, and a cutting plan so you know what to cut for the variation you've chosen. There is a lot of helpful information within each project plan as well, so this truly is a beginner's guide. It would be a great resource for someone just starting out working with knits -- I learned a lot, even having sewn with knits for a while (although they are never my favourite fabric). Definitely worth picking up, especially if the casual aesthetic is your preference. 

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