The pattern makers are WOWing us with knit dresses and tops and a well-made knit fabric garment are a wonderful flattering drape and require much less fitting (which is good news) but at the same time, they can be a little tricky to work with! Here’s a few pointers for you
What actually is knit fabric?
Knit fabrics are made up of rows of interlocking yarn loops providing the fabric with its stretch.
1. Knit fabrics can suffer from pilling when worn and washed. You can test a fabric before buying by rubbing a swatch together to see what affect friction has on it.
2. You’ll need to know how much stretch a fabric has and how it reacts when it’s stretched. Sewing patterns that have been designed for knits will have a stretch gauge to measure a 4in piece of fabric’s crosswise stretch to check for distortion. For Simplicity, this is called the Pick A Knit Rule.
Look for the crossgrain in the knit fabric you’ll be using which is found from selvedge to selvedge. The standard tube fabric crossgrain will be found across the width of the knit. Take two pins and measure a 4in line across the grain while it isn’t stretched. Place the measured line on the fabric over the pattern where your pick-a-knit gauge from arrow to arrow. Place one pin at the start of the gauge and move the other pin to the end of it to see how far the fabric can stretch and mark the point where the stretched fabric reaches before it changes appearance.
3. Knit fabrics although don’t fray, the raw edges can roll up when cutting or washing. For knits that are more prone to this, finish raw edges with a top-stitched hem and twin needle. This will produce a neatening zigzag stitch on the reverse.
4. When buying a knit fabric, it’s important to feel the quality. Some knits can be quite rough on the skin, and usually the softer the feel, the better the drape.
Best needle - Ballpoint
Best presser foot - Walking foot
Best stitch – Narrow zigzag
Best seams – Use a stay tape or knit interfacing within the seam to keep the seams from stretching out of shape