June 16, 2014

i've always been a jersey girl


here's the best review i can give for this book: i lost possession of it for over a month.


on the night of the disappearance, there were many factors involved: one could blame it on the booze (cocktails were immensely present), one could blame it on the beauties (so many ladies wanted a peek), one could certainly blame it on the boogie (because Vintage Michael Jackson is never wrong).  days after sarai invited me to peek at alyson clair & colette's new tome, i packed it carefully in my overflowing saturday sewing/testing/teaching/partying bag, with the intention of ORDERING my "students" (quotes, because for real, they're friends) to BUY THIS BOOK.  


of course then the class went into party mode and the book made its appearance after some truly serious cocktails were served, which started the loss of literature.

but i digress!  it's back in my hot little hands now, and as always, you know if it's here, i love it.  a love accompanied by sparklers and banners and trumpets.  this is a Good, Tasty Book.


so many are scared of knits.  at the start of my sewing plunge, no one ever told me to be scared of this fabric.  being self-taught, no one ever told me anything.  (except a lady at joann's who said i should Never Make Pants.  she was misguided.)  my fearless, reckless abandon with this fabric had everything to do with lack of information.  i tried things out and had many failures and some successes and a general good time of it, wadder or no.


this book would have given past oona far more gold star finishes... and it gave present oona a little happy feeling that many self taught machinations are not too far off the industry mark. 


it's divided into three main sections: fabric, machines, and techniques.  there's a wealth of information for the beginner, and there's gold in there for the more advanced stitcher as well.  i'd never heard of letting your jersey rest after prewashing!  i guess everyone likes a good nap.


the section on machines includes a coverstitch, the beloved brother serger is also showcased in the pages, as well as your reg'lar machineroo.


jersey is a different beast and alyson teaches you how to tame it.  it's like baking versus cooking.  a lot more play and feel and tasting involved.  there are things a beginner might think she or he shouldn't do. alyson gives you tools, and permission.

and sarai would like to give one of you a copy!  to enter, leave a comment on this post, ooooh, let's see: tell me your biggest fail, or fear, at sewing up knits. links to entertaining photographic evidence welcome!  I LIKES TO BE ENTERTAINED.   i'll announce the winner on monday june 23rd.  good luck!

update: comments are now closed, winner will be announced later today... contest now closed, congratulations, jag!

126 comments:

  1. I started sewing knits with the old "Stretch and Sew" method that most of you young'uns have never heard of. But I was fearless, and successful, and I've never looked back. What's not to like? You don't have to finish seams, or even hem!

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  2. I just don't know what I'm doing with knits! I do badly even installing regular ol' elastic on garments, and knits are sort of like sewing with elastic, so.... I've been super intrigued by this book, though, and might just have to take the plunge. My sole foray into knits was to attempt to shorten two H&M fine-gauge cardigans into cropped length, and while it kinda worked, it also kinda didn't. I wore them a few times and then wadded.

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  3. My biggest knit sewing fear is that my seams will stretch and break while I'm wearing a garment in a not-so-flattering place. So, I'm ok with making my own knit dresses and t-shirts, but I shy away from making super-fitted workout clothes that need to be very sturdy - I'm worried that my pants will split while exercising!

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    1. HAHA! that's a hard first hurdle, wearing exercise pants. trust exercise for sure.

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  4. Sadly I have no photos, but I, not knowing any better as a self-taught beginner, made a babygrow out of the most delicious slinky knit printed with dinosaurs! Dinosaurs that look like they'd been drawn by an eight-year-old! It was almost too cute to waste on a baby who didn't know any better, but she's my niece, so I was prepared to make the sacrifice. And sacrifice it was, pretty much; my sewing machine also thought the fabric was delicious, as evidenced by its constant attempts to suck it down into the feed dogs and chew it up. I love my machine, but I cannot lie, I uttered some bad words. Quite a lot of them. We fought, we struggled, but in the end, I more or less won. OK, the edges may not have been quite as neat as I would have liked, and there may have been some bits of tissue still adhering once I learned the trick of putting a scrap of pattern paper under the fabric when starting, but my niece did end up with a dinosaur-patterned outfit.
    My other big knit fail was making a hidden support sleep top out of some really cheap jersey that didn't really want to be sewn, and had almost no stretch. It's fine, I like to think of the seams as being decoratively lacy, and it's not like anyone sees it anyway.
    Maybe I should combine my two failures, and make myself a dinosaur-patterned sleep top?

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  5. Ugh, I've definitely had issues with hems breaking! I know a bit more about stretchy seams and hems, but I would always love to learn more. And about how to sew with clear elastic!

