Knits – I Kicked Your Butt!

Ha!  Yes, I have conquered my nemesis – knit fabrics!  Heck yeah!  Just like superheros need iron suits or sidekicks, needed the right tools and the right teacher to help me get this knit thing down.  That being said … let’s talk about one of my new fabric topics … SEWING KNIT FABRICS.

So I revealed in my ultimate knit failure … how I struggled with McCalls 6614.  And if you go back and look at that post.  It was and is a Hot Mess.  Yeah – it sits in my closet, to be worn “around the house”.  In that post I mentioned my action plan … there’s that damn OCD coming out of me again.  Thankfully, it all worked out, and I have an AWESOME knit top to show for it.  My keys for success were:

  1. Walking Foot – Makes sewing knits smooth like butta … Land ‘O Lakes Sweet Buttercream if you want me to be specific.
  2. Fabric Selection – It matters A LOT!
  3. Linda Lee – I wish I could put her in my pocket and keep her with me forever. 

To rail against my obsessive compulsive OCD – I’m going to start at the bottom of the list … Linda Lee.  If you ever have the opportunity to attend a Linda Lee workshop.  Don’t even think about it.  Just do it.  Linda’s a great teacher.  To date … I haven’t quite had a sewing teacher so diverse at adapting her teaching style to so many personalities. 

She started off the day with having us try on a muslin of several of her patterns.  Oh how I wish I could this with every pattern I sew.  We could really look at the size and silhouette to see if it fit our specific body type.  At the end of that exercise, the pattern that worked best for me … was not the pattern I elected to sew.  So I switched to the Liberty Shirt. Now the original pattern wasn’t made for knits, but Linda walked me through the pattern adjustments in class.  When I saw this on … I knew I had to make it. The big sell, how figure flattering it is.  It has an asymmetrical high low hem, with front seams that create the illusion of a waistline.

Linda Lee RFB 2

Linda then shared a ton of tips.  From how to cut your fabric, to how to properly hem a garment.   My favorite thing about her teaching style is how she made me use what I know about sewing to answer my own questions.  It was literally a way of helping me walk through the problem on my own … so that I can do the same thing when she’s not around. 

Next fabric selection.  For my first knit project I used fabric from my stash.  Specifically fabric I found on the 99 Cent table at Golden D’Or.  For the Linda Lee course, I didn’t necessarily splurge because the fabric was $4.80/yard at Fabrique fabrics.  But this was a heavier, more substantial, higher quality knit.  The difference was amazing!  The more I work with knits, I think I’ll become more familiar with the different types. 

When dealing with fabric Linda had another suggestion.  Play with it!  Take the time and really play with stitches.  Play with how the fabric reacts to stretching.  Get to know the fabric and you’ll know what you’re dealing with when you’re making the garment. I did this in class and it paid off.  I took a good 20 minutes just to get to know this fabric.  Played with it until I found a stitch I was CONFIDENT in.  Now my goal is to go back and visit that Spawn of Satan waffle knit and make something amazing out of it.

Linda Lee RFB 6

The last thing is I purchased a Walking Foot for my sewing machine.  Linda recommended a walking foot for the class so I purchased one.  Well worth the small investment.  I had absolutely no stretching!  Walking Foot = My BFF when sewing knits. 

Linda Lee RFB 4

I do love this Liberty pattern.  The A Line.  Slits in the sleeves.  It’s a very interesting pattern and I’ll wear this shirt to death.  I also received that coveted question not once but twice when I wore this to the office.  “Where did you get that shirt?”  I could proudly say.  I made it!

Linda Lee RFB 3

Before I sign off, I know it’s been a while.  But it hasn’t been because I havent’ been sewing.  Life just … got in the way.  I’ve been able to sew up quite a bit in the last month, and I hope to post now, more often. 

I’ll be back soon to share my next adventure!  Until then … Peace Out.

2 responses to “Knits – I Kicked Your Butt!

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