A few months ago Wendy Ward asked me if I’d like to review her latest book, “A Beginner’s Guide to Sewing with Knitted Fabric” as part of a blog tour. And of course I jumped at the chance. The first print run of the book sold out so the blog tour was postponed a few months until there would be more books in stock. It’s no surprise that the book would sell out because knit fabric is notoriously tricky to work with. A book like this is a must read for anyone looking to start sewing with knits. But even if you have experience sewing with knits, this book is well worth purchasing because it’s packed with awesome patterns.
The book starts out with a very comprehensive section on everything from types of knitted fabric to recommended stitches and finishing stitches. My favorite section details all the ways you can use elastic in your knitted garments. One technique I’ve never done before and would really like to try is using elastic as waistband facing. The book includes patterns for a whole wardrobe full of clothes including pants, shirts, dresses, skirts and a cardigan. Each pattern includes ways to customize the pattern for loads of options. I'd love to try the Winnats Tank and the Kinder Cardigan (shown above). They are both styles that I know I would wear a lot.
The book has pull out patterns in the back. They are printed on both sides with overlapping lines so you'll need to trace the patterns. The color coding of the patterns makes it really easy to find your size and to trace. The instructions are really easy to understand and the illustrations are excellent (see below).
For the blog tour, I made the Monsal Lounge Pants in the full length, with cuffs, scoop pockets and a waistband. To adjust for my height (5'11"), I cut the waist at the no waistband cutting line which essentially lengthened the rise about 1.5 inches. I also added a couple inches to the length of the pants and they are the perfect slouchy length. Otherwise I made no changes to the pattern and they are the perfect lounge pants. I selected my size based on my hip measurement and I think the pattern feels true to size, not too big or too small.
The main fabric of the pants is a stretch velvet that I was gifted by Minerva Crafts. It’s super soft and I love wearing this fabric. Velvet can be really tricky to work with and I definitely had moments where I questioned why I chose this fabric but in the end it wasn’t bad. I cut my fabric in a single layer but didn’t need to do any hand basting of the seams. Phew! For the cuffs, waistband and pocket accents, I used a black 4-way stretch knit fabric from my stash.
Black is such a hard fabric to photograph but I love how easy it is to mix into my wardrobe. So, I just keep sewing more black. In the photo below you can see a little bit of the sheen from the velvet. Here I’m wearing the pants with my all time favorite knit Lou Box Top. This outfit is lounging at it’s best. I may have even taken a nap after taking these photos!
I’ve been sewing for over 20 years and I remember being so scared of using knit fabric. I finally tackled them about 10 years ago with the help of this book and lots of practice. I wish that I had had Wendy's book back then. It is so comprehensive, it would have saved me a lot of time and definitely boosted my sewing confidence. Plus all of the patterns are very wearable and adaptable for most lifestyles.
The blog tour has an awesome lineup of sewing bloggers so make sure to follow along and see what everyone makes. If you're interested in getting your own copy of the book, check out MakeETC.com and enter the code BLOG25 at checkout for 25% off. The code will be valid until the 21st April. Happy sewing!
Disclosure: I was given a copy of the book by the publishers and fabric from Minerva Crafts in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.