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  6. I think I'm just afraid in general! I would love to learn to sew with knits because I think it will be such a great skill for making easy tees, skirts, and dresses, but I'm scared that it will be a disaster! I've been coveting this book since it came out, as I feel that it will help me conquer my fears. ;-)

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  7. I have a maxi dress on hold right now. The knit keeps getting sucked up in my machine and the usual tricks aren't working. Which is why I am having a stare-down with my new serger...must get over the fear of it.

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  8. I started sewing knits last year as I believe in the DYI godess... Unfortunately, almost all of them ended up with wonky necklines after a few (quite rough, everything in the machines) washes! I am not sure how to revive those kimono Tees yet, but a good guess is that the answer are in that book! :D

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  9. My biggest fear is that my machine is old - like before knits were commonplace old - and pretty basic. I don't have a serger or overlock machine so it's mainly been equipment holding me back from trying more with knits. But I did recently find some knit fabric I bought eons ago so maybe I'll try again!

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  10. I started right in sewing knits when I bought my first machine with hard-earned babysitting cash in 8th grade, since I had no idea, being completely self-taught as well. As a cross-country skier, nothing else could tame my need for neon swirly sparkly, any blindingly tacky print spandex. Fast forward through 12 years of non-American Gladiators-worthy sewing, to last year when I pulled out some black spandex for a Bombshell bikini, thinking the same old Pfaff could pull it off. Wrong. No matter what needle I tried, and I tried them all, the stitches would not take. I ended up sewing the whole thing, basting and gathering stitches included, with sulky stabilizer, the kind you have to rip out by hand so that it leaves tiny stabilizer triangles in between your zigzag stitches that require much swearing to fully remove. Would water-soluble stabilizer have saved me hours of extreme distress? Probably, but I was leaving on vacation to the Spanish coast the next day and absolutely had to have my Bombshell! Ohhh the pain. Luckily, the old Pfaff holds up well with regular jersey withthe right needles.

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    1. the pfaff does do well with knits! i just did up a bombshell & a nettie bodysuit, no serger at all.

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  11. The only way I've been successful with knits is with copious use of Wash Away Wonder Tape. I'm talking miles of the stuff. I know there must be a better way and I'm a ready to learn it

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  12. I have recently started making bathing suits. It is a success!

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  13. First experience with knits I had no clue you where supposed to use a different needle, not just a normal stitch, …. It was bad. My dress had non stretching stitches. The hems broke, the waist didn’t stretch. I never wore the dress (that was just impossible) and I discarded of it immediately. That’s 3 years ago and I didn’t take any pictures. Since then my skills have improved but I’m still not very comfortable with knits.

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  14. Ooooh I just sewed my first knit (ahem it was two straight lines to make a "kimono"), but hey it looks good enough to wear out of the house! I am terrified of battling tension issues with my 1956 Singer. She's a beauty, but super temperamental.

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  15. Fear that not having the right type of machine or thread has been a major hold back for me.

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  16. Biggest fail? It's a classic: I picked up a Big 4 pattern for a knit top, picked a size from the table on the back of the envelope, cut my pieces, and started to sew, then realized that my top was about four sizes too big. (I like to think that this is the real reason they're called the Big 4.) Biggest fear? Not knowing every tip and trick to get the best outcome. I'm obsessive when it comes to my crafty pursuits. I'll study, stress, plan, and panic for days before ever picking up a tool. I hate the idea of wasting time, money, and good materials to make something I won't wear/use/love. Okay, I confess, I'm a perfectionist, and I hate the idea of ending up with something sloppy, which I know I won't bring myself to wear/use/love no matter how hard I worked on it or how many new skills I learned. So, I'm really coveting this book because I figure it's the fastest, easiest, and prettiest way to cram everything there is to know about knits directly into my neurotic brain.

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  17. Great book. No need to enter me in the comp...I already have it, pretty sure I purchased it on one of those wine fuelled evenings myself (I don't often buy books to read about sewing, knowing that they sit on my shelf while I sew and NOT read). But this one, I have, and it has been an enjoyable, easy read. I have to admit, I like sewing with knits, always have. I think I fluked my first goes at it (but was a big over-googler when I first taught myself to sew, so was probably overly guarded against many mistakes I could have made, not saying that I haven't had some major stuff ups, mostly in getting the collar bound neatly and not stretched out. I've been reading it while my girls do gymnastics on a Saturday. Yes, little gymnasts are cute, but seriously, there are only so many forward rolls and crooked handstands you can pretend to be entertained by.

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  18. I once had a beautiful red knit fabric. Sadly, everything I made with it turned out horrible. I still blame the fabric... I'd love to see whether this book has some new tricks for me to learn, I mostly sew with knits these days, so comfortable.

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  19. When I was a novice sewer I made my then husband swim trunks (what was I thinking) out of a way too heavy knit. It was a raging pain to make, but we had no money and I wanted to show my love. When he dove in t he pool, of course the trunks weighed 10 pounds and sunk to his knees. I had to bring towel to cover him so he could get out of the pool. It made for Family Lore.

