Summer Sewing with Knits

July 4, 2014 in Tips & Tricks

Hello Totally Stitchin’ fans!  Heather here for our first Friday date.

Have you ever wanted to infuse your wardrobe with a few custom pieces but didn’t know where to start? Well, summer is actually one of the best times to explore the world of apparel sewing.  The silhouettes are forgiving, the color assortment is endless and the fabrics are just plain fun! With just a few simple techniques and a few pieces of colorful fabric, we can rev up our wardrobes in a flash.

Learn how to infuse color into your summer wardrobe with easy tricks and sewing techniques for knits. The Sewing Loft

I know what you’re thinkin’….  “Heather, that sounds great and all but where or where do I Learn how to knock off your favorite skirt with The Sewing Loft.start?”

Well, if you’re anything like me, you already have a few pieces in your closet that you love.  So, why not start there.  With a few basic tools you can knock off your favorite item and make it in every color.  Here is one of my favorite skirts.  The original was an off the rack purchase that I fell in love with.  When I went back to the store to grab it in another color, I was disappointed that they only had black.  I just wanted color!  So, I grabbed some paper, my drafting tools, trusty pencil and headed to the dinning room table to knock it off.  You can read about that adventure here.

If pattern drafting is not your thing- no worries! There are so many amazing patterns on the market today to choose from.  I just suggest doing a simple pattern fitting first.  Don’t worry, it’s nothing fancy, just cut the pattern on a piece of tester fabric and baste it together.  This simple step can help you pin point that extra fullness area or highlight the need for slightly more ease in another.  This is especially important when you are in-between sizes or using vintage patterns.  Either way, you will thank me later when you are not tossing out your favorite fabric.

Tanks, tees, simple dresses and skirts are the perfect garments to start with.  I know, sewing with knits can be tricky but honestly, with a little patience, practice and the right needle they are a breeze.  Here is one skirt that I just finished.

Summer sewing with Heather from The Sewing Loft

Ready ready to get started but still kinda nervous?

Here are some additional tips for working with knits:

  • Switch to a ballpoint needle.  The rounded tip allows the needle to pass through the fabric without cutting or catching fibers.
  • Let the machine do all the work.  Don’t pull or push your fabric through the machine. Instead, let the feed dogs do all the work.  This will reduce puckering and prevent waviness.
  • Select the correct stitch type.  If your seam is a pressure point or will be stretched to function: think waistline or neckline.  It is best to use a stretch stitch. This stitch resembles a standard straight stitch on your machine but allows for the fabric to stretch and return to its original relaxed state.
  • No stretch stitch? No problem! A small zig zag stitch can achieve the same results.
  • Prevent stretching.  To prevent stretching, it is important to add stabilizer to the shoulder seams. This small piece of interfacing will add stability while providing added seam strength.
  • Hemming. Most ready-to-wear knit garments are finished with a double row of stitches at the hemline. This stitch is created with a specialty machine called a coverstitch and most of us do not have this at home.  However, we can achieve the outlook by switching out our needles to a double needle.

Easy tricks for sewing with knits and improve your summer sewing. The Sewing Loft

Plus, if you have a serger now is the time to use it!  Those babies are made for knits!

I do hope that these tips help give you the courage to dive into clothing.  I promise it is really not that scary!  Heck, since most knits, especially jerseys, don’t unravel you could even leave the hem raw.  Personally, I can not wait to see what you create!

Thanks so much for having me, I’ll be back next month chatting about all things Back to School.  In the mean time, feel free to stop by and say hello.  I’d love to hear about your current sewing adventures or any sewing questions you would like to tackle together.

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