Knits for the Gold
Have you been watching the Olympics? I have a bit and that got me thinking, knit fabrics are a bit like the gold in the sewing world, or at least to me.
This transition period in fashion, moving from winter to spring, is always hard for me. I am not ready to stop sewing winter garments and don’t know for sure what I want to sew for spring. So for my first garment for this post, I went with a new release pattern, True Bias Nikko Dress and used this Mood Fabrics’ waffle knit. I love this fabric and it was great to sew, note it does have quite a bit of stretch.
It seems that when I sew a knit garment, it is usually a winner and I am usually very happy with the garment. Now that isn’t saying I don’t have some sewing fails with knits, in fact I did last week, a great big fail. Sewing fails are just part of it and I just jump right back and try again.
Somethings I do to make sewing with knits to help achieve success and they are the gold are look at the finished garment measurements, make sure I have a knit that has the right amount of stretch for the garment. Many patterns give you that measurement of stretch
- Stabilize the shoulders to prevent sagging.
- Use the right type of needle if using a sewing machine – jersey or ball point or stretch. Test with a scrap of fabric
- If using a serger, which is what I use the most, then test some scraps. See if you need to adjust the differential. Make sure you do the same adjustment if you use a coverstitch machine.
- Lift and press the seams and the hems. Don’t move your iron around on your project, it might cause stretching.
- Stabilize your hem with some knit interfacing, stretch going with the stretch of your fabric. This especially helps when you use a twin needle for hemming. This bit of interfacing keeps the twin needle from tunneling or making that raised look on the stitching.
Those are just a few tips, but some I try to use each time I work with knits. I really love the differential feature on my serger.
Now this Nikko dress is form fitting and that scared me a bit. I looked at the finished measurements and went with a size 14. After sewing up the side seams, it was too big, quite a bit in the bust, some in the waist and about and inch on each side in the hips. I do think some of this is from the extra stretch of the knit. I made the adjustments to the side seam and I did take some in at the shoulder seam, too. I really need to take more in the next time at the waist, it is pretty full through the waist, but this is an area that is really for your comfort level. My thought is always, how much to I want it clinging to my middle? I do think with every knit, it can vary, so always do a trial fit before you do the sleeve binding and the hem.
This dress will be great with a jacket or I saw it on IG with a Blackwood Cardigan, oh, now I need one to go with this dress! What color should I make? It just can’t be black, that isn’t my color.
And here is the back view
I also like knits for the speed of construction. For this post, I made another garment, one to brighten up my winter closet for the hopefully just a very few more cold days we have. The Sew House 7 Toaster Sweater in Mood Fabrics’ Mauve Cotton Chunky Rib Knit. This was a great fabric-pattern combination and I love the chunky feel of the sweater knit. I feel like I should be in a ski lodge by the fireplace with a hot chocolate.
The fabric as stated on the Mood site “Over-sized and ultra cozy pieces are what we see in this Mauve Cotton Chunky Rib Knit‘s future! The soft and textured chunky knit is given a faded mauve color that adds a vintage vibe to your look. From slouchy turtlenecks to wide-sleeved pullovers, it has a relaxed drape that is ideal for soft silhouettes. A 4-way stretch adds even more comfort to your piece.”
The fabric does have the faded look and I love that vintage feel.
One thing do note, this fabric is all cotton and does not have much recovery. This is most noticeable on the bottom band stitching, where it is attached to the body of the sweater. I adjusted the differential on the serger but guess who forgot to adjust the differential on her coverstitch machine? Yep, me! So do as I say and not as I do. Remember to adjust both if you are using two different machines. Is there a knit garment that you love to make? One that is great for a transistion piece? I know I just love sewing knits and I really love that we have great knits available to the home sewist.