{Book Review} Sew Knits with Confidence by Nancy Zieman

You know I love sewing with stretchy fabrics. What else you can make a new lovely outfit in less than 2 hours that will fit perfectly, will be easy to wear and care. Winner! However Knits have a serious ‘hard to work’ reputation, and many sewists had in the past a scary experience making they never try again.  Do share yours on the comment if this is the case for you.
Now, lets talk about Nancy’s book. 
It starts by explaining a wide variety of knit fabrics and how to best choose and prepare them for your projects. I never have really thought about knit fabrics qualities such as stretch factor and appearance. 

One of the questions I hear often is how to prepare the fabric before sewing and you will see it tackled in this book. Part of Chapter 01: Fabric types; Weft vs.Warp; Knit preparation tips.

Like other sewing books, there is a chapter about tools with all the basics, including widely known   tips as using ball point needles and polyester thread. I found quite interesting the section about different elastic. It is so well written and complete. I didn’t know there were so many and it would definitely help those who want to sew lingerie. On Chapter 02 you will learn about what best styles work for knits and how to pair patterns and fabric.
Check Chapter 03 on how to: Pattern layout for knit; Seam; Interfacing; Elastics; Necklines; Pockets; Buttonhole; Quick Placket; Hems; Zipper.
Don’t want boring projects?Nancy helps you try creative finishing and embellishing options such as flounces, ruffles, picot stitching or lettuce edging on Chapter 04: Finishing touches; Embellishments; Embroidery on knits.
The book teaches all the basics with clear language, illustrations and photographs. You also have the opportunity to apply your new skills on 5 fully illustrated step-by-step projects on Chapter 05.
The projects aren’t really my aesthetic but I can see myself using all the techniques explained. 
I really loved the tips along the way and think this is a lovely addition to my sewing library, complementing my other knit specific books. Nancy is quite know for her short cuts and nifty sewing techniques, and this book don’t disappoint.
Nancy has a few videos you may find helpful.
  • looks like a useful book rachel!

    • Very, its complementary to Sew U By Wendy. Both books are great resources for those who want to learn to sew knits

  • This is nice to know, as I don’t have a book on knits yet!

  • Love that dress, great print.

  • Yes, my first experience sewing a knit was not good. The main problem was the pattern which called for facings on a v-neck. Knowing nothing, I just made the facing, which persisted on peeking out. (Now I would just bind it, Jalie style). I was just never happy with the dress and I don’t think I even hemmed it! I also now do an FBA on knits as well as wovens, which is important for me.

    I’m fairly comfortable sewing knits now, but it’s always good to learn new techniques. I think that the book’s information on fabric choice would be particularly useful.

    • Oh i bet facings were a nightmare. I also bind it. I love stretchy bias….

  • Nancy is my heroine. She provides such wonderful lesson about sewing and her methods give you the most professional look with the easiest effort. Glad you found her. I highly recommend her Fitting Finesse and her Busy Woman’s Sewing Book.

  • Useful book, maybe a French version someday ?

    I love knitted fabrics too, but I don’t have a serger… BUT, I choose a sewing machine with a good elastic stitch which allows me, from times to times, to sew these fabrics. But it remains easy shapes and simple finishings, and deep breaths 😉 I remember when I had to sew with a piece of paper between my needle and my fabric, to avoid movements from it !!
    If I could just learn more about fabrics components and elasticity, I’m sure it will be possible to make more clothes with knitted fabrics…
    Thank you for sharing Rachel 😉

    • Its a shame loads of books don’t get translated… I was so surprise to see almost no sewing book available in Brazil

  • Fantastic! This book may very well be what I’ve been looking for! I’ve been sewing with knits for a long time, but every finished project leaves me with the feeling, that I would have gotten more value for my money, by visiting the local H&M. I would love to be able to sew knit looking as professional as yours!

    • oh no… I think the trick is matching the pattern and fabric correctly

  • I’ve been sewing knits for years and love them too. I find them so quick and easy to sew. This book sounds like a great resource. Maybe I should add it to my library too. Really, one can never have too many books can one 🙂

  • Ooh! This looks like it might have to go on my Christmas list! I’ve not made too many things with knits (mainly because the idea of wearing something clingy in this humidity isn’t a good plan…!) so I’ve always been a little intimidated by them. This book looks very heavily illustrated though which is perfect for me! Thanks for the great review!

  • Thank you for the review. I am very interested in learning how to sew knits, and I’m struggling with where to start. I think you just pointed me in the right direction. Thanks again!

  • I have a few of Nancy’s books and videos and love them! Might have to add this one to the list as well now. Thanks for the review 🙂