Welcome to day 3 of the Mummykins and Me Comfy Cowl Hoodie Sew Along! Today I will share with you some basic tips about sewing with knit fabrics. If you are very experienced with knits, just scroll down to find out my favourite picks among all kinds of fabric from our sponsors. If you are new to sewing knits, go grab a coffee or tea and get comfortable because things are about to get serious.
Ahah! Did I worry you? No need. Let me share with you a big secret: knits are not scary or difficult to work with!
Yep! You heard me! True, you will need to use different tools to get the best results, but once you learn the basics, you will find out that knits are actually easier to work with than wovens. My first advice to you? Read my tips, experiment and play around with different fabrics and stitches!
N’oubliez pas que si le sew-along se déroule simultanément, en français, sur le blogue Élégantine!
Needles and pins
Use a ball point, stretch or jersey needle of an appropriate size for your fabric. All of these have a rounded tip and they will prevent from damaging the fiber. The rounded tip will push through the loops of the fabric while a regular needle will pierce little holes. Using a regular needle, with time and wear, your fabric will likely tear around the seams. For the same reason, use ball point pins or clips (if you don’t have fancy fabric clips, paper clips work great). If these are not available to you, use regular pins but keep them into the seam allowance.
Always use a stretch stitch when sewing with knits. If your seam doesn’t stretch with your fabric, your stitches will snap. For construction, you can use a short and narrow zigzag or a stretch stitch (often referred as a lightning bolt stitch). Both are great but experiment to find out which one you prefer with different fabrics and play with length and width of the stitches to get used to it. Personally, I always use a regular short and narrow zigzag because it stitches faster and it’s easier to remove if you need to. Make sure your seams are stretching properly.
A walking foot is a fancy little tool to add to your sewing box if you consider sewing with knits a lot. It’s not necessary but it is highly recommended. Also, you won’t use it only on knits because it’s a great tool to have when working with heavy or sticky wovens. It’s also super handy when working with stripes or plaids. What is it for? The walking foot helps to prevent one layer of fabric from stretching out while sewing. Both layers are fed at the same time under your needle. It means that your fabric will not get wavy under your stitches.
Lower your tension
If you don’t have access to a walking foot, it doesn’t mean your fabric will get wavy. Some machines will allow you to reduce your presser foot tension (check your manual to see how). Also you can sew a few stitches, stop with the needle down, raise your presser foot to release tension and lower it down to continue sewing.
Press, don’t iron
Pressing will become your best friend. Pressing is when you apply pressure with your iron on the fabric repeatedly. Ironing is moving the iron back and forth on the fabric. Pressing will prevent the fabric from stretching out of shape and if it’s a little wavy after your sewing, using a combination of steam and pressing will help your seam.
My fabric picks
Now, let’s have a look at my favourite picks from our sponsors!
It was really difficult to narrow down my favourites from Frollein S Fabrics because there are so many choices!
In summer, a medium weight cotton lycra jersey will be perfect for those cooler nights. I chose my boy and girl favourites from Frollein S.
For boys, Raccoon Dreams by Annika Nykänen for Selia.
For girls, pink Clover by Graziela.
If you like a warm but breathable hoodie, you will love using stretch French Terry like this one. It is all organic cotton with a 5% spandex and it will give you lots of stretch. This teal Vikings and Dragons French terry is amazing!
Another great choice for a warmer and cozier hoodie would be stretch sweater fleece which has a sweater type side and a cuddly plush side. It has between 3-5% of spandex and the fabric is bulky so you will want to take that into consideration when picking your size. It’s similar to my boy star hoodie pictured above. Since my son has a big head and the fabric has a little less give, I added 1 inch of ease around the neck opening.
My favourite pick for a ladies hoodie is the Sweater fleece triangle emerald.
Make sure to check Frollein S selection of solid or printed cotton lycra ribbing.
Raspberry Creek Fabrics has some of my favourite ladies choices. Just look at the floral French terry from the Knit Club collection! They actually have a pre-order open until the end of October with gorgeous jerseys and French terry prints that would be perfect for your Comfy Cowl Hoodie.
Here’s my favourite Knit Club in their retail section. I always love a nice floral print.
Their Liverpool knit would also be a good choice of a more heavy weight fabric. Again, I am in love with the floral print.
They also have lots of medium weight jerseys from their Knit Club line, Art Gallery, Robert Kauffman and Riley Blake.
Now get ready and start shopping!
We will start sewing October 26. Remember, there’s still time to grab the pattern on sale HERE.
Follow this sew along in French on Élégantine!
Thank you to our sponsors!