Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Book Review: Sewing With Knits (1992)

Sewing With Knits (1992) is part of the brilliant Singer Sewing Reference Library series and covers construction of knit garments from A to Z. The book explains fabric types, care, how to select the right elastic and all the seam finishes you would want to know in order to make your garments look professional, there are no wavy seams here!

Some of the things covered in this volume:

  • How to sew knits, from interlock to stretch velvet to two-way stretch fabrics
  • Eight different ways for finishing necklines (p.36-45)
  • Create perfect knit plackets and welt pockets (p.76-79)
  • Five different elastic waistband treatments (p. 90-95)
  • Construct neat and tidy buttonholes using fusible web (p. 109)
  • Blocking sweater knits (p. 20)
  • Dealing with knits fabric that have nap such as velvet, velour, stretch terry (p.104-105)

Two really cool tips too good to keep secret:

  • The best overlock thread colors to have are not neccessarily black and white, look what can be accomplished with just an off-white, gray/taupe and a rosy shade of red (p. 23)
  • Lining the knee area to prevent baggy knees in knit pants (p. 60-1)

In addition, a special section on swimsuits and leotards (pages 112-123) shows how to:

  • Adjust paper patterns for swimsuit torso adjustments
  • Apply elastic or elastized binding
  • Create partial linings for swimsuits
  • Constrict bandeau top linings with or without bra cups
  • Produce professional elastized straps

Last but not least, I am again impressed with how well all the information is presented with clear step-by-step photos.

This book is long out-of-print but can be easily found on Etsy, eBay, and used book sellers like and Amazon. If you're lucky, you can also find it in your local library like I did but I think you will probably do better to get your own copy. Watch out for overpriced copies though, I've seen them listed for far over $20(!) when I found my own copies of other volumes in this series (The Perfect Fit and Sewing Pants That Fit) for only 99 cents each! Don't get hoodwinked. I highly recommend this book and now that I have read five books in the series, I will be looking out for the rest of them too.*

*Tailoring (1988), Sewing Activewear (1987), are a few I am interested in.


Kathy {Kathy Sews} said...

This is a really solid book! The whole Singer series is. I really need to own it all already, it's dirt cheap AND it has loads of useful info with sewing with knits, not just a few REALLY beginner/basic points. It's worth much more then the $1 I've seen it sold for! So many folks are getting into sewing knits at the moment and there is a flood of all the plain/underwhelming patterns and hyper-simplified info.

Kathy {Kathy Sews} said... I've bought sewing books here for $3 and free shipping... you can get many of the Singer books here!

lsaspacey said...

Thanks Kathy, I will definitely check out that link!