Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fabric of the Day Knit Shirt

Every day the employees at the fabric store where I teach select a bolt of fabric to display as their "fabric of the day".  Their selections are usually quite lovely and too often I can't resist buying a piece. One such purchase was this lovely medium weight cotton blend knit in a charcoal and off white zebra-ish print. 

I will admit my experience sewing with knits is limited. I don't have a serger machine and until I am convinced knits are for me, I won't spend the money to buy a good one. But, its hard to resist some of the beautiful knit fabrics that are on the market. The few projects I have made have turned out well and given their popularity I am determined to master sewing with knits.

When making any garment for myself, fit is a huge issue. I always have to make numerous adjustments to any pattern to get the fit just right. When sewing with knits this becomes my first priority. I will not put a machine stitch into a knit garment until I get the fit right. The last thing I want to do is to have to remove or undo a seam that has been zigzagged or overcast. Those types of seams are a pain to remove, not to mention you risk puncturing a hole in the knit with the seam ripper. So, I hand baste my knit garments together first and adjust until the fit is right. Once that's done, stitching the knits garments together are indeed a breeze.

This was a fairly easy garment to make once I got the fit right. For this garment I needed a size smaller than what I cut, so I needed to take all the seams in quite a bit. I also repositioned the seam at the bustline so it was below rather than on top of the bustline. I also added 2 very small darts right under the bust to give the garment some form and a slightly tighter shape. Without the darts it looked too much like a maternity top. 

As I said, I don't have a serger, so all of the seams were sewn with a small zigzag stitch. To finish the seam edges, I used a lock cutter that attaches to my machine. It both trims and finishes the seam edges with zigzag stitching. 

The pattern I used is Vogue 8634. The finished top is quite casual, but very comfortable and it looks good with both jeans and casual dress pants. 

Cowl neckline and raglan sleeve detail

Sleeve and hem detail - I used a double needle for a mock cover stitch
Inside seams

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