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Forum > Fabrics and more... > What are your TNT Fabrics for tops and bottoms? ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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What are your TNT Fabrics for tops and bottoms?
The ones you go back to again and again.
nancy2001
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Date: 7/19/13 8:28 AM

Many of us have TNT patterns, the tried and true patterns we go to again and know they'll never let us down. I thought it would be fun and helpful if we talked about our favorite fabric for tops and bottoms and why we go back to them again and again.

My all time favorite fabric for tee shirts is poly/lycra ITY (Interlock Twist Yarns) knit, usually a 96% polyester 4% lycra blend. For me it's the ideal year round basic for tops. In fact, I'm wearing a tee shirt made from it now.

I love ITY knits for tops because it skims the figure and doesn't add bulk, machine washes beautifully, line dries without wrinkles, stays fresh and new looking through dozens of wearings, and can be dressed up or down.

ITY knits are widely available online in both solids and prints and usually run between six and fifteen dollars, depending on where you buy them. My favorite solid ITY knit is Brazil Knit, which is manufactured by the Canadian company Telio, comes in over a dozen vibrant colors and sold by Nancy's Notions for about ten dollars a yard.

My favorite fabric for bottoms (in my case pants) is RPL which stands for rayon/poly/lycra. This synthetic blend is usually woven to look like wool gabardine or wool crepe and comes in different ratios. I think the best ratios are close to 63% polyester/32% rayon/5%lycra.

I like RPL bottoms for many of the same reasons I like ITY knits for tops -- figure flattery, easy care washing/no ironing required (though it will take a permanent crease if you use a Rajah cloth), and can be worn year round for a dressy or casual look.

RPL is not as widely available as ITY knit, but several online vendors have them. Prices run from eight to about twenty dollars per yard. Mood stocks an excellent black RPL crepe in the ideal figure skimming weight (I believe it's a reorderable basic) for just $8 per yard, a terrific bargain since the quality is so good. Mood also carries a very good black RPL gabardinefor the same low price.

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No sewing project is ever a complete success nor a total failure.

gramma b
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Date: 7/19/13 8:44 AM

Do you keep a chart of blend percentages to remember when buying knit fabrics online?

I love knits for tops/skirts, but some jersey knits have turned out too heavy for a complete dress. Some slinky knits too hot, some too stretchy to work with, etc. I like the weight and softs patterns of the new onionskin, but careful slow stitching is needed.
Stretch poplin and challis for skirts, don't do pants due to fit issues.

Question for those in the industry--different fabrics must take different dyes? Why are so many knits and polys in RTW and sewing fabrics so LOUD, while fabrics like cottons/challis are in softer light prints? I see a lot of the Big florals left unsold, while small geometrics etc. are hard to find.

-- Edited on 7/19/13 10:30 AM --

MrsCharisma
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In reply to nancy2001 <<


Date: 7/19/13 8:49 AM

Oh, what a nice idea! Especially for us newbies who may not be fabric savvy yet.

So far, I am in love with rayon challis for woven tops. It is so light and airy while still being opaque enough to wear alone. I like stretch twill and stretch poplin for casual pants/shorts, wool crepe and wool/poly blends for pants.

I still need education on knits but I've got a dress and top out of ponte which I really like and just ordered my first ever ITY knits and have one top almost completed - I'm happy with the feel of it so far.
-- Edited on 7/19/13 11:02 AM --

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Nakisha
www.sewcraftychemist.blogspot.com
Singer Talent 3321 | Brother 1034D

My Big 4 Sizing: Medium | Tops 14/16 | Pants 18 | Skirts 16/18.

My Measurements: 36 HB | 38.5 FB | 34 W | 44 Hip

JTink
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Date: 7/19/13 8:52 AM

I like t-shirt knits(usually 100%cotton)for my everyday tops. The bottom(capri, slacks, jeans, skirts), I will use heavy cotton/blends, twills, denim and linens. On occasion, I'll tackle a woven or slinky stuff for a dressy button down top.

nancy2001
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In reply to MrsCharisma <<
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Date: 7/19/13 8:54 AM

MrsCharisma, you're well on your way to becoming a savvy sewer! I'm glad to hear you've ordered your first ITY knit. ITY knit is an easy to work with fabric that sews beautifully. I hope you will enjoy your new top.

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No sewing project is ever a complete success nor a total failure.

marymary86
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Date: 7/19/13 8:55 AM

ITY knit is one of my favorites but I find it's usually offered in bright colors and prints that I just don't wear. I'd love to see some colors other than royal blue, true red, bright turquoise, and hot pink!

We're not all winters!!

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Mary


bicrafty
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In reply to nancy2001 <<


Date: 7/19/13 9:03 AM

I see you're in Alabama...how do your poly/lycra tops feel in this humidity? I've stayed away from poly because I'm in Georgia(born and raised) but still can't stand the summer humidity. It would be nice though if poly could work because it seems like I can find it much cheaper and with more variety than natural fibers.

PattyE
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In reply to nancy2001 <<
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Date: 7/19/13 9:04 AM

For knit tops my fave is rayon/lycra.
For woven tops it's silk crepe.
And for bottoms I like gabardine or denim.

nancy2001
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In reply to gramma b <<


Date: 7/19/13 9:08 AM

Gramma b, I believe 96% polyester/4% lycra is the most common ratio for ITY knits, so it's easy for me to remember. But these raios can vary a bit. I've seen poly/lycra blends with 3% lycra and 8% lycra.

As far as RPL goes, I simply looked up my favorite fabric online and copied down the percentages. Although the fabric is known as RPL, the highest percentage is P for polyester (roughtly two thirds), then comes R for rayon (roughly one third), and then L for lycra in small amount such as 4% or 5%.

Last winter, I bought black RPL gabardine in a noticeably different ratio at Hancocks (I believe it had substantially more polyester, correspondingly less rayon, and roughly the same amount of lycra). The pants I made from this fabric well OK but definite not as nice as the ones made from the RPL with more rayon.

When you're choosing a bottom weight fabric for pants, it's best to pick one with more weight. A thin fabric will show too many bumps and flaws.

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No sewing project is ever a complete success nor a total failure.

nancy2001
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In reply to bicrafty <<
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Date: 7/19/13 9:15 AM

Bicrafty, not all polyester is the same, and ITY knits do breathe. However, we all have different preferences when it comes to fabrics, and a poly/lycra ITY knit for summer might or might not feel right to you.

The best thing would be for you to order a yard of this fabric, stitch up a top and test it out. Then you'd know exactly what they feel like on a hot and humid summer day. Good luck and have fun.

------
No sewing project is ever a complete success nor a total failure.

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