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  20. Early in my sewing life, around 1974, I needed an evening dress for an event. My grandmother had bought me a Singer sewing machine-one of the black medal ones from the 1950's????. There was no zigzag stitches, only straight stitches, a lever to use to make it reverse stitch and a button hole attachment of some sort. I sewed a rather clinging knit fabric, inserted a zipper which I had never done on a dress before and hemmed it by hand. I never thought once about how stretchy the fabric was and needing any special needle or handling.. I did not do much sewing after that for several years. When I did resume sewing again in early 80's, the only knit I tried to sew was a slinky knit and the dress grew and grew after sewing it. I finally found some helpful information, maybe from Singer Sewing Books, and have continued to sew more and more knits. I still have some hesitation with some knits. I always think you can never learn enough about sewing and I would love to be entered for the chance to win this book.

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    1. isn't it true? there's always something to learn.

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  21. My biggest failure led to me getting a new sewing machine! My husband was tired of hearing me speak badly to my machine when it ate my fabric. I'd had some successful experience with thicker knits but this was using a finer much stretcher knit. Finally the machine devoured the knit, destroying the hem and my (twin) needle and my thread cutter in the process. Eventually I did have a wearable dress even though the hem was less than perfect. And now I have a new machine!

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  22. Early on in my sewing career, I tried to do a loose knit skirt on a regular machine with a straight stitch.....total disaster! Thankfully I am much wiser now. Hems still suck though

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  23. Ugh, I still struggle with getting a decent hem finish with my twin needle and not either having it be all wavy or getting the fabric sucked up under the needle plate of my machine!

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  24. There was an amazing free cowl neck dress pattern on burdastyle at one stage that was the first knit item I ever sewed. For a first attempt it was wearable but I knew it could be great. Sadly my next 2 tries didn't work as well. Number 2 was cut with the stretch running the wrong was and made me look like a sausage while number 3 was the dress version where the top fittted great but I managed to cut the skirt 3 sizes to small! After that I realised that while the pattern was great I was cursed.

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  25. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the book. I sew knits fairly often, but I sort of make up stuff as I go along. Actually, that's true for both knits and woven fabric. Having a serger has definitely made the task of sewing knits less daunting.

    Oh and two snaps for phrase-sneaking "blame it on the boogie."

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  26. As a teenage beginner, I picked up some sort of airy, flimsy, loose-crochet type knit at a flea market. Even now, I haven't a clue what kind of fabric it was. And being a clueless novice about knits and odd weaves, I just dove right in and sewed up a simple t-shirt, holding the fabric in a death grip so the machine wouldn't eat it. And then, after a single successful wearing, I washed it. It shrank. A lot. We're talkin' a lot to the nth power. Or, to be more precise, somewhat like turning Mt. Everest into a cupcake. It was now an itty bitty, densly woven doll-sized replica of its former self. I was so disgusted I put it on my stuffed teddy bear, and was both royaly annoyed and amazed that it fit him perfectly. To a "t", in fact (yah, pun intended). So it became the colorful little t-shirt my stuffed teddy bear George wore for the rest of his natural life. Creative Hormone Rush

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    1. failure to success! everyone loves a well dressed teddy.

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  27. Oh I'm really hoping to get into knits next so I'd love a copy of this book. I've been really scared of jumping into them though I'm told to not have fear and just try it. I think it's mainly because I don't have a serger. But I'd love to tackle them. I'm only a little scared!

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  28. When I have worked with knits in the past, I always get wrinkly hems. :( But I just bought a new machine and it seems to be handling knits better than my old one. I would love to learn some new tricks though!!

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  29. I don't understand this knit phobia. Stretch and sew on the old Singer 15-91 and you were ready to disco the night away in that Quiana wrap dress! Everyone was a walking wardrobe malfunctions when your dress was cut down to your navel. Which was good, because that stuff was not breathable. Man up, Ladies! Knits are your friend!

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  30. The biggest fear for me with knits is the lack of good sources, actually. I generally buy 90% of my fabric online, because of the distance I need to travel to get supplies. And the quality of knits is incredibly variable, so I never know how the fabric I order will turn out. . .

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  31. I'm recently converted from my fear of knits! Yay! So excited. I just blogged about it yesterday!! And I would be THRILLED to win the book, it is definitely on my WISH list.

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  32. Biggest fear: sloppy or unprofessional finishes on t-shirts so I'm still buying RTW tees for fear of my hand-mades not meeting par! Can I get a profesh-looking garment without a coverstitch or serger? Maybe just more practice (and cocktails) needed :)

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    1. the section on alcohol is the only part missing....

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  33. I've sewn knits in the past (swimming cozzies mostly) - but not recently as I prefer to wear woven clothes and prefer the look of them on me - that being said I do have a pile of old T-shirts that are destined to be reinvented as knickers.

