using stay tapes on wovens, several of you requested a guest post on knits? Well, I have something even better. A whole series on sewing knits from knitwear designer Alyson Clair! Alyson takes her inspiration from vintage designs, so she's a perfect fit here. Please give her a warm welcome! (Also: have specific questions about sewing with knits that you'd like to see addressed in a future post? Please write them in the comments below.)
Hello and greetings from the fair city of Portland, Oregon!
My name is Alyson Clair. I'm an apparel designer/technical designer/pattern grader/marker maker/cutter/sewer/NERD! Basically I just like to make pretty things all day.
I grew up on a llama farm in a small town in Oregon. My mother ran a llama yarn business out of our home. I always had my hands busy with some sort of project. When not running around the woods or being out in the llama fields, I was thrifting from an early age. My family rolled their eyes (and still does) at the treasures I would recover from thrift stores. I have a strong affinity to the 1920s through early 1960's. My first car was a 1961 Bel Air, and the first summer I could drive I had two jobs: one at a thrift store (where I know I didn't make any money), and the other as snack bar gal at the local drive in movie theater. The drive-in was built in 1954 and is still currently in its original state.
I love what I do; working on clothing all day is super fun. And my main focus is sewing and designing with knits. I'm a busy bee and do lots of different projects for a variety of companies and designers: from vintage home patterns to being the patternmaker in an apparel factory. However, my main focus is my clothing line, Clair Vintage Inspired.
The goal of my line is to be the most favorite thing in your closet. I take vintage design inspirations and make them into comfortable knits. I also make a good variety of sizes, XS(4/6) through XL(16/18). As a designer it's more meaningful to me to see people on the street wearing my designs, than seeing them on a runway or in a fashion spread. There's room for boobs, butts, and curves. Fit and comfort are very important to me, as well as looking good. Another priority is making all of my goodies in the United States. Did you know that 95% of apparel is made overseas? I think it's incredibly important to support local economies and to know who is making your clothing, and how and where it's being made.
Here are some of my favorite pieces from past and current seasons.
Be on the lookout for some upcoming posts about sewing with knits from me. Gertie has given me a fun list of questions from you lovely readers. I 'll answer them, and hopefully teach you about something I absolutely love.