Learning to Sew with Knits
This week I had my first experience sewing with knits! It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be, but my garment definitely isn’t perfect. Can’t wait to share what I’ve learned!
Choosing the Fabric
I can’t say that I had anything to do with choosing my fabric. I think I was working at camp one summer, and my mom told me she was going into NYC, and I told her to pick up some jersey for me.
That was probably over 5 years ago. Mom doesn’t remember any of this happening. All I know is that I didn’t pick out the fabric, but that I loved it.
Patterns will tell you the percentage elasticity that the fabric should have in order to look/ drape correctly. If you shop online, you’ll see the elasticity in the product description. This is super important!
This is where I tell you that I’m a bad sewist. I didn’t check anything. The pattern even gave a guide to what the piece should measure when stretched, and I didn’t test it. Since this fabric was lying around for over 5 years, I knew I was just going to use it. Fortunately, it all worked out.
Choosing the Pattern
I used this Free Plantain Tee pattern from Deer and Doe. All of their patterns have good reviews, so I knew their free pattern would be just as good.
And thennnn I made it longer, because I wanted a swing dress. The photos showed that the bottom of the tee flaired out a bit, so I knew if I just followed that line, it would be perfect.
I measured from the back of my neck to the back of the knee to determine the final length, and then added to the pattern with some tissue paper.
Cutting the Fabric
One thing I love about sewing my own knits is prewashing. I love knowing it won’t shrink and be too short once I’m finished. I wash and dry the fabric before cutting at the temperature that I normally use for laundry.
Now for cutting…
Finding the grain was kind of tricky. I had about 2 yards of fabric, so I couldn’t hold it up to fold it neatly. I first matched the edges, and if the fold wasn’t smooth, I would move the fabric until it laid flat.
Since knits are stretchy, it was a little harder to cut that I anticipated. Next time, I will probably cut with a rotary cutter so I don’t have that problem.
This pattern sewed up super quickly! I used the stretchy knit zig zag stitch on my sewing machine an a jersey needle, and didn’t have any issues. I think I was done in 2 hours.
Unfortunately, I need more practice with necklines. One half is perfect, and the other half isn’t stretched enough so it hangs weirdly. And then I almost fixed it at the shoulder seam, but now it might look worse.
I’ll just wear a scarf, and no one will know *laughing crying emoji! Here’s the good side 🙂
I used a twin needle for the seams, and I was super nervous at first. I thought I would break my machine or the needle or the 2 strands of thread would get tangled, but it was perfect! And the finished look is amazing! Definitely helps it NOT look handmade (which is always the goal,right?).
Soooo it’s suddenly cold and rainy in NJ. Otherwise, I would have a pic of myself in the dress (with a scarf). I will update the post when it gets a little warmer! That will teach me to plan my posts a little better :p