Book Review – The Colette Guide to Sewing Knits


When this book came out, I had to have it.  I have the other Colette sewing book and I’ve sewn up some of the patterns and if this new book was half as good, it was still a must have.

It’s a must have.

The author is Alyson Clair.  She also created two patterns using knits for Colette, one of which I’ve already sewn up.  I’ve read up on knits a lot, online and in print.  Most of the time, the authors write about knits from a home sewer’s perspective.  Someone who has been sewing with wovens and wants to move on to knits.  Alyson Clair is different.  She comes from the apparel industry where she has been a patternmaker and technical designer.  She works with knits on a daily basis in an industrial setting.  It’s obvious when reading this book that she has a deep knowledge of knits and how to work with them.

The book is divided into three parts.  Part 1 covers materials. The explanations regarding the structure of a knit fabric and the characteristics of different knits are excellent.  This section also covers needles, thread, and trim.

Part 2 covers machines.  Clear pictures show how a serger works, what it does, and troubleshooting.  Then, it’s on to the coverstitch.  By the way, Alyson Clair has settled it with this chapter.  I want a coverstitch. Yesterday.  The final chapter in this section talks about sewing knits on a regular sewing machine.

Finally, part 3 talks about techniques.  Cutting, fitting, stitching, and finishing are all covered.  I have to say, the finishing chapter?  Everything I need to know.

It’s funny.  When I first got the book, I thought it was so small.  How could so few pages cover enough for me to actually learn something?  I thought I’d have no use for the serger chapter since I’ve pretty much figured mine out.  But when I took the time to read the book, really read it, every single chapter taught me something.  If I could keep only one knits resource, it would be this one.

Creative mommy at home to two wonderful little girls, trying to juggle family, sewing, exercise, family, knitting, photography, and did I mention family?

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Posted in Book Reviews, Sewing

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