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Knit fabric unravels big time
How to cut out?
purplebouquet
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purplebouquet
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Arkansas USA
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Date: 12/18/12 11:02 AM

I just bought a yard of very loosely knit cotton fabric that almost resembles something that could be handknit. The selvages are fringed (nice for a decorative edge), but the cut edges practically unravel before my eyes. I tossed it in the wash and had more than 1 inch of loose yarn on both ends.

How should I cut out my pattern so that I keep the individual pieces intact? I thought about tracing the cutting lines with a washable marker, then stitch over them with a small zig zag and then cut out my pieces? Would that work? Does anybody have a better idea?

Thanks.

Claudia

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Date: 12/18/12 12:07 PM

Two ideas:

1. Have you got a serger/overlocker? You could overlock the edges IMMEDIATELY after cutting.

2. Depending on how loose the weave is, and if you plan on lining the garment, you may want to consider block-fusing the entire fabric with a lightweight fusible before cutting. I did this with a very fraying basketweave coating a few years ago and it worked wonders.

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TamNearPDX
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Date: 12/18/12 1:01 PM

Another option is tape... after cutting out each piece place regular translucent take in the seam allowance. The flip and tape the other side as well...

purplebouquet
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Date: 12/18/12 1:46 PM

I have a serger and plan to use it for construction. That nixes the idea of the tape in the seam allowances, I am afraid. Maybe serge as I cut, i.e., not cut all the pieces at once but only two at a time as I proceed?

Cl.

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In reply to purplebouquet <<


Date: 12/18/12 1:59 PM

Serge each piece as soon as you cut it. It also would have been better to serge the four edges of the uncut fabric before you washed it.

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

wendyrb
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In reply to purplebouquet <<


Date: 12/18/12 3:00 PM

Try tracing around the pattern with a maker. Remove the pattern and take the piece of uncut cloth to the serger. Use it to cut out each piece and finish edges simultaneously. If you have lots of pieces or the cloth is too unwieldy, hopefully you have enough fabric to layout with a margin of a few inches of cloth surrounding each pattern piece. Then you rough cut allowing the extra cloth margin and proceed immediately to the serger. With 5/8" seam allowances, you could still construct your garment with a 4-thread overlock stitch. You'd be trimming off the original serged edge. A chain stitch would also work with a dab of fray-check to lock the stitch, if your serger has this feature. Let us know how it goes.

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kkkkaty
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In reply to purplebouquet <<


Date: 12/18/12 3:05 PM

There are water soluble stabilizers that you could use, some with an adhesive surface. You could gently press the knit onto one of those, making sure you aren't stretching it, cut it out, and sew it entirely with the stabilizer attached. then wash it out when you are entirely done.

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Elona
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In reply to purplebouquet <<


Date: 12/18/12 3:37 PM

Type this into your google search box:

sewing with handwovens .pdf

One of the first things to come up should be a nice little one-page article from sewing.org on using very narrow stabilizing strips, plus other helpful information.

One other possibility might be to chalk-outline your pattern pieces on the fabric, then brush thin lines of Perfect Sew right where you're going to cut.

Lucy in Virginia
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Date: 12/18/12 5:09 PM

Don't know how big your seam allowances are, but if they are generous (5/8 of an inch) and you're in a hurry, try Fray Block (in a big tube, which is better than the Fray Check in small clear bottle).

For stuff that frays, I will add this to the edges before throwing in the washer/dryer.

Bit slapdash, but it works.

I also like the idea of blocking with French Fuse (good for knits) or serging (knife up, you don't want to cut anything off yet), but that's more fiddly and time-consuming.

------
Total Stash at end of 2013 -- about 750 yards.
2014 Total Items Sewn -- 1
2014 Total Stash Used -- 2.5
2014 Total Items Embroidered -- 2
2014 Goal: Sew 1 garment per month. Less stash at end of 2014 than at end of 2013.

Machines: Babylock Ellisimo; Viking Platinum 770; Brother 900D
Serger: Baby Lock Evolve

Lucy in Virginia
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In reply to purplebouquet <<


Date: 12/18/12 5:12 PM

You can feed lastin or clear elastic through your elastic foot of your serger to add stability with stretch to your seams.

------
Total Stash at end of 2013 -- about 750 yards.
2014 Total Items Sewn -- 1
2014 Total Stash Used -- 2.5
2014 Total Items Embroidered -- 2
2014 Goal: Sew 1 garment per month. Less stash at end of 2014 than at end of 2013.

Machines: Babylock Ellisimo; Viking Platinum 770; Brother 900D
Serger: Baby Lock Evolve

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