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Message Board > Fabrics and more... > Am afraid to sew w/knits ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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Am afraid to sew w/knits
How difficult are knits to work w/without a serger?
ukdame
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ukdame
Intermediate
WA USA
Member since 8/1/08
Posts: 1821
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Date: 10/31/09 4:38 PM

I would call myself an intermediate sewer but for some reason am afraid to sew w/knits. I read a lot of horror stories that say you really need a serger?. The few baby knits I have used stretched like crazy and have trouble determining cutting size to allow for this. Should I give it a try? . What patterns are the easiest to start with?

------
It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something. ~ Franklin D Roosevelt 1843
Janome 19606 ,Janome My Excel 4023, Brother 1034D, White 1750C, Kenmore 158.1803, White 764, Brother 780D.

nancy2001
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nancy2001  Friend of PR
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AL USA
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In reply to ukdame


Date: 10/31/09 4:56 PM

Ukdame, there's no reason for you to be afraid of sewing with knits, and you absolutely should give it a try. When I started sewing a few years ago, the first garments I made were knit tee shirts, and at that time I didn't own a serger.

I don't know anything about children's patterns, but Kwik Sew patterns have good information about sewing with knits. You will also need to invest in a twin needle for hems. Good luck.

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

tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
Intermediate
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In reply to ukdame


Date: 10/31/09 5:00 PM

A walking foot is a huge help and much cheaper than a serger.

------
http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

Michelle L
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Michelle L  Friend of PR
Intermediate
MO USA
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In reply to ukdame


Date: 10/31/09 5:26 PM

There is no reason to be afraid of sewing with knits without a serger, in fact, they are even easier to work with without a serger because they don't ravel! You never have to concern yourself with how you are going to finish the seam allowances!

What you need to do is sew using a very narrow zig-zag stitch...so narrow that it almost looks like a straight stitch.

Also, use a ball-point needle for knits.

Fitting with knits can sometimes be a bit confusing, because of the stretch, they are sometimes cut with very little or even zero ease. One of the first knit garments I ever made was a wrap dress...this helped with some of that frustration, because of course you can change the fit by how tight you tie it at the waist.

And if previous knits you used stretched and did not have good recovery, make sure you are using a knit with lycra in it, that will have a better recovery. Use stay-stitching at places like the neck, too, and that will help so that things don't stretch out.

As long as you take into account the techniques necessary for working with knits...the same as you would for working with silk or wool or corduroy...you will be just fine!

------
Michelle

http://cheapandpicky.blogspot.com/

diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
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OR USA
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Date: 10/31/09 5:36 PM

Years ago I taught myself to sew with knits using Stretch and Sew patterns. I never had success using the Big 4. Stretch and Sew aren't that popular anymore, but KwikSew is similar and if you start with one of their patterns, you should have success.
One of the main things is to have fabric with the amount of stretch the pattern calls for. If it has more or less, there will be fitting issues. Alot of beginners have wavy seams and hems, that's usually caused by too much presser foot pressure, which alot of sewers don't realize can be adjusted. (not on all, but most machines)
If you're having skipped stiches use a 'knit' needle which is different than a ballpoint.

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

cgHipp
cgHipp  Friend of PR
Beginner
SC USA
Member since 11/8/06
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Date: 10/31/09 6:10 PM

I've actually had better luck sewing knits on my SM than wovens. I think knits are a bit more forgiving. Maybe a little harder to cut, but pretty easy after. I just finished my daughter's Halloween costume, made entirely of knit fleece, and it was easy. Good luck!

------
I rip what I sew.

FaithM

FaithM  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
ME USA
Member since 2/22/09
Posts: 187
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In reply to ukdame


Date: 10/31/09 6:21 PM

Try a zigzag width of 0.5 and length of 2.5 to start. Plan on spending a few minutes to test the fabric/thread before jumping into your project. If you have the ability to adjust the pressure on your foot you can try releasing that a little; a walking foot can also help.

To gain confidence look for a remnant to experiment with or buy a small piece of fabric that interests you. That way there's no pressure to get it perfect.

Oh, and be careful with sizing. Use a pattern that matches the amount of give in the fabric or you could end up with something too big or too small.

ukdame
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ukdame
Intermediate
WA USA
Member since 8/1/08
Posts: 1821
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In reply to FaithM


Date: 10/31/09 8:37 PM

Thanks you all for the great tips. I do have a machine w/3 settings for the presser foot. I also have the ball point needles ready but I seem to find every excuse to do a different projects. I have sewn a lot of fleece ( no probems) No walking foot however so that may be my next investment. How do you finish the seams then, should I be overedging them all?

------
It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something. ~ Franklin D Roosevelt 1843
Janome 19606 ,Janome My Excel 4023, Brother 1034D, White 1750C, Kenmore 158.1803, White 764, Brother 780D.

mary in FL
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mary in FL  Friend of PR
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FL USA
Member since 4/28/02
Posts: 982
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In reply to diane s


Date: 10/31/09 8:58 PM

Quote: diane s
Years ago I taught myself to sew with knits using Stretch and Sew patterns.

I second that! I prefer Stretch & Sew patterns because they fit through the shoulders. They have excellent instructions, too. They can easily be found on ebay (ask me how I know).

Like KwikSew, the patterns should be traced. Unlike KS, S&S encourages the sewist to trace multiple sizes based on needs. In my case, I trace size 30 through the neck, shoulder, and armscye. Then I extend to size 38 at the bust, and ease my way to size 40 at the waist (32") and size 42 at the hip (44").

------
from Daytona Beach, FL
http://mary-sews.blogspot.com/

mary in FL
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mary in FL  Friend of PR
Intermediate
FL USA
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In reply to ukdame


Date: 10/31/09 8:59 PM

The main tools needed for sewing on knits are a sewing machine that does zigzag stitches and the proper needle - jersey or stretch - both are ball-point needles.
-- Edited on 10/31/09 8:59 PM --

------
from Daytona Beach, FL
http://mary-sews.blogspot.com/

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