Okay, I'm going to start this blog post with a little honesty. There really is no way I wouldn't like this book, Sewing MODKID Style by Patty Young. I have been a HUGE fan of Patty Young and ModKid patterns for years. She has a way of designing the cutest/coolest clothes and explaining how to make them in the easiest way. If you are a fan of her patterns, you will love this book. And if you're not already a fan, you will be.
The instructions are well written with clear diagrams and the pattern pieces are laid out on white paper (!), not tissue paper. I use the exclamation point because this is a great bonus. So many sewing books have patterns on tissue paper and for those of us making projects in multiple sizes, tissue paper is just. so. delicate. Seam allowances are included and the pattern pieces do not overlap. There are clear cutting instructions written on each pattern piece. As you can see, it is spiral bound. Love it!
The patterns in the book are for girls and the sizes run from 2T to 10 in US Sizes and 92 - 140 in EURO sizes. These are "sewing sizes" as opposed to "store sizes". For example, my 6-year-old is a 5T in sewing sizes, but a 7 in store sizes. There are patterns for everything from accessories like headbands, fingerless gloves and leg warmers to clothing. Clothing covers easier projects, like the Bloom Dresses I made (below) to more advanced projects like swimsuits.
All the sewing projects in the book are for knit fabrics. I LOVE working with knits. Let me count the reasons: 1 - No seam finishes!, 2 - Setting sleeves is easy!, 3 - My kids (and I) love the comfort of wearing knits, which leads to 4 - The kids ALWAYS wear the clothes I make them from knit fabrics.
I know some people don't like sewing with them. I think it's because of these reasons (and my rebuttal in italics): 1 - seams can be wavy if sewn incorrectly (but in the book Patty explains how to set your sewing machine to the right stitch), 2 - COLLARS! (okay, I've had issues here in the past, but the way Patty has you do them makes you wonder why you ever had a problem in the past), 3 - You need a serger for a professional look (yes, but you're the only one who will notice. "Joe Public" has no idea, and doesn't care, what a serged hem or seam is. And Patty explains how to get great results with your sewing machine or a serger).
Elena and Natalie would like to show you the Bloom Dresses I made from the book.
I can't emphasize enough how easily these dresses went together. This is my favorite kind of sewing project: easy with big results. The fabric I used is all from Patty Young's fabric collections. I made the sleeves in the fabric of the other girl's dress for some extra fun and craziness.
As you can see above, I went with a zig zag stitch for top stitching. I used the exact same stitch for the seams. This is the first time I've ever top stitched with a zig zag, in the past I always feared a "homemade" look with the zig zag. But i think it totally works here. I also hemmed with the same zig zag stitch. It was, literally, the easiest hem I've ever sewn. With previous knit fabric sewing projects I've pulled out the double needle for hems and top stitching. Keeping every stitch the same zig zag really made this project fly.
This was also the first time I ever machine appliquéd with knit fabrics. I was a bit nervous, but needn't have been as everything turned out fine.
These are my "tools of the trade" for sewing with knits. The top photo shows Wooly Nylon thread (the big spool). I first bought it to use in the bobbin for my Kyoko top. It is suggested by Patty to use in the bobbin to give your seams maximum elasticity. I was happy to be able to use it again! I found this one in the perfect color at my local JoAnn Fabric store. The lower photo shows my 18mm rotary cutter which I use for cutting out clothing patterns. I love not having to use pins and scissors, which I feel distort the fabric. (Here's a little about how I trace and cut patterns and here's a great post on the same topic at mon petit lyons).
Okay, YOUR TURN! Would you like to win a copy of the book? Yes? Great! Wiley Craft (the publisher of Sewing MODKID Style) is generously giving away a copy of the book to one reader of A Sewing Journal! All you need do is leave a comment on this post. Tell me, do you sew with knits? What do you like about sewing with knits? Is there something you don't like about sewing with them? Tell me! If you've never sewn with knits, tell me why not! I will choose one winner from the comments. Comments close Monday night, April 9th, at midnight. Good luck!
Also, this post is a part of the Sewing MODKID Style blog hop. You can follow along, learn more about the book and comment for a chance to win a copy of the book at the following stops:
Friday, April 6th, 2012: Pink Chalk Studio
Monday, April 9th, 2012: Melanie Dramatic
Wed., April 11th, 2012: Stop Staring and Start Sewing
Friday, April 13th, 2012: Generation Q
Monday, April 16th, 2012: Lil Blue Boo
Wed., April 18th, 2012: True Up
Friday, April 20th, 2012: Paige Hill
Monday, April 23rd, 2012: Boutique Café
Wed., April 25th, 2012: The Long Thread
Friday, April 27th, 2012: Sew Pretty Dresses
Monday, April 30th, 2012: Prudent Baby
Wed., May 2nd, 2012: Our Busy Little Bunch
Friday, May 4th, 2012: Fat Quarterly
Monday, May 7th, 2012: Making It Fun
Wed., May 9th, 2012: MODKID blog
(Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of the book in exchange for writing a blog post on the blog hop. Some of the links in this post lead to my Amazon store in which I receive a small commission for products that are purchased through that link.)