Designer Alyson Clair has been kicking around the Portland fashion community for a long time. Whether she’s sketching one of her easy-to-wear dresses (First Lady Nancy Hales is a fan), creating technical factory pattern for bigwigs like Nike, or gathering the style troops to assist in fundraising events for pet shelters, she’s always on the scene.

Now, we can add 'published author' to the stack of her many hats, as Clair’s book for local Colette pattern company (The Colette Guide to Sewing Knits) hit the world this month to great fanfare.

The book debuted as the #1 bestseller in Amazon’s sewing category, and still holds out a Top 15 spot today. For those who’ve ever attempted to sew a knit (vastly different than, say, whipping up a pair of curtains), you can understand why an extensive guide to the most worn fabric is being snapped up by sewers everywhere.

For her part, Clair is happy to have her years of mishaps help others. “I really wanted to share my knowledge about knits. So much of it was learned through hours and years of trial and error with my clothing line. I want to give sewers confidence to try sewing with knits, and all of the tips I have learned. There isn’t much in the way of reference books for sewists, that focus solely on knits. I wanted to make sure I put a lot of troubleshooting things in, from threading to fabric selection.”

When you’re ready to tackle making your own go-to summer maxi skirt (you can do it), snag a book from Amazon and get at in.

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