Learning with Knits

I’ve sewn with knit fabrics before. I know I have! But either they were less stretchy, or I didn’t care about the finished project as much. But this project I care about, and it’s been a (kind of frustrating) learning experience.

I should back up. I am participating in the Fabric Mart Fabricistas’ Reader’s Pick Sew Along. Julie, who authors that blog, is providing great step-by-step tips that have really helped me with this project.

6097

We’re all sewing New Look 6097. I’m doing pattern A, with the collar and sleeves.

Here’s my knit fabric, purchased from fabricmartfabrics.com.

my_fabric

I’m normally really slow at sewing b/c I get all perfectionist. It took me much longer to cut out the fabric pieces for this pattern b/c the knit is so stretchy. Also, I do not own a cutting grid, which I should. But that is not something I bought for this project. Beast isn’t helping, either.

beast_fabric

I didn’t think to take photos of the two bodice pieces and their pleats. Those were the first two steps, though. Then, the instructions suggested I add seam binding to the shoulders. Julie recommended Seams Great by Dritz. If you look at her photo, she didn’t put the binding along the raw edge. I did, though, because the directions on the back of Seams Great said to. I honestly don’t know if it matters or not.

seam_binding

So far so good, right? Well, that’s about 3-4 steps into the instructions, and I’ve been working on this for almost 2 weeks! In fact, that seam binding shot above, I sewed that on 3 times (ripping it out twice).

You know what I’ve ripped out 3 times, though? The collar and facing. As I said earlier, Julie has been providing some great tips. It’s because of her blog that I knew to use the zig zag stitch. But she had also recommended using a needle for knits. I didn’t do that at first. I figured, meh, I’ve sewn with knits before, my regular sewing needle is fine. But while sewing the collar and facing right sides together, I learned the truth about knits. You need the proper tools!

puckering

See how the fabric is puckering? As I sewed, the top fabric was getting out of sync with the bottom fabric (facing). I ripped out my stitches and went to Jo-Ann’s to buy needles for knits.

Back home with a new needle, the fabric still puckered, and I ripped it out a second time. I did a search for “sewing with knits” videos. At about 01:20, Ann Steeves suggests it might help if I slightly pull on both ends of the fabric as it went through the machine.

Third time on this step, and I discovered a new problem. I had purchased the correct kind of fusible interfacing for knits. But the pattern said I needed at least 22-26 inches wide. The stuff I bought was 20″ wide. I didn’t think it mattered. But as I sewed the two parts of the collar together last night, I finally realized: the facing wasn’t stretching! I ripped out the stitches again. I had cut out the interfacing in the wrong direction. I can’t even reuse what I bought, because I DO need that interfacing to be at least 22″ wide so that I cut out the piece so it stretches the right way. Sigh. It’s back to Jo-Ann’s tonight.

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