Get Inspired - Monthly Makes - Strut your Stuff by Sure-Fit Designs

May 30th, 2018 at 8:00 am EST
Monthly Makes
Sure-Fit Designs Inspiration

Hello there friends! It’s Anna from Canada. I hope you are having a great week. And I hope you are having fun sewing comfy outfits for the summer.
Today I would like to focus on knits.  Did you know that the Dress Kit has all the information you need to sew with knits and it also has a different sleeve you can use with knit fabrics?

How to Sew Stretch Fabric

Test the stretch of the knit fabric.  You'll find complete direction on how to test the stretch on page 6 of the Dress Kit Instruction Book.  You will need to size down one or more measurement dots if working with a moderate to very stretchy knit.
How to Sew Stretch Fabric
The main thing you need to know when sewing knits is that your seams need to have the same stretch qualities as your fabric. If it doesn’t then the stitches may break in your finished garment. This is preventable by using some of the stitches available on most modern sewing machines.
If you use a regular sewing needle in your machine it may cause skipped stitches and holes in knit fabrics. This is easily preventable by switching to a ball-point or stretch needle.
STITCHES FOR SEWING KNIT FABRIC
Your sewing machine manual is probably a great place to start deciding on the best stitch for your fabric. Otherwise, if it is buried under a mound of books or otherwise hiding somewhere in your house grab a scrap of knit fabric and try some of the below stitches. My preference is always the narrow zig-zag stitch.

DON’T PUSH OR PULL
When you sew the fabric pieces together, take care to guide the fabric gently through the sewing machine’s feed dogs. Do not push or pull the fabric. Setting your machine on a slow speed will make this easier to do.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT THREAD FOR SEWING KNIT FABRIC
A polyester thread usually works better than a cotton thread for stretch fabrics as it is less likely to break.  If you only have a cotton thread on hand try loosening the tension.
The photo below shows a slinky-type jacquard knit. The drape is lovely, it has a beautiful hand and is a stable knit - meaning it does not run. Because the hem goes up and down and up and down, it would have made it challenging to sew even a narrow 1/4" turned hem. The solution - leave the cut edge as is.  This top is actually the High/Low Hem Swing Top found on page 38 of the Dress Kit Instruction Book.


If you are afraid of working with knits, here are some tips that will boost your confidence.
In a nutshell, here are a few options:
•If the knit doesn't run, some can be left just as the cut edge.
•Some knits will do well with a serged/overlocked edge, turned up 1/4" and topstitched.
•A decorative (serged) rolled and stretched lettuce edge might be appropriate for some garments.
•Perhaps simply folded to the inside and bonded with a fusible web will work for some knits.
•Consider using a blind hem for more stable double knits.
•Some knits will require stabilizing first - particularly those where the cut edge tends to curl. Then once turned to the inside could be cover stitched - if you have a cover stitch machine option.
And don’t forget to send us your makes to anna@surefitdesigns.ca and inspire seamstresses all over the world!

Happy sewing!!
Anna
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