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Getting Your Confidence With Knits With Wendy Ward’s New Book

So here’s’ the thing, knits are not my sewing thing, well that’s what I’ve thought. For the last two decades, I’ve been a woven girl; tailoring and creating vintage style dresses. This started to change for me six years ago when I became a Mother. I started buying more and more knitted fabric garments to fit into my lifestyle, I thought, this is crazy I should learn how to sew these for myself! Yes, they look easy to sew but I don’t want puckered seams, lettuce hems and uneven seams. When I was approached to review Wendy Ward’s New Sewing Book I jumped at the chance as I’d only heard good things about Wendy online. I wanted to gain the confidence in sewing gorgeous everyday garments with a high quality professional finish. Now I have a little more time in my week, this had to be the perfect new year’s resolution for 2018.

The first thing I did when I received the book was to flick through all the projects to find one which I knew I would wear as an everyday essential. I choose the Derwent trousers as I loved the wide legged fit and the style looked so classic, it could be dressed up or down. The book also included projects for a t-shirt, lounge pants, cardigan and skirt, so you could make your wardrobe staples just from this one book. 

I loved the pattern sizes are from 8 to 26 and Wendy talks about measurements (like men’s clothing) not size 10/12/16. I read this book cover to cover before I started my project to make sure I had the correct tools and fabric to create my make.

The first quarter of the book is dedicated to techniques. This gave me the confidence in my make. Wendy went through everything I needed to create my trousers. I understood what type of fabric to use, type of needle and type of stitch on my sewing machine.

I chose this so soft and beautiful to wear french navy Ponte Roma Fabric and I needed 2 meters. I also needed a stretch 75 needle to sew the seams and to avoid snagging. For me, this detail was really important to give me and the step by step instructions.

To make my paper pattern, I took down my measurements and traced off the pattern and markings onto pattern paper. It is worth noting that the pattern from the book is for the ¾ length trousers and you will need to take your inside leg measurement and length as needed.

Before adding the elastic band to the waist seam, I tried them on and they fitted perfectly. And the fabric was so drapey and also perfect for a Spring day.

The waistband fitted so easily and gave a really professional finish. I was really happy with the result and couldn’t believe I had shunned knits now for all these years.

Wendy showed you have you can use your standard twin needle for the hems of your Derwent trousers. I followed her instructions and my hem had not pulls or puckers in sight. They looked shop bought, which is what my knit aim is, to look like it is straight off a peg.

These trousers have taught me a lot of about knitted fabrics and also how easy they are to sew, if you have the right know how. Wendy’s book certainly has given me more confidence to sew my own knitted fabric projects. I didn’t know before I picked up this book, what needle to use with what knit fabric and all the stitches and sewing machine settings to create that shop bought look. This will now sit very happily on my sewing bookshelf.

The other patterns in the book look as equally stylish and timeless and I highly recommend this book whatever your sewing journey point it. I finished my trousers and rushed to show my husband, ‘look they look like they are from a shop!’ I hope you have that proud moment too.

The photos below are me at 20 weeks pregnant (with a small bump!). They are the perfect pregnancy comfy trousers /lounge pants. Now I fully appreciate the magic of stretch fabrics!!

Samantha writes a creative craft blog www.crafternoonteas.com and hosts Crafternoon Tea Parties and Events www.crafternoonteahostess.co.uk in the Midlands and beyond! 

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