One of the things I love about hosting the KNITerviews and doing my own posts on sewing with knits is that I end up finding all sorts of new resources to share. I’m so thrilled with how many people tell me they take the plunge and start sewing with knits after reading something I’ve posted about knit sewing, but I want to point out that there are so many OTHER great places to go for good information on knit sewing too! Here’s a few that you might find interesting or useful:
Tilly and the Buttons just released a women’s knit sewing pattern, Coco, that looks simple and easy and lovely; it’s available either digitally or in print. She’s also currently doing a series of blog posts all about Knits that you absolutely must check out! This is one of my favorite sewing blogs. I just love how simply she explains everything, and the beautiful colors on her site.
My friend Deborah of Whipstitch offers an online knit sewing course called Sewing Knits without the serger — if you want to learn from an expert, this is where you should go. The list of topics covered in this course is exhaustive and totally worth the investment. Check out the course description here. Honestly any of Deborah’s eCourses are wonderful if you want to learn more about sewing; you can see them all here. UPDATE: Deborah is offering a discount code for this course! Sign up by March 15th, 2014, and receive 20% off your registration fee with the coupon code MADEBYRAE . Thanks, Deborah!
Heidi of Elegance and Elephants recently posted on Sewing with Knits; I especially like how she talks about determining the amount of stretch (there’s a downloadable stretch chart to help you determine the amount of stretch in a knit fabric). She also included a fantastic knit resource list at the bottom of that post as well!
Last year sewing blogs One Little Minute and Mad Mim hosted a knit sewing series called “Stretch Yourself” that had some great tutorials, guest projects and pattern reviews on knit sewing, including how to trace and make your own tee; check it out!
Finally, you can follow my Sewing with Knits Pinterest board, where I round up all the random knit resources and tutorials I stumble across, so if you want to see them all in one place, follow my board!
Another knit maternity top today! See how big the belly is getting? Fun fun!! I made this swingy raglan style tee with 3/4 sleeves and a drapey cowl neck last year but it wasn’t very flattering on my non-pregnant self. Definitely works as a maternity top though! The fabric is a peach bamboo jersey (purchased at Field’s Fabrics) that is so stretchy and comfortable.
Though…I should mention that I don’t buy many bamboo fabrics anymore since it’s really hard to tell whether they’ve been manufactured with a closed-loop chemical process. Bamboo is easy to grow organically due to the fact that it’s basically an invasive weed, but the chemical process that turns bamboo into a woven fiber can be an environmental nightmare depending on how it’s manufactured. Anyway I basically know nothing about it so it’s like the blind leading the blind here. TANGENT!
I supposedly have exactly one month to go until my due date today, which I must admit is a bit anxiety-inducing. I had a major manic nesting binge this weekend where I washed all of the baby clothes and got out the cloth diapers and performed inventory on the baby checklist. Still can’t find the baby monitor. Need to open the new infant carseat box yet. Probably should pack the hospital bag and all that. Pictures need to be hung in the nursery. MUST PICK A NAME. You get the idea.
this is the look I give people who get in the way of the belly
And then…I have a few things I want to do with this blog before I take some time off for my maternity break, but I’m not sure how much I’ll actually get finished. I’d love to post some more baby sewing projects, I have a couple more knit tutorials I want to finish, and Jess and I have been talking a little about the Spring Top Sewalong!!! Jess can definitely run the sewalong here on the blog while I’m off (with small bits of input from me), so we’re thinking month of April if anyone is interested in a personal sewing challenge!! We’re also working on a new women’s sewing pattern that’s almost ready for testers, so that’s going to be fun too! Hmmm…a little ambitious do you think??
Today’s Knit Necklines tutorial (see Part I and Part II for standard neckband and bias-bound neckline finishes) will show you how to finish a knit neckline with a strip of knit fabric, but this time it gets flipped to the inside of the tee so it’s invisible…well, sort of. Technically, a line of stitches will still be visible, but the strip of knit you use to finish the neck won’t be. I love this finish for Clementine’s tees (this one and this one, for example), and it works especially well on boatneck tees. On top of that, it’s super profesh looking. And one other thing: if you loath hemming knits, this is also a great alternative for cuffs and hems!
One caveat: this neckline finish, unlike the previous two, makes the entire neck hole 1/2″ wider because the seam allowance flips to the inside. You can always go ahead and add additional 1/4″ to the entire neck edge of the tee before you start if you think you might end up with a neck hole that is too large.
First, let’s make sure you’re ready to sew:
- put a ballpoint or stretch needle in your machine
- stitch length is set to a slightly longer straight stitch
- I HIGHLY recommend stretch thread (be sure to read my post on stretch thead if you haven’t already!). If you can’t rustle up some stretch thread, set your machine to a long-ish narrow zig-zag stitch (so: stitch length somewhere between default and basting, stitch width close to 0) and use a standard polyester thread in your machine. In this tutorial I used stretch thread for all of the stitching shown (except for serging the tee together before I began), so if you use regular thread you’ll need to use the zig-zag stitch instead.
Start by sewing the tee together at the shoulder seams (I also went ahead and sewed the sleeves and side seams too, but you really only need to do the shoulders before you finish the neckline).
Step 1: Measure neckline and cut out the knit strip
As in the previous two tutorials, take a flexible tape measure and measure around the neckhole. Cut the strip as long as your neck hole and 1″ wide. You won’t need the whole length but it’s easiest just to start with this much. Remember to cut the strip out along the direction of stretch, as shown above!
(see yesterday’s tutorial, step 1, for more on the direction of stretch and fabric recommendations!)
Step 2: Attach the knit strip to the outside (RIGHT side) of the neck hole with a 1/4″ seam
Beginning at a shoulder seam and folding over the end by about 1/4,” sew the strip to the neck hole with a 1/4″ seam. The RIGHT side of the knit strip should be facing the WRONG side of the neck hole. As you go, gently stretch out the strip of knit out a bit (but not too much!). When you get back to where you started, overlap the ends by 1/4″-1/2″ and trim the rest of the strip away.
Hint: If you’re using this finish for a boatneck tee, stretch the strip more at the shoulder seams (where the neckline is most curvy) and a bit less at the center front and back of the neckline (where it’s less curvy)
(again, please see yesterday’s tutorial for more photos and commentary on this technique; steps 2 and 3)
Step 3: Press it!
Use an iron to press the entire knit strip away from the neck hole (above), then fold and press the top edge 1/4″ under, towards the wrong side, around the entire strip (below).
Step 4: Flip to the inside and stitch down
Now flip the entire strip to the inside of the neckline so that it is no longer visible from the outside of the tee. Press it again, and pin (or clip) it in place.
Sew along the folded edge (this is called “edgestitching”) to fasten the strip to the inside of the neckline. Again, you’ll notice I’m using a straight stitch here, but only because I’m using stretch thread. If you’re using regular thread, I highly recommend a narrow zig-zag stitch so that the neckline will be more flexible when pulled over the head!
Voila!! Finished neckline!
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