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  34. Biggest fail: one of my first knit projects was with a waffle knit, and the neckline just kept growing and growing as I sewed with it. I had no idea how to stop it! It's completely unwearable, and I am now afraid of waffle knits. Also, the twin needle is my nemesis.

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  35. Attended one term of sewing classes at 16 and made a dress in 4way stretch jersey against the advice of my teacher, on the first wearing of my sleeveless polo neck dropped waisted dress (it was the 80's!) the weight of the circle skirt on an un-interfaced bodice meant it went from just below the knee to trip you up and try to kill you past your toes in one event filled wear! Luckily I was able to rescue the fabric into two tee's but I learnt to be cautious of directional stretch in future projects!!

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  36. I approached my first knit project as I approach most of my sewing projects - with the fearless bliss of the ignorant! I sewed every seam on my first knit project with just normal straight stitch. I didn't even know my machine had a stretch stitch or that such a thing existed!! FAIL!!! Like most head-firsters, it was only *after* I tried to pull the shirt over my head and heard the tell tale "riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip" that it even occurred to me to investigate sewing with knits in the slightest. Perhaps a book would do me some good......

    Cheers,
    Eileen

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  37. The last time I sewed with knits was freshman year of high school, circa 1993. While not a complete failure, that long-sleeved, princess-seamed, knee-length, solid TEAL (!?!?) number was a beast to put together and not too flattering on my form. And I have been too chicken to tackle knits ever since!

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  38. I am always afraid of the necklines. I find it realy difficult to get these right. And my biggest failure was Vogue 1342 http://www.hobbyschneiderin24.net/portal/showpost.php?p=2239482&postcount=38 (it is the picture in the middle). The book is definitively on my wishlist

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  39. I cut out a "boxy" tee and sew it up, using zigzag for stretch and everything! Try it on... instead of the perfect casual top, I get a skintight dress reaching almost to my knees! Way to cut out fabric with the stretch running the wrong direction... Knit FAIL! (No pictures, I was too scandalized at the time to realize how hilarious it was.. I'm happy to announce I have since made many a decent tee, but I could definitely use more direction!)

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  40. My biggest fear is getting the right fabric! I've had several knit projects that were wadders b/c of poor fabric choice.

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  41. I have this book but would love to win it for a friend!

    My biggest fear in knit sewing is cutting my finger off with the serger. And also having a stripes fabric go completely off-piste. You know. What I mean. Also that whole "I made this whole 8 panelled sweatshirt on a serger" kinda freaks me out. BECAUSE HOW DO THEY KNOW IT'S GONNA FIT?!?!?

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  42. I've only made one knit so far and it turned out rather well, so fear it is....slippery knits..... OHGAWD. THE HORRA!

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  43. Two years ago I bought a HORRENDOUS array of thin jersey in crazy bad colors... I also didnt line the garment cause I was stoopid... thankfuilly i neveer wore it out but t has haunted and shamed me to this day

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  44. YEARS ago, my husband gave me an armload of his precious 80s metal band and WWF t shirts and said "you should wear these" in the same way a high school boyfriend once gave me his class ring. Now I love my husband and his crazy t shirts immeasurably more then that high school boyfriend whose name I barely remember, but ... those t shirts are all XXL and XXXL. And I am not. I am also nearly a foot shorter then my husband. So, I have been sleeping in/lazing around the house in his prized t shirts when I'm sure I was meant to restyle them and wear them to board meetings, visits to my mother and church functions. If only I knew how!

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    1. oh man, do i want those t shirts. holy cow. okay you MUST get on that!!! they need to see daylight!!

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  45. I've had broken twin needles, swore a helluva lot at skipped twin needle stitches, caught up wrong bits in seams and serged holes in garments. I've spent more time trying to work out the grain and cut out a garment than I have sewing it up. And I'm not sure how negative ease works, all these different knits with different amounts of stretch. Knits can be tricksy.......

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  46. shhhhhh...don't tell anyone...but I have one entire box of pre-washed, ironed and neatly folded jersey fabrics and lace and I haven't. sewn. a. darned. thing. with. it---yet! I am scared of cutting it, of my machine eating bits and worst, of pulling on my (insert as appropriate) brand new T-shirt/skirt/dress and all the seams popping and bursting on me (this one is a nightmare scenario that has me waking up sweating...) I need serious help, please! xo Bettina, waving hello across the big pond!

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  47. I'm mainly self taught as well, and haven't experimented much with knits. However I make most of my (few) makes for my 3 y.o. daughter, which is very forgiving...bits of stray thread running up her butt from my failed attempt at a French seam...she doesn't care! I think my biggest fear of dealing with knits is actually being able to tell what the different weights will look/act like once sewn up. Will especially thin knits show my belly button dimple? Will thick knits be so stiff I may as well be wearing a tutu?

