A Review: The Colette Guide to Sewing Knits

Hmmm…so there seems to be a trend in my reviews these last few weeks. Last week was a Nancy Zieman book. This week’s offering is by Alyson Clair. Both books are on working with knit fabrics. While I’m not planning to make a jump to pure knitwear, I am working with knits as I try to manufacture my own bras and re-cut T-shirts so they fit me better, hence the trend in books on knit fabrics. Enough of the why, on to the review.

The Colette Guide to Sewing Knits was a very easy read, with lots of pictures showcasing each step as Alyson Clair takes us through a crash course on knit fabrics and how to work with them. She gives you a quick rundown on how to determine if a knit will pill TOO easily and discusses how to alter patterns for knit wear if needed, which was the section I was really keen to read (I wear a very weird size bra…hence my desire to make my own and the sudden need for knowledge in knits). But it made me excited to experiment with patterns I already have for knitwear, so I have that to look forward to as well.

One thing she did introduce me to was a cover stitch machine, which I had never heard of prior to this book, but now covet mightily just because. Hopefully I can find one that isn’t too expensive and I can budget for one in the future. For now I’ll make do with a double needle and my Baby Lock.

One criticism I would have on the book is in some sections when Clair was describing techniques, while the written instructions were excellent and easy to follow, the accompanying photos were useless due to being white fabric photographed against a white background. Now, this was not true for ALL or even most of the demonstration photos. But for the ones she did use white on white photography, I had to really scrutinize the photos to see what she was talking about.

So another good book to recommend. I just realized that I seem to always recommend the books I’m reviewing and I did pause a moment in self-reflection and wonder about that. Then I realized it’s largely because if the book is boring or does not interest me, I tend to not finish it. And it doesn’t seem fair to critique a book you can’t read through to the end. So I will continue to read and recommend good books and save the criticism for something truly execrable…like The Communist Manifesto…or Twilight.