If there’s one thing I know about sewing, it’s about whipping up some simple knit tops, skirts and dresses.
Lazy Tips for Sewing Knits: aka. The Basics
- Trim the selvedge
- Finding the grainline
- Cutting tools
- Pattern paper matters
- If it works, do it!
- Basic steps for sewing a t-shirt
- Choosing the right length for a knit neckband
- Prewash, dang it!
- Easing circle skirt hems with a serger
- Setting Knit Sleeves Flat
- Flat Piping Knits with Elastic
- Anatomy of a (Faux) Wrap Dress
- Quick and easy t-shirt cuffs
- Even Skirt Hems
Lazy Tips for Fixing Knits: Tweaking knits to be better once you are done!
You might also want to check out:
- Renfrew Madness – What fabrics work best for a basic tee?
- How to give any stretch pants an elastic waistband (Here’s an example on jeans as well!)
12 thoughts on “Lazy Tips for Sewing Knits”
Yay! I found you! I recognized you the other day and told you I was about to start the lady skater dress.I am going to read all your tips for sewing knits. I must admit the printed pattern thing has slowed me down. It is still sitting on the kitchen table. I will let you know how it goes.
Hi Kathy! I’m so glad you got in touch! I realised after we chatted the other day that I should have told you about the KW/Guelph sewing group we have on Facebook. It’s here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/381046132029236/ (Called the Grand River Sewcialists, if that link doesn’t work!) We get together for coffee and a chat about sewing once a month or so. Hope you can join us sometime! 🙂
Fantastic tips, Gillian! I just read them all.
I was not able to comment on the tumblr blog, but this is just great! 🙂
I’m glad this works better for you! I”m happy that I made the move to wordpress – it’s been good so far! 🙂
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Thanks you for all the awesome tips. I also had a question I thought maybe you could help me with. Knitted fabrics and fabrics with stretch. Are you supposed to handle these differently? I get that the knit won’t frey, where the women will. But other than that, do you see a big difference in working with them?
I’ve been following your blog for a couple of years and have learned a lot. Thanks so much for all your help and inspiration. I have a question that keeps coming up and I can’t find an answer anywhere on the internet. It has to do with knits, so I thought you might be able to help me. I’ve recently started to sew with double-brushed poly and love the softness and wicking properties. But I can’t find a stretch stitch that is as stretchy as the dbp fabric that looks good enough for topstitching hems. Most of the stitches that are recommended online are not stretchy enough (zig-zag, straight stretch). I found one stitch that’s stretchy enough and works for seams, but gives a messy puckered look to hems. What am I doing wrong? Any ideas?
Ooh, that’s a tough one! I use my coverstitch for hems, so I can’t speak from experience… but here’s a few things you could try?
– make your zigzag width wider, so there is more stretch. You could try a longer stitch too.
– choose patterns that let you finish the hem with a folded band, so there isn’t any exposed stitching
– try stabilising your hem as you sew by putting a piece of tissue paper or tear-away stabiliser under the hem as you sew, which might help with the puckery look
-try a double needle? I hate them, but some people love them!
-leave hems raw on drapey tops – it shouldn’t fray or roll
And… if all else fails, buy a coverstitch???
Good luck! Let me know if any of that works!
What a fast response! Thank you!
I have tried some of those ideas. I’m wearing an unhemmed t-shirt with folded band neck right now, in fact. But some of them are new and I will definitely give a try.
Gillian- you are a brilliant !! I tried your method of determining the knit strip length for a knit neckband. I have used the mathematical measurement sine late 70’s. Your method is so easy. No more dragging my feet on cutting the strip.
Yay!!! That makes me so happy!!!