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  48. My first moneta neckline and lining were a mess. Should have got the book!

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  49. I had a knit fail recently with my serger — in fact, was convinced my serger was completely broken. But it was just this ponte, which I was serging to a poly. I guess my serger is doesn't like mixed marriages.

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  50. Stretching out. Strangely, knits stretch, and I invariably have necklines and hems all fluttery and flappy. So sad.

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  51. My biggest fear with jersey... is running out! I LOVE jersey for so much, I wish I had more. I know, I know... go buy some. I will.

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  52. Haha! I recently sewed a dress with a knit that I had washed and dried on high heat and it kept stretching as I worked with it. The neckline went from a conservatively high to Miley Cyrus low very quick.

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  53. Knits! I never used to be afraid of knits. I made myself some knit skirts years ago, but because I didn't usually use zigzag, the seams tended to pop eventually. I just got a vintage machine with zigzag that works (YAY!) and am excited to start sewing with knits because they're so comfy. But now I find I'm intimidated and just plain don't know where to start.

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  54. I'm an oldie but goodie as far as making clothes for myself is concerned, and stupidly sold my serger a year ago. Some loverly jersey managed to make an appearance in my abode, and I'm afraid to make something with it on my sewing machine. I can use all the help I can get.

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  55. I love sewing with knits and do it a lot, but I think today I may have a fail. I've dressed my 9 month old son in a me-made raglan and it was a battle to get it on, but I was keen to see him in it (super cute btw, anchor print jersey). But now I am thinking that this jersey doesn't have enough stretch to get the tshirt back off and I may need to cut him out of it later...

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  56. Like you I tend to be fearless with knits because it's not like I'm not sewing with the original Magna Carta in fabric form! My main fear is that one day, in 20 years, someone will find photos of me in my knit garments and laugh heartily at me, much as I did when gifted some hilarious 80's Australian Knitwit patterns with photos similar to his:
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/KNITWIT-9100-Mens-Knit-Top-Uncut-Vintage-Master-Sewing-Pattern-/121010998235?pt=AU_Sewing&hash=item1c2cd14bdb&_uhb=1

    Or this:
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/KNITWIT-1300-Overshirt-Dress-Sz-6-22-1986-Uncut-Vintage-Master-Sewing-Pattern-/110972807892?pt=AU_Sewing&hash=item19d67eaad4&_uhb=1

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  57. My biggest knit fail is a two parter. Same knit tee, 2 very different fails. Fail #1: After I hemmed the tee with a twin needle, I attempted to trim away excess seam allowance and cut a big-ol-hole into my fabric. I had cut the hem off, re-hem, and then re-trim. Fail #2: In the midst of this, I must have picked up my dog a few times (she's very small) and later found a poop smear on my new shirt. Yea, Pearl has bowel issues and there have been times that she's...let say...leaked. It was super gross and it made me realize that this tee was never meant to be.

    I'd love to see what Colette patterns has to say about sewing knits! Please enter me in the contest.

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  58. I'm just getting back to sewing clothing for myself after swearing off of it for my working years. Now retired, I am loving sewing again and knits are what I'm into since I bought a serger. This book looks like a MUST for me.

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  59. My first knit is still sitting on the back of the sewing chair - a sad reminder that stretch direction matters a lot when you're cutting out knits, which I thought I knew and I was so. damn. proud. that everything was going swimmingly. Until, of course, it came time to sew the collar onto the bodice. Won't stretch. Not the way it's meant to anyway. So there it sits, abandoned until I can work out how to save it. Or not.

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  60. I love knits, was introduced a couple of months ago, but totally scared clear elastic.. any elastic actually, haven't used any ever.. is there elastic stuff in this book too?

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  61. I hate sewing knits. Or is they hate me. Part of this is I've never actually used the overlocker I saved up to buy….I always convince myself it would be quicker to sew on my sewing machine with a zig zag stitch….seeing there's a section in the book about the working of machines sewing knits…..I'm intrigued and tempted.

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  62. I still feel I'm learning despite loving sewing knits! They are my fave, but just when you think you're comfy you push boundaries and find out why you've so much more to learn!! But as far as recorded evidence of past fails goes.....I've this on my knicker making initiation...

    http://scruffybadgertime.co.uk/2011/09/of-smalls-too-small-and-not-so/

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    1. AH! but those seem filled with win!!!!

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  63. I love sewing with knits. But the top stitching with my regular sewing machine is really annoying...

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  64. Zippers and buttons just want to do the wobble for me when it comes to knits...Help!

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    1. yikes.... whyfore you want zippers in knits?? closures begone!

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  65. My biggest fear is sewing straight on my overlocker without stitching the seam first, because I'm worried I won't get it lined up properly and will chop a chunk off! At least if it's stitched first I can use the stitching as a guide. Which kinda makes overlocking on knits pointless if its just seam finishing, so I don't bother!

