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Message Board > Fabrics and more... > 20% Stretch Knits ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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20% Stretch Knits
Sewing a Shrug with Knits
Sheryl in TX
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Sheryl in TX  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/25/12 7:01 PM

I would like to make Kwik Sew 3406 which is a shrug pattern. This pattern calls for a 20% stretch knit. I haven't made a garment in years and have never sewn knits. I need a black shrug and this is the perfect pattern. If you have the perfect knit that would work great, let me know the source, pretty please? Also, how difficult is it to sew knits with your sewing machine instead of a serger. The serger that I would like to have isn't in my budget just now. Thanks!!

momtoesther
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momtoesther
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Date: 9/25/12 7:07 PM

It is not difficult. I recommend a good quality cotton lycra. I buy mine at Sewzannes.com
Since it stretches, your stitch has to as well. Use a 'lighting bolt' stitch for the seams or they will pop.

ok...for some reason I thought I knew that pattern, apparently I didn't I wouldn't use cotton lycra for thatHope you find something!
-- Edited on 9/25/12 7:08 PM --

Sheryl in TX
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Date: 9/26/12 0:56 AM

Hi,
Thank you SO much. I really appreciate this. I really want to make this shrug and being so new to knits, I don't have a clue about what to get. Thanks again! :)

Sheryl in TX
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Date: 9/26/12 0:57 AM

Oops, just saw your edited message, LOL. Oh well, thank you anyway, for trying to help. I'll get the answer somewhere. :)

NhiHuynh
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Date: 9/26/12 2:14 AM

Seems like a lot of knits that is soft and drapey would work. I buy most of my fabrics locally. I have purchased fabrics from Silhouette Patterns several times and have always been pleased with my fabrics. Maybe you can e-mail them and ask which fabrics are 20% stretch or how it would be labeled in the description.

Sewing knits with a sewing machine is not difficult at all. Since the style is pretty loose, I wouldn't be too worried too much about popped seams because there isn't as much wearing stress on the seams. A zig zag stitch should work fine. I sew my bathing suits with a sewing machine. If I need more stretch I use a a 3-step zig zag or serpentine like stitch.

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I finally have a blog. www.detectivehoundstooth.com :)

Sewnla
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Date: 9/26/12 10:36 AM

Hi Sheryl,
I'm currently taking the craftsy class "Sewing with Knits: 5 Wardrobe Essentials" and the instructor Meg teaches the class using only a sewing machine. She uses a small zig zag and triple stretch stitch on her machine. She says as long as you have a zig zag you can sew knits. The class comes with included in the price of the class PDF patterns. So far I'm just watching the class but I do plan to make a couple of things. Check out the little information clip on Craftsy.com. But watch out you will get hooked on them. I just love those classes.
Also they do offer free mini classes on various topics so you can get a feel of how they run their classes and classes do come on sale.
Bottom line is you can sew knits without a serger.

Pj3g
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In reply to Sheryl in TX <<


Date: 9/26/12 11:58 AM

Sheryl,
I can see this pattern has alot of ease built into it. The 20% stretch is a minimum--doesn't mean the fabric you use must be exactly 20% as it can be more (or probably a tad less because of the ease built in) Read the reviews under the pattern here to get some ideas on how the fabric they used worked and how the sewing of it went for them.

Also, think outside the box. I made close fitting shrugs out of stretch velvet and soft plushy minkee and fleece for my GD and the fabrics worked out great. I don't know the stretch % on those compared with the patterns but they worked totally fine.

Someone already mentioned Silhouette Patterns and fabric. One thing I like about her (Peggy Sagers) patterns is they often give fabric suggestions and then say something like or use any fabric you like. I just watched one of her webcasts. In it she highly recommeded Ponte Roma knit fabric from Joann's I was surprised to hear someone who sells fabric recommend another stores fabric. The reviews on the Ponte Roma are great and sound like they may be perfect for you as you have never sewn knits or garments in years. I haven't sewn with it but I am definitely going to get several colors!

One thing I always do when sewing knits is I make strips out of the scraps. I make them about 10 inches long. Then before sewing the project I test sew two strips together as if I was sewing a seam. If they were exactly 10" before sewing but are not after my test sew, then I know I have to adjust something so the measurement is exactly the same before sewing and after. You'll be using your SM and not a serger so you might decrease your presser foot pressure, use a roller foot or walking foot so the knit doesn't stretch as you sew. If you don't have any of those try pushing down on the back of the presser foot as you sew. This will make the front of the foot raise up so the fabric can go under the foot as opposed to staying back and stretching. A short straight stitch or very narrow zigzag will probably work best. The stretch stitches on your SM are more for stress areas like a crotch seam than for sewing something like you are going to make. Try either stretch or ballpoint needles and see which works best for your fabric. Go with the smallest size you can as it will work better but test to see.

You'll probably get more suggestions but I'm sure you'll be fine and it'll turn out great!

------
Thank you Lord for my Mother who taught me the joy of sewing, for my Father who encouraged my sewing, for the talent You gave me to sew, and for all the special people in my life to sew for.

Sheryl in TX
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In reply to Pj3g <<


Date: 9/26/12 12:11 PM

Thank you so much! I so appreciate all these hints. I guess I was too freaked out over the 20% label. LOL I will order some ponte knit from Joann's (live in a SMALL town) and get to work. I will check out the Silhouette Patterns as well. Thank you again! You are a "gem". :)

Sheryl in TX
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Sheryl in TX  Friend of PR
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In reply to NhiHuynh <<


Date: 9/26/12 12:12 PM

Thank you very much. I am going to go to Silhouette Patterns website. I'm glad that you gave me the tips for sewing on my sewing machine. It is a Babylock and I have plenty of stitches, so what you suggest is fabulous! :)

Sheryl in TX
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In reply to Sewnla <<


Date: 9/26/12 12:14 PM

Hi and thank you so much! I'm going to check out the Craftsy website again. I have been there once, but I haven't signed up yet. Uh Oh, this sounds addictive. LOL It is nice to know that the instructor of this class sews knits only on a sewing machine. That is comforting. This helps me calm down about this. Thanks again! :)

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