Colette

Four Gorgeous Wrens + a $50 Gift Certificate from Harts

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We are seriously blown away by the response to Wren Faire. You guys all shared such amazing and creative tips for sewing knits. Cutting on a pool table? Who would have thought? Sewing with wine? I think some of my past projects could have benefited from that.

Today, in celebration of Wren Faire we have three awesome businesses sharing their Wrens and fabric recommendations.

Ray Stitch

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The gals over at Ray Stitch made not one, but two incredible Wren dresses.

What is your favorite thing about Wren?
We chose two fabrics for Wren. The first is a 100% printed cotton Jersey. We’ve recently had a new range of really lovely prints in this fabric and Wren came out at just the right time to try them. This single stretch fabric has a lovely weight and drape and is fairly stable to sew so worked perfectly.
The second fabric is a classic double stretch, 100% bamboo Jersey. We absolutely love this fabric, it’s gorgeously drapey and very comfortable and flattering to wear. Again, the fabric worked perfectly and gave the dress a more slinky evening look.

What did you find the most challenging when sewing Wren, and how did you approach the challenge?
Wren is one of those great patterns with a huge versatility, working with different fabrics as either casual or smart day wear. The sleeveless option also gives other dimensions – sun dress, evening dress, layered overdress… It’s also easy to construct and doesn’t require lots of fabric.

What are some other fabrics from your store you would recommend for Wren?
We’d also recommend our striped cotton jersey or plain melange cotton jersey The options are endless!

Harts Fabrics

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Dani from Harts sewed up an adorable floral Wren. We have been swooning over her gorgeous fabric choice.

What fabric did you use to make Wren? Why did you pick this fabric?
I used a Nicole Miller Scuba Knit Floral fabric It’s a poly spandex blend that has a fun bounce to it. I chose this fabric because I usually like a heaver knit when making dress to not show all of my (ah-hem) imperfections ;) 



What is your favorite thing about Wren?
I’m a larger gal, with a larger chest area so usually wrap style garments end up making me feel very exposed. The way this wrap worked, it hit at the perfect part of my bust. I think it is flattering, a bit sexy but not scandalous. I can easily wear this dress with tights, a sweater and flats for the office or dress it up with a cute pair of heels and wear it on date night. It’s a really versatile transitional piece to add to your wardrobe. 



What did you find the most challenging when sewing Wren, and how did you approach the challenge?
The most challenging part of this dress was attaching the skirt to the bodice, but I think it was my fabric choice more so than the pattern. The scuba knit bounces back to its shape very easily so gathering it was a little challenging. I just took my time, and lots of deep breaths, and it turned out just fine. Other than that I found it to sew up quickly and the instructions were very clear. I opted out of the sleeves on this dress because I felt it would be too much pattern, but I can’t wait to try them on the next one! 



What are some other fabrics from your store you would recommend for Wren?
When I make the full skirt version again I would make it out of Art Gallery’s Wonderland Owly Boo Knit
I’m in love with this fabric, and I think it would make a cute, comfy casual dress. The knit has a nice weight, not too light but not too bulky for the gathered skirt. Any of our bamboo knits would be amazing too. They are soft and comfortable to wear and drape so beautifully.

For the more structured skirt version I would use one of our Ponte Knits and I’ve been eyeing this Flocked Velvet Cheetah Double Knit. Wren may be the reason that I finally buy some of this fabric and get to sewing with it haha!

The Cloth Pocket

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Melissa over at The Cloth Pocket made a gorgeous Wren out of an Art Gallery Knit

What fabric did you use to make Wren? Why did you pick this fabric?
I chose Art Gallery’s Winged Plumage, which is this beautiful coral color. I love Art Gallery knits, they’re super comfortable and not too heavy for these long Texas summers.

What is your favorite thing about Wren?
It’s I incredibly easy and fast to make. I love sewing knits, so making this dress was fun.

What did you find the most challenging when sewing Wren, and how did you approach the challenge?
The most difficult part would be sewing in the elastic, especially on the larger sizes. This is a difficult task for anyone, not just beginners. I practiced and tried different little tricks. Practicing helped to get me into the groove.

What are 1 – 2 other fabrics from your store you would recommend for Wren?
We have some lighter weight knit that I want to try. I think this will make sewing the elastic easier. I’ve also been wanting to make this dress out of this awesome mermaid spandex. It’s pink mermaid scales, who doesn’t need that dress?!

Pattern Review

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And last but certainly not least, Deepika of Pattern Review made Wren with a fitted gored skirt.

What fabric did you use for your dress?
I used an abstract print ITY knit.

