A Beginner’s Guide To Sewing With Knitted Fabrics: Techniques / Guides / Resources

how to sew jersey

Well, it’s publication day and I’ve introduced you to all 6 projects in A Beginner’s Guide to Sewing With Knitted Fabrics, given you a whistle-stop tour of the history of sewing with knitted fabrics and given you a bit of background into how the book came to life.

But the book isn’t just a pretty project/pattern book, the Techniques section takes up a hefty portion and I was determined to include as much practical information as possible to take the terror out of knits, to improve your knowledge of knitted fabrics (remember, knowledge is power!) and to help you be successful with all your knit fabric projects from now on. So there are guides, shopping tips and more, like I said – practical information, not just a dry list of facts with no thought given to how they will be used.

All my essential knit know-how sewing skills are covered including:

  • how to identify the right and wrong sides of different types of knits
  • how to identify the selvedges
  • working out stretch percentage and stretch recovery and why they’re important
  • how to prepare knits for making clothes – including washing, drying, laying out and cutting
  • how to set up your sewing machine to sew knits
  • common machining problems and how to fix them
  • how to accurately match stripes
  • the secret to getting a beautifully flat, neat t-shirt neck
  • 4 different ways to use elastic on knitted fabrics
  • where, why and how to tape seams
  • how to use shirring to create shape and texture
  • a comprehensive glossary of knitted fabrics and fibres.

You also get pages of clearly laid out guides to help you:

  • identify the different types of knitted fabrics, understand what they’re like to work with and wear and to enable you to choose the best fabric for your project
  • shop better using my knitted fabric shopping checklist that can be photocopied and taken with you on fabric shopping trips
  • choose the right type of needle and the best tension settings for your fabric using the needle selection chart  
  • choose the right settings for seams for the whole range of knitted fabrics
  • choose the right settings for hems and edges for the whole range of knitted fabrics.

Last, but not least, of course there’s a directory of where to source your knitted fabrics. All the fabrics I used for the samples in the book were very generously given to me by Discovery Knitting and Minerva Crafts, so they of course should be your first port of call for great quality and excellent service. What’s better, Discovery Knitting actually manufacture all their fabrics right here in the UK in their family run factory in Leicester.  I’ve been lucky enough to meet them and have a tour of the factory so you can look forward to a whole blog post about them later in the month.

Some of the fabrics in the book were painted and printed by my own fair hand! Something I was so excited to be able to include. 2018 definitely holds more adventures in this direction for me.

Finally then, a bit of a challenge for you all! Yes, it’s competition time!!

beginners guide to sewing with knitted fabrics

I’m offering a signed copy of Beginner’s Guide to Sewing With Knitted Fabrics, plus a goodie bag of accessories and tools from MIY Collection to one lucky person. Here’s what you need to do to be in with a chance of winning:

  • make a collage of your favourite images from this series of blog posts introducing you to the garments in the book (you can also find them on my Pinterest and Instagram)
  • describe your dream outfit that you’d make from the book – explain why it’s your dream outfit and where you would wear it
  • share your story and image on Instagram using the hashtag #miyknits and tag me @thatwendyward.

Competition closes at midnight on Friday 19th January GMT and I’ll choose my favourite on Saturday 20th January.

This competition is open WORLD WIDE!!

***UPDATE*** as the 1st print run sold out in a day (!), this competition will be re-launched in celebration of the 2nd print run arriving at the end of March. Watch this space!!

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