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  66. oooo, it does look like a yummy book.
    I love knits, they drape like honey but they can be the devil too....especially when they stretch out & make you look like you are so incompetent at sewing. Small reminders that there is still plenty to learn!

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  67. Hi Oona! I'm like you: I didn't know knits were supposed to be scary. When I was at university I decided to sew a slinky jumpsuit out of crinkly velvet (it was the early 90's, after all) and I came home for the weekend to use my mother's sewing machine. She said, "you're going to sew THAT fabric?" with a look of horror on her face. Being a teenager, I disdainfully ignored her and headed to the basement. A few hours later I came upstairs with a great fitting jumpsuit! I think the only reason it fit well was because it was a knit...I love sewing with knits because they are so forgiving on fit. Anyway, having said that, my biggest failure sewing with knits so far has got to be this "dress" that doubles as a grocery cart (not sure how to post a pic here in the comments so here's a link): http://frivolousatlast.com/2014/05/23/i-thought-i-was-sewing-a-dress-but-it-turns-out-its-a-bathrobe-with-storage-compartments-for-groceries/

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    1. oh HA i remember you posting that!! vogue has insane amounts of ease.

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  68. Fun contest! My biggest knit fear is forgetting to change out needles in my machine, and ending up with runs where they catch the fabric...or accidentally serging over too many layers at a time.

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  69. But biggest fear in sewing up knits is sewing a bathing suit. Which I am doing right now. With my serger. So it means I'm really rolling the dice today, friend.

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  70. My biggest fail - other than cutting fabric off grain - was scorching fabric Sunday evening. I was halfway finished with a Lady Skater dress when I finally admitted to myself that the yellowing was not caused by my sewing machine light, it was actually the fabric. Guess it's time to invest in a silk organza press cloth.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/98849378@N07/14252773059/

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    1. oh, it doesn't look so bad! just call it distressed- a design element:)

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  71. My biggest fail: The piles of knits I have in my cupboard that all had grand plans. Once I got them home, washed, and saw all of those edges curl up, they are still sitting in there. Blurg.

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  72. I need all the help I can get. To wit: baggy necklines, curling hems, missed stitches. I love the way jersey feels, but I don't like sewing with it. Can this situation be changed?????

    xo

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  73. Hi there, tried to sew panties last weekend from jersey remnant but have to confess that none of three made the way to my closet.

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  74. I bought a knit dress on etsy, that promptly developed holes near the seams. I loved the fabric so much I took it apart to make a shirt, thinking the holes were caused by bad sewing. I wore it once or twice... before it developed more holes near the seams. Lesson: do not waste your energy on fabric that is clearly crap.

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  75. I have been spending my time on things like welt pockets and pants fitting - when I could be turning out lots of happy knit outfits! But every time I try to make something knit I end up with messy, ugly hems, sagging neckbands, and skipped stitches everywhere - usually only on the visible parts! I could do so much better ...

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  76. Ha, my biggest problem with knits is that I wear them to death and they stretch out and then I get really sad until I realize I can tailor them and give them new life! Also I just realized that the reason my knit dresses didn't look as good as my storebought dresses is because I don't underline them. Or finish the seams. Really, I just slap my jersey knits together which is why I probably really need this book!

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  77. Before I knew to be scared of knits, I tried to whip up a wrap dress. It was a disaster. The hem was bacon and the neckline would have been too open for a nursing mother. It was a fail aside from the beautiful emerald color that no woven has been able to copy. Now I'm too scared to try knits again, even though I have a whole cubby of adorable knit fabrics.

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  78. Well, first was the slinky dress that lengthened by about three inches after I made it, then there was the drape front top that way too stiif , then the unravelling of the hem cover stitched in tHe round, then the unfortunately thin cotton knit tank dress with unnecessary facings..... I seem to have been through it all and still don't know squat about knits.

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  79. My biggest failure with knits to date is still one of my earliest project. I tried to make a kimono out of sweatshirt material. Lesson learned: kimonos are meant for drapey fabrics (like silk!), NOT sweatshirt jersey. I looked like Luke Skywalker.

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    1. Also, I have no photographic evidence because I was too embarrassed to take a photo. It's one of the few projects I haven't documented excessively.

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    2. we need a Show Us Yer Fails series...

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  80. I started with knits because I was scared of fit adjustments I'd have to make with wovens. My biggest fail was choosing a thick sweatshirt-like knit and making a summer maxi skirt out of it. I was DETERMINED to wear it since I made it but I was sweating so badly.

