Sewing with Knits for Beginners (and a giveaway)
"I would love to make that, but I do not know how to sew with knit!"
We can't tell you how often we've had that said to us... Do you feel the same? Does sewing with knits feel intimidating? You're not alone if it does! But sewing with knits is so easy! You just need to know a few things before you start.... we are here to tell you, your mind is about to be eased and a whole new world of sewing is about to be opened up!!
This blog article is designed to take the mystery out of knit...
- How to pick which type of knit fabric is best for your garment
- What type of settings to put your machine on when sewing with knit
- Tips to make a fabulous finished knit garment
Knit fabric comes in various forms, here are a few of the most common forms:
Jersey Knit - Jersey can be blended out of cotton, rayon, polyester and silk. Jersey knit is also usually blended with a bit of spandex, as this is what helps it to stretch and bounce back to the original shape. Jersey knit has a distinct front and back, with the smooth side on the front side of the fabric, and a more textured back side. When cut, jersey knit tends to curl at the edges, which can make it a bit more tricky to work with. This knit is great for skirts, tops, yoga pants and dresses.
Here are some examples of patterns we've sewn using Jersey knits:
- Interlock Knits - Interlock is thicker than jersey knit, as both sides of the fabric are smooth, like the right side of a jersey fabric. Interlock is SUPER easy to sew with because it doesn’t stretch out of shape as easily as jersey and it doesn’t curl at the edges. We find Interlock as easy to sew with as any woven cotton! Because it is a more stable fabric, and is a breeze to work with, it is one of our preferred types of knit! This knit is great for skirts, tops, yoga pants, and dresses.
(just a sampling of super creative and fun interlock knits available at www.spoonflower.com)
Here are some examples of patterns we've sewn using Interlock knits:
Interlock Knits from Spoonflower, from left to right: Yellow Dot, Cameo Pink Roses, Blue Vintage Hot Air Balloons, Cameo Rose Dots
Rib Knits - Rib knit has the ribbing on both sides of the fabric. Rib knits tend to be very stretchy when pulled perpendicular to the rib. The ribbing can come in a variety of sizes from large ribs to baby ribbing. If you envision the neck of a t-shirt, this part is usually made with Rib knits. This knit is popular for cuffs and bands because of the elasticity. We don't really use rib knits often, but they certainly are fine to use!
Here we've sewn the Adele dress using Rib knit:
Slinky Knit - Slinky knit is an acetate-lycra fabric with ribs that is very stretchy and does not wrinkle. This knit is great for wrinkle free dresses that are light weight. We don't recommend slinky knit for any of our patterns that feature ruffles, because it isn't able to hold the weight of ruffles well at all. This type of knit especially wouldn't be good for the Phoebe dress, because the weight of the skirt portion would weigh the top portion down. This is a knit that we don't ever really use and we don't recommend it for our patterns.
Now that we've discussed the types of knits that are great to use, let's take a look at sewing machine settings and other sewing tips!
you sew, as this will prevent your garment from losing its shape.