I've even had a chance to try some of the (new to me) techniques in the book over the past week.
|The Colette Guide to Sewing Knits|
My impressions, in a nutshell, are that the book is great for the following audiences:
- Beginning sewists
- Beginners to knits
- Newbies to serger and coverstitch machines
- Sewists who wish to have a reference with information about various knit techniques and troubleshooting tips all in a single book
FWIW, if someone were going to teach an "Intro to Sewing Knits" course, I think that this book would be a great text to use.
LikesThe book is very well-organized, readable, and nice to look at with lots of pictures. As a knit-sewing veteran, I think that most of the content is sound, and a lot of it includes techniques that I learned on my own through trial-and-error. While the internet is a wonderful source of sewing tips and tutorials, it would have been nice to have all of this information in one place when I was starting out and then when I was a bit more confident and starting to venture out on my own away from pattern instructions.
I also liked that the book included instructions for common embellishments/applications that often aren't included in pattern instructions, such as applying foldover elastic, and a decorative rollover binding that I've seen some in RTW but have yet to see in a sewing pattern:
New-to-me techniquesOver the past week, I tried two new-to-me techniques described in the book with varying success:
- Wonder Tape to stabilize my knit hems: I LOVED this and was wondering where it had been my whole sewing life. I'd seen reference here and there online to "using Wonder Tape to stabilize knit hems" but hadn't realized that Wonder Tape simply washes away in the wash and that it would make my hems so much easier to stabilize and look so nice.
- Clear elastic for shirring: I tried this technique to shirr the waist of my in-progress Moneta dress, and I had no better luck with the technique than the other early Moneta reports that I've seen on the internet. I'm sure that it works fine for some people, but I'll go back to my usual method of gathering via long basting stitches for my next Moneta.
DislikesWhile my overall impressions of the book are fairly positive, there are a few things that I wish Alyson and Sarai had done differently:
- I would have liked to have seen longer and more in-depth sections on troubleshooting serger and coverstitch problems. We see enough "Help! My serger is looping off the edge of the fabric!" threads started on Pattern Review that I think that they could have reasonably included some additional common scenarios.
- While the photos that show different stitch types are great, some of the technique photos were shot a little far back, making it difficult to see the details. I think that more close-up photos would have been great in a few cases.
Look at the pretty!I wasn't familiar with designer Alyson Clair before her collaboration with Colette, but with me being me, I took a look at her web site, and I love the style of her designs. She also shows many of them on a lovely plus sized model, as well as a more traditional model. I pinned several of her dresses for inspiration, but here are a few of my favorites.
Love the yoked, lace overlay dress:
Also, this lovely surplice style dress with a pretty neckline:
And hmmm...doesn't this dress look a bit familiar now? (And it retails for $152 in Alyson's Etsy shop):
In other news, I almost completed a Moneta over the weekend. I finished everything except the skirt hem, but was starting to make some bonehead mistakes by that point and decided that I needed to put it away until I was feeling refreshed. I'm very happy with how it's looking and am looking forward to finishing it and getting to wear it out and about.