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  81. I'm a knit-phobic after trying a project with my first knit that curled and rolled and generally made my life miserable. I swore up and down I wouldn't touch knits with a ten foot barge pole. This book IS the barge pole I need to wrestle those jumpin' jerseys in a headlock! ♡

    xox,
    bonita of Lavender & Twill

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  82. My worst experience with knits actually came from a wearable skirt. I made it my first year of sewing and used a spandexy-knit type fabric on a pattern for a woven skirt. It came out pretty cute and I've worn it to work many times because it's cool and comfortable.

    Unfortunately, at the time I didn't understand the reasoning behind a zigzag stitch to sew knits, so I used a regular old straight stitch. Fast forward to a couple of months ago (about 2 1/2 years after I sewed the skirt) and I'm wearing it to work again. I work with my husband and I was in his office at break time. When I got up to leave he said, "I can see your butt." I thought he was kidding, but lo and behold my stitches busted right where my right cheek was... and it was a good 5 inches worth of busted stitches, too. Thank goodness I had a cardigan on hand to tie around my waist for the rest of the day. No one else told me anything that day (I'm hoping they noticed my then-new haircut instead) but am pretty amused/mortified by my sewing failure. I've repaired it since but am too scared to attempt to wear it in public again. Of course no photographic evidence because I'm sure you'd like to keep things PG. ;-)

    I'm sure if I had this book at the time I made the skirt, I could have saved face [cheek....]

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    1. ACK!!! yeah, a straight stitch will work sometimes, but not on the derriere. YIKES.

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  83. How nice of you guys to offer this giveaway. My biggest fail with knits is that I've been too afraid to even try. I love the way the look and want to sew something with them, I even have some knit fabric. Yes, I know I being a pathetic big fat chicken but knits seem (no pun intended) to have so many variables and I'm not good with rules. Recommendations of easy projects with lightweight knits for chickens would be welcome.

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  84. Neckline/armhole bindings in knits are my nemesis. It's hard to get the know the right amount to stretch around those curves so that they don't stand out. Grrr.

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  85. My biggest fail involves a pile of remnant mystery knit from my local G Street Fabrics. Did I mention it was tissue weight? I made a Renfrew.

    Somehow ended up with a hem much longer on the left side than on the right. (I'd never heard of stabilization back then.)

    Did I mention I've sworn off cheapy knits? :P

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    1. another thing i love: alyson tells us to pretty much manhandle the fabric before buying it. bah to cheapo knits!

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  86. My worst knit experience happened when I decided to move from sewing costumes to sewing clothes. I figured an infinity wrap dress would be simple enough (circle skirt, long straps, tube top) and I got some nifty fabric from joanns. But, I didn't get enough for the boob tube, so I had to supplement with a mystery stash fabric that actually used to be a scarf. The main fabric was pink and blue polkadots and the stash was purple velvet, close enough right? To counter the mismatch, I used some of the purple as bias tape on the hem and straps, but this was before I knew what "bias" meant. I also didn't put elastic in the top of the boob tube because I figured stretch material would cling all by itself. Then to avoid the wrong side of the first fabric showing I doubled the fabric on the straps, which only resulted in really heavy, thick, bulky wrap straps. I loved that dress when I first made it, but now, I really want to take some scissors to it.

    pictures: http://curvystitches.blogspot.com/2014/05/infinity-dress-parade.html

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  87. I was a teen when I first tackled sewing with knits. Like you, I dove into knits fearlessly and one of my earliest knit garments, was a simple sleepshirt (I just lengthened a crew neck T-shirt pattern). All went great until the neckline. Let's just say I got a bit carried away with stretching the ribbing as I was stitching it on and ended up with a neckline larger than my waist. ;o)

    Then there's the shirt that my hubby was so proud of making back when we were first married. Making himself a T-shirt was his idea and going well, until he asked me to take a look at his progress. He somehow managed to stitch a sleeve into the neckline...which I had to point out to him. Undeterred, he went ahead, picked out all the serged stitches and then turned around and sewed that sleeve back into the neckline a second time. Whoops. (story has the happy ending of shirt being set to rights - he ripped out his stitches a second time and then I made sure he got the pieces in the right place ;o).

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  88. Like you, I'm self-taught and no one told me to be askeert of sewing knits. I've had some fantastic successes, but my biggest fail, the one that hurts my heart, is the Tiramisu dress I made from Liberty of London rayon knit. I made the size I always make, but from cotton knits. It grew and grew and grew. It's hanging in the closet. The cost of the fabric is the only reason it got a hanger. The midriff piece is more like a dropped waistband. The skirt comes almost to my ankles. Lesson about cotton vs rayon knits learned! One day I'll fix it. Today isn't that day.

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  89. Yes, yes, I have a photo!!! http://fitnottofit.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/img_0630.jpg
    My biggest fear is exactly what the fabric of this dress does: it rolls like crazy... In the picture you can see that I did a rolled hem with my serger. After one wash, the hem (but only in one section) rolled up by about 3". So I hand hemmed it, as I was on my way to a party, and did not have access to a sewing machine that very moment. I did 1" hem. After another wash, the hem flipped up, again on that one section... Now I have to iron it if I want to wear it. Geeeeeez, ironing knits, ugh.

