A beautiful new book has entered the sewing world from the inimitable Wendy Ward and it covers the ins and outs of sewing with knit fabrics as well as five patterns that are versatile and extremely wearable. Sewing with knits is a topic near and dear to my heart because once I overcame my fear of sewing knit fabrics I was really able to sew clothing that suits my real life. And, that was like opening the heavenly gates for a wardrobe-maker like me! Wendy’s latest book, A Beginner’s Guide to Sewing with Knitted Fabrics, includes gobs of valuable information about everything from sizing, body measurements, common sewing machine problems, finishing techniques, differences in drape and breaks down the many types of knit fabrics. It’s a great resource for beginners, as the title implies. As I mentioned, there are five different patterns included (a tee, pants, lounge pants, a skirt and a cardigan) but what is so wonderful is they can be used in enough different ways to make 20 garments. I’m so excited to be a part of the blog tour for this resourceful book and positively thrilled to share my scrumptious Monsal Lounge Pants.
Oh, these Monsal Lounge Pants! First off, I will confess to a heavy bit of skepticism about the whole loungers/joggers sewing trend. I sound like an old woman but when I was a kid we just called these sweatpants…and they probably had elastic around the ankle. They were never flattering on anyone, to be honest, and so I have largely ignored their trendiness within the sewing community up until now. These particular lounge pants are perfection. I get it, guys. Pants that are soft, comfortable and full of starry happiness. Yup. I’m in. Admittedly, these are pants I wear around the house but I’m planning on a second pair in french terry for working out. I still don’t think I would wear “sweatpants” out of the house very much.
A few details before I dive too deep into the second yet-to-be-made pair.
Monsal Lounge Pants. Originally I graded up a size from the waist to the hip so that my measurements strictly followed her sizing chart. This often happens to me as I have lusciously juicy hips.
In the end, however, I realized I wanted them a bit tighter around the hips so I graded back down. And, I’m glad I did. I love how they fit.
I also love the wide elastic waist, which is something I rarely say. It’s comfortable and not so tight as to shove all of my tummy parts up and out above the waistline.
For anyone curious, my second choice patterns was the Kinder Cardigan (Zoe made a wonderful version of this so definitely check hers out).
As a part of the blog tour, I got to choose fabric from Minerva Crafts so I was able to splurge a little. At first, I was a little worried this star fabric would look too juvenile but I ended up falling completely in love with it. Here is a link to it. It’s so soft and thick and super warm. I am one of those people who is always cold and I’m toasty warm in my loungers. The fabric costs 20 pounds a yard, I’ve heard fabric is more expensive in the UK than in the U.S. so maybe that doesn’t sound pricy to readers overseas, but it felt indulgent to me.
As it so happens, this blog tour was supposed to happen months ago but the first run of Wendy’s book sold so fast they asked us to wait so they could do the tour at the time of the second run. (Isn’t that amazing? If any of us every write a book, I wish us the same luck!) Anyway, my point is, I’ve been wearing and washing these lounge pants for a while now and often just keep on wearing them all night long and they are holding up.
Overall, I’m a fan of the book. I like that it has basic patterns that can be used to build a wardrobe and I love that it offers insights for sewing with knits. I’m obviously very happy with my loungers. There are also great tips on how to mess with knits in fun ways like color-blocking with scraps and using elastic thread for a ruched effect. I didn’t make the pants but I was able to use her tutorial on how to use wide elastic as a facing for another pattern.
It’s a book with a lot to teach.
Additionally, the book includes women of different ages and not just White women as models. Huge hat tip to Wendy for being inclusive in that regard.
That said, there are a few things that might annoy people. One, the pattern pieces are on paper at the back of the book, which is great. What is kind of annoying is that an individual garment pattern might be spread across a handful of pattern pages instead of grouped together. It’s not a big deal but makes for a bit of hunting to find all the pattern pieces for what you are making. I also find the style of the patterns is more athletic looking than other patterns out there. I don’t mind this but it might surprise others. It’s very much Wendy’s style.
These are really small things that might not bother others but I want to lay it all out there.
Given how popular this book has been I’m super pleased to share that I’m giving away a copy! I’m running a giveaway over on Instagram so don’t miss it. Link here.
I’m in amazing company on this blog tour so be sure to check out what Zoe, Jane, Kerry, Marilla, Beth, Rachel, the By Hand London folks and Katie are all making. I’m sure it will inspire as the tours rolls around the world.
Psst! Be sure to pop over to my Instagram account and enter the book giveaway!
If you can’t wait for those results to come rolling in you can still benefit because MAKEetc.com are offering 25% off the price by typing in the code BLOG25 at the check out, the code lasts until 21st April.
Note: This post includes affiliate links, thanks so much for your support of this little blog. Also, I was provided with this book and fabric for the purposes of this blog tour. It was my delight to do so and my opinions remain my own.
Wendy Ward says
So happy to hear how much you’ve been enjoying wearing your Monsals Melissa, they turned out great! I know the pattern sheet thing can be frustrating – but I hope the colour coding and key make it as easy and hassle free as possible I long for the day a publisher gives me a hard back spiral bound book with separate single sided patten sheets for every project. ….!! Maybe now I’ve written a book that can sell out in 2 days it might be on the horizon x
Melissa Q. says
Thanks Wendy! You are totally right, you did make it as easy as possible. And, yes please! A revolution from within! You are totally in the right position to enact it.
Wendy Ward says
I’m on it
Melissa Q. says
Jennifer Hill says
Yes, fabric IS a lot more pricey here in the UK. Yours will be £20 per meter rather than yard, but yep that’s a lot wherever you live! Love the loungers!
Melissa Q. says
Oh, thanks for catching that. Yes, it is per meter and that does add a few inches!