It's official: starting at the beginning of January, we're going to be doing a sew-along with Cal Patch's Creativebug class: Pattern Drafting with Knits!
I did Cal's original Pattern Drafting (for wovens) class when if first came out, and have been itching to do the follow up for knits - but I got just a little distracted with life and launching Textillia! The time has come, and what would be more fun than doing this with a bunch of you? This plan was hatched in the Cal Patch Fan Club forum, which is where we'll also be chatting and checking in when the sew-along starts. If you want to join in on the pre-sew-along excitement or ask questions, feel free to post on the original thread (or start your own!)
How to prepare
You'll need either a free trial or subscription to Creativebug to view the class. (We are not affiliated with Creativebug, just fans! And totally optional, but if you want to use Cal's affiliate link for the buy one get one free deal that's going on until December 31st, click here!) The class is considered a follow-up to the original pattern drafting class, so you'll probably want to at least watch the videos for drafting the shirt/dress pattern from that and get your basic measurements taken, and ideally draw them out on paper to get your base pattern.
The knits class itself is a two-part workalong (the videos are here). Part one is drafting your main pattern template, and sewing a top or dress, and part two is turning that into a hoodie! Try to resist the urge to start early, I know it's hard!!! If you're itching, there are tons of great sewing technique videos on Creativebug to keep you busy, not to mention the 4-part original Pattern Drafting class for wovens which could keep you busy over the holidays. There are tons of tips and skills to learn from the original class, it truly revolutionized my sewing and alteration skills!
Most importantly, you will need some knit fabrics to use! See what you've got in your stash, and pick something less precious for the first go around, as you might find you want to refine the fit of the sleeve or shoulder once before finalizing your pattern template. (See the materials list for more specific fabric suggestions.) There are also some recommended notions and tools that will help make working with knits and pattern drafting easier and more successful. Take a look at the "Materials" tab on each of the videos for Cal's lists of what you should ideally have on hand. Not to worry, there are ways to adapt if you don't have all these items!
The most important are probably the fabric itself, and a sewing machine needle that is actually meant for sewing knits - this will say something like "knits", "ballpoint", or if it's meant for stretch fabric "stretch". It's a bonus if you can get or borrow a walking foot for your machine, and also a twin stretch needle. I've found those two together lead to the best looking seams and hems when working with knits, but Cal always has lots of tips for using what you've got if you don't have any extra tools, so don't feel obligated to go out and splurge if this is your inaugural project with knit fabrics!
I'll be working on this pretty slowly and am calling January 1st go day! My goal is to work through the top and dress drafting and sew up that garment by the end of January. After that's done (probably during February) I'll do the second half and tackle the hoodie - I might make one for myself and/or try making one for Bruno as well! Feel free to work at your own speed, whether that's fast or slow. This is going to be a very chilled out, low-pressure sew-along, where we all help each other out - and hopefully those of us who are more experienced can help out some of the people who are newer to drafting or working with knits. Cal is even planning to pop in and see how things are going for us as well, which will be amazing since she is a fountain of wisdom, a great teacher, and incredibly kind and reassuring!
That's it for now! Be sure to post in the forum if you have questions or need help getting started, and be sure to tag your Instagram posts for the sew-along with #textillia and #calpatchsewalong so everyone else can find them!