What is your favorite part about sewing with knits?
Where do I begin? I love the fluidity. The fact that the fabric moves (and stretches ;) ) with me is hands down why I sew with knits. I love the bright colors and the vibrant prints available in knit fabrics. The fact that they are easy to sew and care for is just an added bonus. If you look at my projects on Pattern Review, you’ll see 80% of my wardrobe is knits. Can you tell I love them?

What do you find most challenging about working with knits, and how do you approach the challenge?
I actually don’t find knits challenging. I guess I’ve had enough practice. I don’t, however, enjoy cutting them. Sometimes it takes longer to straighten the grain and cutting the pieces accurately than actually sewing the garment. But I do take my time to smooth out the fabric and then use my rotary cutter and mat to cut out the pieces. I have a large cutting table, but sometimes I prefer to cut on the floor because I don’t want the fabric to get distorted if too much is hanging off the table.

I find that people shy away from sewing with knits because they don’t have a serger. Don’t! you are missing out. I sewed on my machine for years before I bought my serger. I still do sometimes. Just make sure you use a new stretch needle for every project. Years ago I wrote an article for Stitch Magazine which has tons of tips on sewing with knits.

If you are new to sewing with knits, try Ponte knit. It’s also one of the recommended fabrics for this dress.

What was the best thing about sewing Wren?
I loved the gored fitted skirt and the gathered neckband. It’s such a lovely design detail and even though they kind of get lost in my print, I think they do give my dress a lovely shape.

To read more about Deepika’s Wren, see her blog post over on Pattern Review.

Now for a giveaway…

Do you want to win a $50 gift certificate from Harts Fabrics or from The Cloth Pocket? Of course you do! Harts is an amazing fabric store located in Santa Cruz, CA. Their online shop features a gorgeous selection of fabric, perfect for your next project. The Cloth Pocket is located in Austin, TX and offers beautiful modern fabrics.

To win just comment below with your favorite knit fabric, and why you love to sew with it.

Haley Glenn   —   Editorial Director

Five years ago, Haley left the apparel industry to join the world of home sewing. She has been empowering women to sew ever since – first through years of in-person teaching at Sew LA, and now through her writing at Colette. Haley writes tutorials and articles on our blog, teaches sewalongs, and writes and edits for our magazine, Seamwork.

Comments 252

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Francesca a

Lightweight merino knit – be cause it feels wonderful, doesn’t itch even my sensitive skin, and is wearable 3/4 of the year round, in my climate. Not our summers, whatever New Zealanders say ;)

Marsha

I love Ponte Knit because I can make a structured knit with it from pants to dresses to skirts. It is a great all-weather fabric depending on your choice of clothing item:)

Melissa craftrambler.blogspot.com

I love using knits with a textured pattern to them!

Alexandra

Nylon-lycra matte milliskin, because it makes black leggings that magically repel cat hair.

Alexandra thelibraryofalexandra.org

I like sewing with ponte de roma — much easier to handle than other knits but still comfy!

Logan loganstitches.wordpress.com

French Terry because it is snuggly.

Crystine

I love wool jerseys. They feel so luxurious and sophisticated in a subtle way but are also super comfortable. I’m planning long sleeve Wren and am on the hunt for the perfect deep, moody plum wool jersey!

Samina

I’m still a bit scared of sewing knits, although I love to wear them. I’d have to pick a stable knit as a favorite to sew, so it would act like a woven. I know I just need practice to get comfortable with them, so I’ll print out my copy of Wren & give it a go.

Khristina

I love Ponte knits, it is easy to sew with. Like Dani I also prefer heavier weight knits with more structure to not accentuate my flaws.

Maggie maggiemakesitbetter.com

Bamboo knit is my current favorite. It’s so silky and spongey!

Though, a nice terry knit dress is also cozy on colder days.

Candice

I don’t really have a favorite knit fabric – I’m still so new to sewing my clothes! But that abstract ITY looks totally my style! I wasn’t so sure about Wren, but the more I’m seeing others make it the more I’m liking it. It’ll have to be added to my sewing list!

Ginny

Like Deepika recommends, ponte knits are so lovely to work with! I poked around Harts ‘ website and they have exactly the type of dark background floral print I’m OBSESSED with on a ponte knit. Be still my heart!

Susan oldbuttonsnewthreads.wordpress.com

I haven’t made very many knit things yet but so far I liked sewing with the ponte knit I used for my Mabel skirt. The heavier weight made it so much easier to work with than lighter weight knits and it looks so nice. I love all the pretty versions of Wren so far!

