Knits – Do I love or hate you?

You hear stories of people that are scarred for life because of their experiences.  I think I have been scarred when it comes to sewing knits.  I took my first sewing class at a Community College.  It was one of those adult continuing education classes and it was fun.  We went on a shopping trip to purchase the pattern and fabric for the shirt we were making and my teacher went on and on about how hard it was to sew knit fabrics.

I remember thinking, wow that’s a little crazy, why would a knit fabric be any harder than any other fabric?  Then in our next class one of the students purchased a knit fabric for her shirt … despite my teacher’s objections.  And of course she went ballistic.  Yep …  ballistic.  She was like – your machine doesn’t have a stretch stitch.  Your shirt isn’t going to look right.  Your seams are going to be horrible.  And you know what … my classmate’s shirt was … in two words … a HOT MESS! The seams were wonky.  Nothing was even.  The stitching was horrible.  Nothing on that shirt was right.

That’s where my fear of knits began.  Oh! I’ve read the blogs.  And I know what you’re thinking.  Knits are easy! (Sarcasm) Yeah … I hear ya.  But there are two sides to the sewing world.  The side that loves knits.  And the side that finds them a challenge.  After using McCalls 6114 for my first adventure into the world of knit fabrics I don’t know if I love them or hate them.

Knit Top 1

Stop!  Before you say – hey that’s pretty good, I’m going to point out what’s wrong. .  The picture above (probably because I have my hands on my hips) doesn’t show just how bad this shirt is. This is my muslin.  I picked up this fabric on the 99 cent table at Golden D’Or in Dallas.  I knew I wanted to start to play with knits and wanted some cheapo fabric to play with.  This was it.  Though this is a fairly thin knit … you can see my white tank in some of the pictures … it had just the right amount of stretch.

Starting with what is obvious this fit is just tomfoolery … total nonsense.  This shirt is GIGANTIC!  I think this fabric stretched as I was handling it after cutting AND when I sewed.  Note to self:  purchase a walking foot prior to sewing any additional knits.  Here are a few additional shots to show how big this is.

Knit Top 2

Yes – this takes dolman sleeves to a whole new level.  If  you’re thinking “oversized” is in.  Just look at the bottom of these sleeves.

 Knit Top 3

Still hard to see?

Knit Top 4

 Hmm Mmmm.  Now you’re nodding your head.  And you may be too nice to say it, but yes, this is a hot mess.  One more really bad thing to look at … the neckline.

Knit top 5

It is so wavy and wonky.  The neckline seemed to just go on and on and on.

There was one thing that seemed to go right with this top and that was the embellishment on the sleeves.  I love the lace accents, and though it took me quite a while to sew it on by hand, I love how it provides that element of surprise.  Can I wear this in public?  Absolutely not.  I’ll be sporting this at home with these lessons learned in my head.

  1. Try this pattern again with a more stable knit fabric. 
  2. Invest in a walking foot it will help in feeding these stretchy knits through my machine.
  3. Take the Linda Lee knits class sponsored by the Plano ASG next month.  This will help me not only get familiar with knit fabrics, but will help me utilize either my machine or serger to get the best fitting garment with the best finish.
  4. Though I’m not sure, I do wonder if I cut this fabric correctly on the grainline. 

With this pattern, I can’t say if I love or hate knits.  I still have a lot to learn.  But at least I’ve tried … and I think I know what I’ve done wrong.  That’s a start … right?

See you on my next adventure.

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3 responses to “Knits – Do I love or hate you?

  1. your face in that first photo is priceless.

    i does get better! and the seamlines i can see look pretty damn good. once you have a few tips under your belt you’ll be golden, i swear.

    • Yes – that was, I really don’t want to take pictures of or talk about this disaster of a shirt! But we mush share the good, the bad, and the ugly, ugly, ugly!!

  2. I am glad you took the leap! I love knits – you just have to know the tricks to make that fabric behave! Now you have some experience, learning all the tricks will make you say “now I can create with knits too”

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