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  90. Yes, yes, I have a photo!!! http://fitnottofit.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/img_0630.jpg
    My biggest fear is exactly what the fabric of this dress does: it rolls like crazy... In the picture you can see that I did a rolled hem with my serger. After one wash, the hem (but only in one section) rolled up by about 3". So I hand hemmed it, as I was on my way to a party, and did not have access to a sewing machine that very moment. I did 1" hem. After another wash, the hem flipped up, again on that one section... Now I have to iron it if I want to wear it. Geeeeeez, ironing knits, ugh.

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    1. THAT PICTURE IS SHEER GENIUS!!!!

      ironing knits. now there's an oxymoron. shouldn't we NEVER have to do that?

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  91. I'd guess my biggest fail was the white dress I made when my bobbin case fell apart and I had to use my vintage machine. Apparently, although my stitches looked good, they were too tight on stretch gabardine.

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  92. Hems. I'm always afraid I'm going to end up with a rippling hem of horror. Should that be capitalised? Hem Of Horror! I have no serger; perhaps that would help?

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  93. Oh my goodness do I have stories! My first try at a knit top, I didn't grasp that my fabric only had horizontal stretch, and since I'm a real miser when it comes to pattern layouts, I just did my normal pattern piece tetris game. After all, I just wanted to give it a try, who cares which way the print is facing, right? Of course, those slim sleeves wouldn't get much past my elbows without stretch. OOOPS. Sadly, no photos, because I couldn't even manage to get the thing on.

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  94. My biggest fail happened last night actually. I don't know if was the jersey or the print (stripes). I cut my skirt pieces on the fold as per the norm, and lo and behold the side closest to the table was askew and my lines all a mess. Instead of nice, completely straight horizontal lines, bith skirt front and back are sadly droopy. Making my ass look wide and droopy in a snug blue/green striped sausage casing.

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  95. Fail and fear - those stupid necklines. Just finished a T, and put a binding around the neckline. It gapes, it's too low, it's awful. And it is really tough to get that binding off and do it right without making a hot mess of that fabric. Ugh! So now I have a mild phobia of neckines. Great.

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  96. I live knitting, but I hate sewing with knits. I just always get the wrong amount of stretch. I stopped a few pairs in to my quest to make myself a whole new set of underwear and haven't gone back. But I keep buying swimsuit patterns. Ugh, I don't even know. Are there major booksellers this fab book will be available from, or can we only order through Colette?

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  97. Elastan. I don't know why everyone is so in love with elastan, because that beast always stretches unevenly on me. As in, not that I sew it up unevenly, that's normal and that's my problem; but every single elastan-filled T-shirt I've ever had had eventually stretched out on me in an ugly manner (usually at the shoulders in the back). I guess elastan's meant to go into a dryer on something. No dryers in my world, thank you very much; it's good old-fashioned line-drying in this girl's household.
    As a result of that, and the fact that getting nice strong 100% cotton knit fabrics for a fair student price is nearly impossible - at least I haven't succeeded yet - I fill my T-shirt and knit quota by sourcing thrift shops. But I would like to learn how to treat knits better.


    "Never Make Pants" is an even more useless advice than "copy that pair of perfectly fitting RTW pants in your closet." In a world of RTW pants that fit about 5% of women because of the companies' cheap straight cuts, guess how we can get that pair of perfectly-fitting pants? You guessed right, by making our own.
    I happened to be lucky with finding a perfectly fiting pair of pants in the wardrobe after all, but I have a strong suspicion they were never RTW to begin with; they have the look of a custom-made garment to them. As in, no tags.
    I think pant rants are my favourite fit-related RTW-aimed rants... Pant rants. Pants Rants. It almost sounds like the name of a podcast or something...

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  98. I really love sewing with knots and am not scared of them anymore. I have the fabric and patterns to start sewing swimsuits but that is intimidating me a little!

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  99. Like you I'm self taught so had no idea I could be scared of knits til I started reading blogs! I love knits, so quick and easy and forgiving on the fitting ;) I'd love to win the book though, I'd love to learn more about my favourite type of fabric!

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  100. I love the knit tops, skirts, jackets and dresses I have made. They're the sewn things I actually wear the most day to day. For your amusement, here's a couple of links for knit gone bad:
    http://roomforsewing.blogspot.com/2013/12/a-sewing-haiku.html
    http://roomforsewing.blogspot.com/2013/02/isnt-this-pretty-color.html
    Enjoy!

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  101. I have been eyeballing that book!! I have the new Moneta pattern and the jersey fabric ready to go for my next project! But......the little sewing I have done with jersey~~ difficult, LOTS of pins involved and repining and going slightly crazy :-)

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