Mandykatt

Merino jersey. So nice to work with and to wear. If things look a bit wonky, just steam it into submission.

meredith

Ponte because it’s a nice stable knit and so versatile

Jessica

Ponte is definitely my favorite knit to sew, mostly because I’m still new enough to knits that I don’t want to mangle anything too slinky and pretty. That said, I have a bamboo jersey on my cutting table and I am cutting it very carefully!

Christina

I most prefer sewing with cotton jerseys with a 2% lycra content:-) ponte knits are a close second.

Cadi

I love sewing with ponte knit – I find it doesn’t shift as much as more skinny knits, and makes for amazing pants, leggings and dresses that have some structure but still move with you and are comfortable.

Melissa

I’ve always been a bit (OK, very) apprehensive of sewing with knits, but with all the resources that have been put out recently about sewing knits with a conventional machine, I’m feeling a little bit braver, especially since I want to try Wren.

I’ve also found out about some resources in the community for renting a serger, which of course I love the finish of, but it’d be nice to give one a try before making an investment.

Jennifer

I don’t have a lot of experience with sewing knits, but I’d love to try this pattern with a ponte knit since it seems like it has a little more structure!

Masha itinerantseamstress.blogspot.com

I love cotton/lycra jerseys with good recovery, both for sewing and wearing. I also enjoy sewing interlock, though I don’t like to wear it as much, since it lacks the recovery of lycra-blended fabrics.

Katherine

I like to sew with interlock — it is a little thicker and easier to manage. I love the Birch Organic interlock prints and the Anna Maria Horner Interlock prints.

Alicia

I love cotton spandex jersey. I am new to sewing with knits and I find that cotton with a touch of spandex is a “predictable” knit. I have confident about the finished project and my sewing machine doesn’t give me as much trouble as with some of the more lightweight or slinky knits.

Wendy

I really enjoy sewing sweater knits–a much quicker way to get a cozy top without the knitting (although I love knitting sweaters, too)

Erin

Cozy Merino knits! yes!

Aidan

Silk knit! It’s so fancy!

Julia

I love sewing ponte knits because with their stability every part of the process (cutting, sewing, and wearing) is easy…provided you don’t attach a waistband inside out. I did that with my first Mabel, it wasn’t pretty. Though the ponte cooperated well when I decided to flat fell the seams and make it “reversible”. Thanks for this tutorial (https://blog.colettehq.com/projects/reversible-skirt), guys!

Meris fabricalchemist.com

Up to this point I’ve mostly sewn with swimsuit or dance spandex knits, for costumes. :) But I am looking forward to making a Wren out of ponte – I think this will fast become my favorite type of knit because of its sturdiness.

Robynne

I love rayon knits. I know they’re slippery and clingy and thin, but I love how they’re cool, breathable, soft, and I love how a rayon shirt drapes.

Kristi sweetkm.com

Cotton jersey because it’s so easy to wear!

Brenna

I wish I did love to sew with knits! I love to wear them, but so far my attempts at sewing them have only ended in tears and a wad of ruined fabric in the trash. Wren is so cute though, I’m almost ready to give it another try. I love the look of the bamboo jersey dress in the first photo.

Pelly

I’m pretty new to sewing with knits, but I prefer to wear cotton or wool jersey as anything else is too sweaty, so I will be looking for a firm cotton to make my first Wren (v1). I am tempted by stretch velvet, though; possibly a winter version with elbow sleeves?

jennifer

These dresses are gorgeous! My favorite type of knit is wool doubleknit — perfect balance of body and drape!

Lynn

I love a heavier cotton jersey – comfortable, easy to sew and doesn’t stretch out of shape like a drapier knit

Lise Neely

So many choices, one comment cannot contain them all! For my first Wren, I’m thinking that a fun print ITY knit will be a good choice for daytime here in the Northeast. Comfy, pretty and easy to layer!

Carolyn

Any knit with a good amount of Lycra/Spandex in it to aid in recovery.

Hayley moobird.blogspot.com

I don’t have a favorite knit. I have been a bit afraid to see with them because I don’t have a serger, but after reading Deepika’s review I might give it a go!

Christine chin unlikelynest.blogspot.com

I love sewing with ponte knits, no curling and very forgiving in the machine and on the figure!

Margo

I like cotton jerseys with a little bit of lycra, because they have great recovery, aren’t too hard to cut or sew, and are very soft! Beautiful dresses!

Ruth ruthpclark.com

I’m still new to sewing and learning my fabrics, but I do so love cotton!

delana

I most often use 100% cotton knits, but I’ve recently started using ponte knits more and find them wonderful to work with as well.

emily lastlighting.com

Ponte knits for me too. (: The threat of curling scares me!

mjb instagram.com

I’m just starting to move from cotton jersey to rayon blends!

