Friday, September 10, 2010

Battling with Knits

Let's talk about knits. Knit fabrics. Knit fabrics and I have a....developing relationship. It's funny, the first thing I ever sewed was a t-shirt blanket. The entire middle of the blanket was knit t-shirts and man, it was tough. I had no idea what I was doing and just kinda made it up as I went along. The result was a lot of frustration at the stretchy fabric (no one told me to put interfacing on or anything to make it behave) and a vow not to sew with it again. Well of course that didn't last, but it was over 2 years before I tried anything with knit fabric again, and that was the newborn gown. I figured if it was smaller it would be easier, plus I had been sewing for a while and figured I could handle it. I had a pattern and everything! And easier it was, but still not great. Of course that could have been because I don't like sewing clothes, sleeves in particular. So 7 months later, I decided to try again, but this time I did a simple applique on a onsie and some baby legs. I figured if the patterns got simpler it would be easier. Ha! How little I know! Neither project came out particularly well, but let's take these one at a time, shall we?

First, a baby onsie. I decided my baby would need something cute to wear for 4th of July. As it turned out, it didn't matter since 1.) we spent the holiday in the hospital and 2.) she was pretty small so the 0-3 month onsie I decorated would have been way too big anyway. Ah well, I guess that makes it okay that it didn't come out well. It's not too bad I suppose, but I really should have stabilized the fabric and since I didn't, the zig's are missing some zag. It just wouldn't catch in the fabric very well at all. Enough to stay on, especially with the heat and bond I used, but really, not great. (the pictures actually make it look pretty good, but I promise up close there are many many missed stitches).

Second I wanted to take some socks and turn them into a version of baby legs. What are baby legs? Well they are the cutest most adorablest baby leg warmers which are infinitely more practical than tights and make a diaper change a breeze. It is a simple pattern, but let me tell you, it did not go well. I could not get the stupid fabric to cooperate! There are pieces sticking out every which way making it look sloppy. *sigh* I'll try again with my new found knowledge and if that doesn't work, I'm buying some.

But, things have gotten better since my insanity of June. First, I now have the book Sew U Home Stretch which deals with sewing knits and gives helpful information even if you don't have serger (I do not). It has been great and helped me complete my first knit fabric project that I would consider successful, yoga pants that I hemmed to capris. Second, through the book and yoga pants I discovered the perfect stitch on my sewing machine and also that despite the fact that my instruction manual says no walking foot with a zigzag stitch, it can be done and it makes things much much easier.

That said, I have another project that deserves its own post that used a knit fabric so that will be coming up. Although actually I didn't use the zigzag for that, oh well. Anyway, the point is, I am getting there and I have high hopes for my relationship with knits becoming a good one.

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