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Book Review: A Beginners Guide To Sewing With Knitted Fabrics by Georgia

Hello everyone! I’m Georgia from "acornkiss" and I'm back on the Minerva Crafts blog, this time for a review of the New Book by Wendy Ward: “A Beginners Guide To Sewing With Knitted Fabrics”. I was so excited when Minerva Crafts asked me to make this review. I consider myself as an intermediate sewist in general, but when it comes to knit fabrics I sometimes feel like a complete beginner. They are totally different from a woven fabric and need a special treatment, so if you don't know some tricks you can easily get frustrated... I usually do. Nevertheless, I love the softness and the comfort of clothes with knitted fabrics and for the last months I was trying to make some. I mostly used ponte romas that are on the easy side of knits and didn't meet much trouble, but I want to use more lightweight knits for the summer. So this book came in to my life just at the right moment. 
The book starts with an introduction and with a "how to use this book" guide bearing in mind absolute beginners. Right after that, Wendy recommends the patterns that are easier to start with, the types of knits that are best to use for your first projects and gives an overview of the book, pointing out where you should pay more attention.
It is divided into two main sections: the techniques part and the projects part. This structure comes in handy when you’re also working on other projects as you can easily access the needed information. In every topic you will find detailed data which is then summarized in a convenient table: everything you need to know in a glance!
 So, let’s begin with the techniques part. After a presentation of the tools you'll need and a "sizing & taking measurements” how-to, an analysis over knit fabrics and their characteristics follows. I found this extremely helpful: there are so many types of knit fabrics with different qualities and requirements when it comes to sewing that you can easily get confused.
Something else that I appreciated, is the guide to choosing the right seam. I do not own an overlocker (and I'm not sure if I will own one soon, it seems so tricky) but I don't want that stopping me from having nicely sewed knitted garments. It's so good to know that I can have a great finish, by only using my sewing machine and just picking the right seam!
I can go on and on about the knowledge that is provided in this book! Every little thing is included, like hems, finishing edges and different ways to apply elastics. I believe that it basically covers most (if not all) of the beginners needs.
In the second part of the book, you will find the instructions for six patterns and their variations (20 patterns in total). The instructions include: finding the right fabric, notions you'll need, how to place the pattern pieces on the fabric, putting it together and explanatory illustrations.
I like how the patterns and their variations cover a broad range of clothing. There are patterns for skirts, trousers, t-shirts, dresses and cardigans, which means that you can sew full outfits just with this one book.
The patterns are full-size and ready to copy and cut.
When Minerva Crafts sent me the book, I was asked to sew one of the book's patterns with one of their fabrics. It didn't take long for me to decide. From the first quick look at the patterns, the Kinder Cardigan stood out. It had this kimono look that I love and I was determined to make the full length version. 
Then I started browsing the Minerva Crafts online store to find a fabric that would look good for this pattern and my eyes stopped at this beautiful, vibrant, floral Ponte Roma Fabric which was kindly sent to me. 
The result absolutely amazed me! I think that this is my favorite garment I've sewn so far. When I wear it, I feel so happy. The colours alone can make my day. The fact that it is a ponte roma, makes it perfect for this pattern, as the cardigan is too long and needs a more stable knit fabric to hold the weight. It also feels great against the skin. 
To cut the fabric and sew it, I followed the instructions of the book which were pretty clear and I had no problems. The fabric was very easy to sew. It only stretches one way, which means that when you sew on the non-stretch direction it is almost as stable as a woven fabric. I would definitely recommend it to a knits beginner like me.  
The weather is still chilly and I can't wait for spring to come, so that I can wear my new cardi on my walks. 
I want to make more projects from the book. I think that my next ones will be the Peak t-shirt and the Monsal lounge pants.
Overall, I loved the book and already feel that I've learnt a lot. So many things that worried me about knit fabrics were made clear and I feel more confident to work on new projects. I no longer get anxious when I need to find the grainline or when I want to make the rolled edges to stop rolling. The tips that are included in the book saved me time from searching here and there for advice. I found solutions to problems I had with my previous projects and I'm happy I've learnt how to fix them.
I would like to thank Minerva Crafts once more, for giving me the opportunity to write a review for Wendy Ward's new book and sending me this gorgeous fabric.
Until next time,
Georgia, acornkiss

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