Last week I decided it was time to dive into sewing knits. I've been a little cautious heading in this direction because I've often noticed that homemade knit garments often look, well, homemade. While the home seamstress seems to be able to nail a completely professional look when sewing woven garments, it appears this is harder to achieve when it comes to knits. (Unless of course they have a cover machine, which I don't) I decided it was time to put my fears aside and at least give it a go. After all, if all else fails, then the most I have to lose is a couple of metres of fabric, right?
I decided to begin my journey in the safest place possible - Size 5 boys underwear. I mean, if ever there was a place where it didn't matter if I over-stretched my hems, then it was inside my four year old boy's shorts.
My sister Katherine, from Bloom's Fabric Obsession, launched her own pattern label last week called 'The Strawberry Milk Run'. To celebrate the launch, she has offered a free pattern on the website for 'Boys Trunks'. She has also included an easy-to-follow photo tutorial and instructions for changing the fit.
This being my first go at knits, I found the pattern and instructions extremely clear and easy. The jocks came together in no time and are a great fit! I sewed them out of SeaSpray cotton/spandex from Spotlight. What I did discover though, was I was yet to master hemming knits. I hemmed them with a standard zig-zag stitch. I did over-stretch the legs as I suspected I would. I think I'll try the serpentine(?) stitch I used on the waistband, on the hems next time...just to see if it's any better.
My second attempt at sewing knits was Vogue 8669. I made this up in a fire-engine red cotton knit I had picked up from the Salvos for 20c. I figured op-shop fabric was a good place to start - nothing to lose.
All the hems were sewn by reinforcing the hem with a thin strip of iron-on interfacing, turning them under once and sewing with a twin-needle. I've done quite a neat job of this. This was one of the techniques suggested by my sewing teacher. She said there was a ton of techniques so I've decided to spend the next few weeks experimenting with them all.
I'm really quite happy with how this top went. I did stretch the hem along parts of the armholes. This seemed to occur when I was sewing around the curve. I'll have to have another go at this.