Diana

I’m all about the feel, so I love soft rayon knits and french terry. I made a pair of french terry pants that I never want to take off.

Lelia Lyon

I’m all about the ponte knits too. It’s stability takes all the issues of sewing with knits away (at least for me anyhow.)

Sarah

Rayon knits with spandex are so fluid. They’re great!

Sierra Marcum

I love rayon for its super-soft texture and gorgeous drape and the way rayon knits can look kind of luminous, and I also really like french terry because it’s comfy, decidedly casual without looking sloppy, and easy to sew with and take care of.

Liz K

Not sure if it counts, but I really love stretchy mesh/lace knit fabrics for long sleeves (paired with an opaque knit fabric for the bodice of course) since they look so elegant and forgiving when worn.

Brenna Nepomuceno

I love knits, so forgiving and wool so classic.

carlalissa

I love all kind of knits, but my favorite is rayon jersey: so flowy, slinky and fresh!

Kelley Vito

I love sewing with knits because they get worn! They can be dressed up or down and are totally washable. The best garments are the ones you keep reaching for and for me those are definitely knits.

Wilma

My favorite so far has been a sturdy cotton spandex jersey (5% spandex) that has a lot of stretch and great recovery and behaved like a ponte during sewing. I made a Moneta out of that and it’s probably my most worn garment at the moment.
At the moment I’m sewing Wren with a slinky rayon that won’t behave unless I stabilize it three different ways. But the print is so pretty and I’m hoping it will be a lovely floaty dress once I’m finished (if that ever happens…)

shannon adventursinordinary.wordpress.com

french terry because it is so soft and cozy!

Ani

I love bamboo jersey! It’s so fun and drapey and feels nice and cool to the touch.

LibJ creativecurvychic.com

I love rayon jersey because it drapes so beautifully, even though it can be a bit of a challenge to cut and sew. Also, it’s wonderfully cool during the summer!

I’ve recently done a couple of skirts in scuba and I do like the fabric…the spongy texture is so different from other knits.

Sarah

I just made a top using ponte de roma and LOVED IT! It is the perfect weight and stretch for fall knits!

Nicole

My most worn handmade garment is a Mabel from ponte and scuba. They are my favorite because they are durable and flattering.

Kate chromakate.com

Jersey, both cotton and wool, because they look beautiful and are incredibly comfortable.

Lilo

I love a bamboo jersey too! I’ve made my most comfortable moneta out of it. Easy to work with and even better to wear!

Tina

I love to sew with Lillestoff knits.
It is a small German company,
and they only use organic knit.
It has the right amount of stretch and still looks good after years of washing.

I really like to use organic knit that wasn’t manufactured in a sweat shop.

Andrea Goffin

I haven’t worked with knits much, but I really like ponte knits. They just feel easier to work with.

Tonia Jeffery

I don’t really know types, but I like the slightly thicker t-shirt type especially if it is soft.

Leslie

Right now my favorite is performance knit.

Caroline Flynn

Merino and ponte, they just feel so nice

Nathalie nathaliesews.blogspot.be

I don’t really have a favorite but I like ponte roma and wool blends.

Jessica

I haven’t done a lot of knit sewing so far, but I really love cotton jersey for all the fun prints!

Maria

I haven’t sewed anything with knit in a very long time but this dress has me very tempted.

Silvia redsilvia.wordpress.com

I used Italian merino knit for the first time and love it! It was 10x more expensive than what I usually buy, but yumm-mee! Converted!

Allison CB

love the drape of knits – love sewing cotton jersey too!! Wren looks lovely!

tanyamaile tanyamaile.com

What beautiful inspirations! I love organic cotton jersey and rayon/viscose ponte knits. (couldn’t just choose one!)

Meg White thekninja.blogspot.com

I love working with knits. Right now I’m excited to use wool jersey to make some cozy layer pieces for ski season. Thanks!

Kathleen

Love working with ponte and French terry. Easy to sew and super comfy! I did just buy some wool jersey that I’ll be using for a couple Paxsons. Silk jersey is #1 on my wishlist. It looks so luxurious!

Cynthia

Bamboo jersey is my favorite knit fabric.

Lynn

I am in love with bamboo jersey. It is so soft and keeps me cool in hot Arizona weather!

Tatiana

I love Art Gallery cotton jerseys both printed and solids, they are soft to the touch and not too lightweight. I would make Wren in Wonderland Owly Boo Knit by Catarina Roccella.

