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Practice fabric for knits
fabricaddiction
fabricaddiction
Member since 1/12/11
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Date: 7/29/14 1:17 AM

I was reading an excellent discussion here about practice fabrics (Anyone know how to link to a topic on the forums?). The discussion was limited to wovens, and got me thinking about knits.

Yes, there are a gazillion types of knits, with / without lycra, etc, etc.

Which leads me to my question: despite the many knit options, how to practice / do a muslin of a knit pattern?

As a second question, is buying 5-10 yards of cotton knit, no lycra, at a fabric mart $1.99 sale a good idea? Other details from the website are: Little to No Stretch Soft Hand. Light And Flowy. Semi-Sheer. Falls Moderately Close to the Body. Plain Weave.Jersey Knit.

I hope to start with t-shirts in Butterick 5215 (which has sizes to fit practically everyone, apparently) and go from there.

I would also use the fabric to do muslins of knit dresses, such as wrap dresses.
-- Edited on Today at 1:29 AM --
-- Edited on Today at 1:30 AM --

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Absolute beginner. Hoping to move up to Advanced Beginner in 6 months. Have a TON of fabric to work through.

kevinsews
kevinsews  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/29/14 2:09 AM

When I was learning to sew knits I would buy the fabric off the clearance area tables at my local fabric store. They offered them in 1 to 2 yards at a very low price. Check with all of your local fabric stores and see what they offer in this area.

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Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.

SheBear0320
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Date: 7/29/14 10:36 AM

I purchased a few different types of knits when I found them on the clearance table to have around for muslins (a 100% cotton , a rayon/spandex, a poly/rayon/spandex and a cotton/spandex). If the deal is good I buy 5 to 10 metres to have on hand -- I just used up the last of my 100% cotton on my latest muslin which ended up being wearable as a PJ top. I think the most I've ever paid for any of these fabrics is $3.99/metre.

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Sheila
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"
Stash Tally: net +38.5 yds (2014)
2015 Stash Tally: 106.5 yds out/122.875 yds in (net +16.375 yds)

2016 Stash Busting:
43.0 yds sewn/donated (as of 09/21/16)
53.25 yds purchased (as of 09/21/16)

purplebouquet
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Date: 7/29/14 11:32 AM

When my 18-year-old son recently sorted out yet another big pile of tees as "too small," I had a light bulb moment: knit muslin. I don't like to donate much-loved tees to charity; they are typically too worn at this point, so recycling them into muslins for my sewing projects works great. He wears a bigger size than I do, so 2 tees give me enough fabric for bodice and sleeves. I found that even though these tees are made of the typical sturdy interlock, which is heavier and less stretchy than I like my tees, they allow me to gauge the fit and style quite well.
Since that discovery, I have given up my quest to find inexpensive knits of various stretchability at Joann's or Hancock's. And those prices are high, often $12 and up per yard.
If you find a good buy on knits, go for it.

Claudia
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In reply to purplebouquet
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Date: 7/29/14 11:36 AM

That is a great idea Claudia. You should put that in the tips section.
Chris
GretchenB
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Date: 7/29/14 11:48 AM

I just took Sarah Veblen's knit class where she recommends using inexpensive knit of the same type for testing the pattern before using expensive stuff. Same type to me means: same amount of stretch, same hand, spandex if your fashion fabric has it.

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Trying to tame my stash!
2015 down 57 yds
2016 sewed 7 yds, gave away 5 yds.
2016 bought 26 yds
2016 fabric. Sewed 7 yds.
2016. Goal sew 40 yds of stash plus any new fabric

GretchenB
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Date: 7/29/14 11:51 AM

The fabric you are describing says ' little or no stretch '. This is a warning not to use it where you need stretch, such as a tee shirt. It should work for a wrap dress, if you use a woven pattern, remember this fabric has basically no stretch.

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Trying to tame my stash!
2015 down 57 yds
2016 sewed 7 yds, gave away 5 yds.
2016 bought 26 yds
2016 fabric. Sewed 7 yds.
2016. Goal sew 40 yds of stash plus any new fabric

marymary86
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Date: 7/29/14 12:19 PM

DH often has to go out into manufacturing plants as part of his work as a chemical engineer. It's hot (even in winter near steam dying operations) and sticky. His undershirts get a lot of wear and he goes through them quickly.

I grab them for knit "muslin" to test patterns and it's worked well for me.

You're right that they often don't have the same amount of stretch but I keep it in mind as I look for fashion fabric. It's still better than using woven muslin to test a t shirt pattern.

eta: I also grab bargain knits from Fabric Mart for muslin. In a weird way, getting "ugly" (for me) colors and prints helps me be fearless in sewing and has helped me be more productive.

I used to stress and stress being afraid to cut into nice fabric. Not any more - I grab an ugly for me color and cut and sew more quickly. There's no need to hem or bind edges because I know this will never be worn. I can quickly tell if the style and/or fit is going to work and then I'm on to the real deal.
-- Edited on Today at 12:22 PM --

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Mary
www.homemoneygame.wordpress.com


Sewandwrite
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Sewandwrite
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In reply to marymary86

Date: 7/29/14 1:24 PM

Quote: marymary86
I also grab bargain knits from Fabric Mart for muslin. In a weird way, getting "ugly" (for me) colors and prints helps me be fearless in sewing and has helped me be more productive.


I used to stress and stress being afraid to cut into nice fabric. Not any more - I grab an ugly for me color and cut and sew more quickly.

I'm with marymary86.

The "ugly" (for me) colors in cheap knits has made a huge difference for me. I, too, cut into them with abandon. No worries about ruining good fabric anymore.

And no more expectations of a wearable muslin -- I only anticipate a test garment that I can learn from.

My anxiety level went down and my productivity went up since I got 10 yards of FM knit in an orange I'll never wear.
diane s
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diane s
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Date: 7/29/14 6:06 PM

Cotton jersey sheets are great for muslins. You can often find them on clearance and off-price stores like Ross.

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My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

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