Sunday, February 28, 2010

Maybe knit fabrics aren't so scary after all


Not the most exciting of garments, and pretty horrible poly/cotton remnant fabric, but I am very excited about this humble pair of leggings that I made last night for Freja (excuse the terrible photo, she wasn't feeling very cooperative). They are the first thing I've ever made from knit fabric. I have been petrified of sewing with the stuff. For some reason I was convinced that I needed a serger, a special machine that sews and finishes the edge at the same same time like you see on store-bought clothes. Well, these leggings were made on my regular sewing machine and I think they've turned out okay.

There seem to be a few ways you can sew knit fabrics with a regular machine, it is important to make sure that the stitching can stretch with the fabric so that it doesn't break when the fabric is stretched as it is worn. A zig-zag, triple zig-zag or a stretch stitch which goes forward and back, could all be used, but for the seams on these I used a regular straight stitch and just stretched the fabric as I was sewing. I used a triple zig-zag for the hems and finishing the elastic.

The pattern was so easy, it is the Riviera leggings from the wonderful Farbenmix/ Studio Tantrum collaboration, Sewing Clothes Kids Love. There is only one pattern piece and it is really quick to sew. I made them in a cheap fabric first, without modifying the pattern at all, so that I could check the fit on Freja. I have a couple of minor tweaks to make and hopefully the next pair will fit her perfectly, although she's pretty happy with these ones. The book is full of great advice for a beginner like me and I'm looking forward to getting some of the other patterns in it traced out and sewn up.

I'm so excited about all the possibilities my first foray into the world of knits opens up. Most of the clothes my kids wear are made from stretchy fabrics and now I can think about making t-shirts, shorts, dresses, pyjamas, more leggings...

But just in case Peder reads this, I reserve my right to decide I need a serger in the future!

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