Anne

Looooove merino wool knit because it is a breathable natural fabric. ?

Becky

Such beautiful examples! I might have to move Wren up my projects list!

I’ve worked with only a few knits fabrics, mostly cotton jerseys and double knits. The double knits do not roll up while I”m cutting and sewing pieces together, so for the time being, they are my favorites! I imagine that I would really enjoy working with middle- to heavyweight knits, like interlock and ponte, as they would cooperate, as well as provide much-appreciated structure to fitted knits (like Wren, version 1 or any of the Mabels).

Victoria

I love to sew with double knit. If you’re a lumpier lady like me, it just feels good! There’s a little extra support in it, or at least that’s how I feel. Knit of any sort is fantastic really. A whole wardrobe entirely of knit….absolutely!

Nique

Interlock. It’s so hefty and dreamy.

Vanessa

Ponte! Easy to cut and sew because it is stable. Hides the lumps and bumps. Works for garments with some structure. Would be great for the paneled skirt version of Wren.

Heather O

I have only tried working with cheap tissue knit from big commercial stores for my first tee shirt I made. After reading your tips in sea work magazine I would love to try a ponte de Roma for its structure

Taya@TypeB typebcrafter.blogspot.com

I haven’t had a lot of experience with knits. I’ve made a few baby blankets but couldn’t quite control the wobble. Looking forward to giving it another try! Love the Wren!

Chris Griffin griffinfoodandsewing.wordpress.com

I recently bought some wool jersey and OMG, so comfy! Pretty, too!

Angie

I used to shy away from knits, but after I made my first knit garment, with no fit adjustments needed, I was hooked. My current favorite is ITY knit. They come in many different weights and an amazing assortment of colours and patterns. I make A LOT of t-shirts and simple tops, primarily for work, the simplest garments can look so special because of the pretty patterns/designs on the fabric. I get so many compliments and non-sewers are so awed by my sewing prowess, and it’s all because of the extra pretty ITY.

Robin Miles howfitting.wordpress.com

I love sewing with rayon/spandex blends. They are worth any additional effort needed during cutting just for the end result. Every thing I’ve sewn with it feels more comfortable than my most comfy pajamas when I’m done!

Julia

Either bamboo spandex (so soft and luxurious-feeling) or midweight cotton lycra (it’s so versatile and perfect for dresses). I’ve only tried ponte once but want to use it more!

JHarps

I’m not sure I have a favorite. I guess it depends on the project/season. Rayon jerseys feel so soft, slinky and perfect for staying cool during the summer. Ponte and double knits are great for stability and work really well as layers in the fall.

Meg cookinandcraftin.blogspot.com

I love sewing with ponte de roma- no curling = smooth sailing (or sewing, as it were)!

ME Pendleton onemoredayabovetheroses.blogspot.com

I love sewing with cotton / spandex or jersey knits – they are so forgiving & have a great drape . Wren looks so stylish & versatile .

Erin

Love both cotton and wool jersey. Really easy to work with, drape beautifully, and really comfortable to wear. Also good for multiple seasons.

Wendy

I made a Moneta dress out of a rayon knit and it is so gorgeous and drapey so that would be a favourite, although I love merino for the cooler months.

Liudmila

I love sewing with bamboo knits with lycra, so soft!

Catherine

I love Deepika’s ITY print. This is going to be my first attempt at knits, so maybe I’ll try a ponte.

Jenny

I have two favorites! I like ITY because it is fluid and comes in some great prints. I also like ponte- easy to work with and makes for some comfortable garments.

Ali

I love Art Gallery knits. I’m not sure what weight they are exactly, but I love them for the same reason that Dani mentioned above. They are thick enough to smooth over curves. I also love some of the prints they have.

Anna

I love sweater knits. Cozy and classic. Merino knit or (gasp) a silk/cashmere blend!

Zuri

I love using rayon. It’s perfectly rich and I always look fabulous in it.

Adrienne

This may be too specific, but there is a knit that is sold on fabric.com called “Ibiza”, and it’s a blend of rayon with a little poly and lycra. It is thick enough to make it easy to sew (and skim rather than cling), but fluid enough to drape beautifully. The poly content helps it be very durable as well- try it out! I have some navy on the way to me for a Wren :)

Ginger

Cotton Lycra and ity are my favorite

Nora

My favorite so far is a wool blend reversible double knit- cozy, forgiving, and extra versatile with two sides to choose from. I think it would make a great winter Wren with the fabric reversed for a subtle contrasting neck band and long sleeves with turned up cuffs!

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