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Welcome to the Sewing MODKID Style book tour! And apologies to anyone who was looking for this post on Friday. Due to a scheduling snafu at FQHQ (i.e., John had the wrong date!) we’re joining the tour a bit later than expected. No worries — we still have a great post and a book giveaway to get to, so let’s go!

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As the father of twin girls, I was very excited to get my hands on a copy of Patty Young‘s new book, Sewing MODKID Style from John Wiley books (check out WileyCraft.com). Patty’s fans already know that Patty is a popular sewing blogger and prolific designer of both patterns and fabric (through Michael Miller). As the mother of two girls herself, her style has a decidedly fresh, playful, colorful and feminine spirit.

My excitement, however, was mixed with some trepidation — Patty is known for her expertise on sewing with knits, and I had never sewn with knits before.  With book in hand and some newly acquired knits, I was ready to tackle a project from the book.

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Full-size pattern pieces are included in this fun enclosure, featuring some of Patty’s designs!

But first, a bit more about this gorgeous little book itself.  Sewing MODKID Style is subtitled Modern Threads for the Cool Girl, and inside you’ll find a wide variety of children’s clothing and accessory patterns in the true MODKID style: not only are they cute and stylish, but are highly functional for kids’ everyday activities like running, climbing, and playing.  Let’s face it: our kids are not easy on their clothes!

Inside, you’ll find the 20 project ideas organized by chapter:

  • Accessories, including a headband, leg warmers, and more — plus a pattern for a full-size quilt made entirely from knits!
  • Bottoms, such as yoga pants (or shorts), skirts, and leggings.
  • Tops, from a tank top to a sweater and many in between.
  • Dresses and ensembles — you’ll even find a swimsuit and cover-up project!

As valuable as the patterns themselves is an extensive reference guide on sewing and finishing techniques for knit fabrics, including double knits, jersey knits, and lycra.  I used these instructions extensively, as I’ll describe in a bit.

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Although it’s not snowy here in NC, I still thought some knit scarves would be a fun project!

Instead of just reviewing the book, I wanted to actually make a project from it.  I decided on the Stripwork Scarf, which seemed like a beginner-friendly pattern, and something I could easily make two of.  (Remember, I have twins — just making one item is not an option!)  After selecting a variety of knits (I went for a more scrappy version of Patty’s pattern, which only uses 2 fabrics), I went to my local sewing store for some new supplies.  Patty provides needle and thread recommendations, and I was easily able to find the items I needed.

Sewing MODKID Style by Patty Young
A sample page from Patty’s invaluable Guide to Sewing with Knits.

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The saleswoman at my local shop helped me select these 80/12 jersey needles, appropriate for most interlock and jersey fabrics.  Patty explains why these ballpoint needles are most appropriate for sewing with knits.

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Patty recommends a polyester thread (which has more elasticity than all-cotton thread).

After reviewing Patty’s tips on the proper settings on my machine for sewing with knits, I was ready to go!

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Don’t have a serger?  Neither do I.  But Patty includes full instructions on how to use the different stitches on our home machines to effectively sew with knits.

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I started my project using the stem (or stretch) stitch, but decided that it was taking too long to sew my seams!  Patty’s instructions helped me select the proper length and width of my stitches.

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After some trial & error, I decided that a regular zig-zag stitch was what worked best for me.

As soon as I cut my fabric, I was ready to go! The scarves came together very quickly, and the forgiving instructions provided an easy and approachable project to truly get comfortable using knit fabrics.

Sewing MODKID Style - Stripwork Scarf

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My girls love their new springtime scarves and are already asking me what I’m going to make them next!

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Um, yeah … so we did our photo shoot in our pajamas.  I’m sure you’re familiar with the “morning after a late night sewing finish photo shoot”.  No big deal!

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Stylish AND easy.  What could be better?

We’re excited to offer up a free copy of Sewing MODKID Style to a lucky Fat Quarterly reader! Simply leave a comment on this post and tell us about your experiences sewing with knits, or if you’ve never done it before (like me!) We’ll draw a random winner in about a week.

There’s a chance to win a free copy at each stop on the tour, so please be sure to visit these other great sites:

Monday, April 2nd, 2012: Wiley Craft Blog
Wed., April 4th, 2012: A Sewing Journal
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 <— YOU ARE HERE!
Monday, May 7th, 2012: Making It Fun
Wed., May 9th, 2012: MODKID blog

Good luck! If you make something from Sewing MODKID Style, we’d love to see it!