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Tips & Techniques > Quick knit shirts and/or dresses with Kwik Sew

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Posted by: filichirp

About filichirp star
Member since: 6/14/08
Reviews: 2 (tips: 1)
Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 1 people
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Posted on: 7/16/08 11:41 AM
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 13 people   
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I have used a lot of Kwik Sew knit shirt patterns and I have often noticed with the one piece fronts that the front and back are often the same except for the neckline and the sleeves are often symmetrical front to back. When this is the case, I redraft the pattern with my length alterations onto sturdy butcher paper making one sleeve for each sleeve length and just one full sized back. Sometimes I'll lengthen the back piece for a dress. Over the years I have also drafted an assortment of neckline treatments from different patterns (with 4 or 5 inches of the shoulder lines for centering the pieces), a crowl, a 'v' neck, turtleneck, a scoop neck, etc. each with a front and back.

DH made me a 4'x8' cutting table at a suitable height and I covered the table with 4'x8' cutting surface. I used to hate to cut out patterns but now just I throw my knit fabric on the table, toss on the 2 butcher paper pattern pieces with weights on top and go at it with a rotary cutter. No pins needed. I'll do 8 to 10 shirts or dresses in a row this way with different fabrics. It only takes about an hour.

After the generic shirts and/or dresses are all cut they can sit in a pile until I'm ready to use them. When I'm ready to finish them I get out the necklines and decide which neckline treatment I'll use for each and cut each front and back piece with the neckline pattern. When they are all put together I have a collection of knit shirts and/or dresses that are all different. If I'm just doing just one shirt or dress from beginning to end it only takes about 2 hours to complete.

I draft all my pattern pieces regardless of the style or fabric to be used to butcher paper even if I know I may only use the pattern one time. I only have to make my alteration decisions once and it's ready at a moment's notice when I get the impulse to sew, and I don't have to deal with the messiness of shifting tissue pattern or worry about the cat that loves to help me by tearing and rolling on tissue paper when I'm trying to cut. I buy a commercial roll of butcher paper every few years. HTH.

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AngieC said... (8/18/08 2:30 PM) Reply
Wow! Great info and inspiration! Has me thinking about what I can do now! Thanks for sharing~
Nancywin said... (7/28/08 0:33 AM) Reply
I'd love to know where you got the cutting surface material. I would like to make a similar table myself, but haven't know where to get a big enough mat. I have one of the white ones, but the green type material is much better.
Dale C said... (7/21/08 1:53 PM) Reply
Wow! Efficient! I'll have to try it.
seweibhlin said... (7/17/08 1:39 PM) Reply
great tips thanks
WhyNotSewIt said... (7/17/08 8:00 AM) Reply
Great way to make that sewing impulse work for you--organized and the right tools. Am thinking of how to make butcher paper work for "fussy cutting" prints - sturdy enough to cut out a few small circles to reveal key placement areas and stack the print fabric on top of the rest with butcher paper on top of it?
Elle D said... (7/17/08 0:35 AM) Reply
Thanks for sharing your process. Which method do you use to mark the butcher paper?
christine A said... (7/16/08 9:32 PM) Reply
I would love to see pictures of this process! Thanks
Annie- oh said... (7/16/08 12:09 PM) Reply
Yes! Love it, just what I need - thanks ! Not that I'm anywhere near there yet (TNT patterns), but wow, something great to aim for.
ryansmumAria said... (7/16/08 11:49 AM) Reply
WOW- that's an impressive system you have developed. We should all be so organized... You are an inspiration. love it.
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