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Sew U Home Stretch: The Built by Wendy Guide to Sewing Knit Fabrics Spiral-bound – May 2, 2008

35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Wendy Mullin is a self-taught seamstress whose hip clothing line Built by Wendy has found fans amongst musicians, artists, and actors such as the Beastie Boys, Natalie Portman, Drew Barrymore, and Pharrell. She was tapped by Wrangler to reinvigorate their label and created the new Wrangler 47 line. Originally from suburban Chicago, she currently lives and works in New York City. Eviana Hartman is an editor at Nylon magazine, and was formerly a fashion writer for Vogue and Teen Vogue. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (May 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316118370
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316118378
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #781,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Katelyn Allers on June 19, 2009
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
I found this book very disappointing (particularly because I really enjoyed the original Sew U). The patterns are very boxy, so I found it more useful to use a knit sloper from elsewhere (i.e. burdastyle) rather than the included patterns. I've made the basic dress, "butterfly dress", hoody, and boatneck, and found that 1) the alterations suggested in the book do not result in anything that looks at all like the pictures and 2) some of the pattern pieces (i.e. hoody lower band) were incorrectly sized or labelled. In addition, this book doesn't cover one of the most important (and frustrating for beginners) topics: stabilizing, which is so key for having success with sewing knits. Also not covered: top stitching with a double needle, which is by far the best way to get a nice hem if you have a conventional sewing machine.
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58 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 17, 2008
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
I give this book all the love it deserves because there is nothing like it out there and serger friendly patterns are hard to find. I am learning a TON from this book, but there are some things I wished she had covered.

She shows how to alter patterns to make different types of garments, which is great. I wish she had gone a step further to show how we can alter these to fit better. Like making fitted t-shirts or tapered sleeves. The sizing in her patterns is generous. I made the boatneck T and unlike the picture, it came out frumpy and boxy. I just kept taking it in at the seams until I liked it.

Hemming will make or break the looks of your knit garment. She goes over a few methods, but I had poor results with all (I don't have a coverlock machine). She completely left out twin needle stitching and the benefits of stabilizing your hem as you serge it.

Overall, if you are just branching into knits like I am, get this book. You will love it. Just use it along with other books on serging and sewing with knits.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on May 21, 2008
Format: Spiral-bound
This book takes you step by step to help create garments out of knit fabric. We start with a chapter about sewing equipment. Later another chapter is about different stitches that can be used with knit fabrics. Then we learn the different types of knit fabrics and their properties.

Several chapters are regarding patterns: sizing, making your own, handling and storage. The rest of the book is filled with patterns and instructions for making the garments. Near the end is a chapter of creative ideas that can be used to spice up your wardrobe a bit. At the end there is a folder that holds the patterns for a basic tee, a hooded raglan tee, and a dress or skirt.

As a sewer, I couldn't wait to get this book! I've sewn just about everything I could think of, but I've always had a difficult time with stretchy fabrics. For some reason my machine just wouldn't make the pieces hold together and the fabric pieces never seemed to match up right. Now that I've read this book, I know exactly what I've been doing wrong.

The basic knowledge about equipment and fabrics is great for beginners and the creativity will help all sewers. The pattern pieces and instructions that are included make it easy for a beginner to figure out how to create clothing, while the ideas that have been added in each section will allow a more seasoned sewer to come up with new ideas. I was a little disappointed at how small the section is for spicing up your wardrobe, however. I was hoping for some really great ideas, and I got those, but not very many. If this section had been expanded it would have been an amazing book.

This is a great book for anyone who's learning to sew, an intermediate sewer, or an advanced sewer.

Armchair Interviews agrees.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A. McQueen on March 1, 2009
Format: Spiral-bound
This book makes sewing with knits a much less scary prospect. Knits can be really intimidating, but Wendy Mullin provides loads of useful information and tips. This book is definitely a keeper--a really handy reference for all the various techniques involved in sewing with knits. I especially appreciate that she has advice on how to do things with a conventional sewing machine, as well as a serger.

The reason I gave the book 4 stars instead of 5 is because I find the sizing to be a bit strange on some of the patterns that come with the book. I made the t-shirt in what should have been my size, but it was huge and kind of sack-like. So, it's definitely worth trying a pattern first with a cheap fabric and then making adjustments accordingly when you sew with a more expensive fabric.

All in all, however, it's a great book and a really helpful reference.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Vegan Mama on December 4, 2010
Format: Spiral-bound
I looked through the book and instructions thoroughly before attempting a pattern and alteration. I thought it was really awesome and sounded so easy, just like most of the reviews say. However, I was really disappointed by the results. I did everything absolutely correctly, including finding my size, altering the pattern (which took a long time), using the correct seam allowances, and so on. The *shape* of the dress was great, but! it was nowhere near my size. Even the pieces that hadn't needed to be altered for the pattern were monstrously large. And I double checked the sizing info. I had to take off literally 8 inches of fabric to get it to vaguely look like it might look nice to wear. I agree that it looks "boxy" like someone else said.

So, overall: great directions and info + bad sizing = a meh experience. I don't think I have the will to go through another few hours altering another pattern to find that it's not at all what it was supposed to be. Oh well! I'll be looking for another book to experiment with.
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