Tuesday, April 8, 2014
handmade for baby: baby pants or how I overcame my fear of knits
Seriously though. I had this fear/hatred/horror at the thought of sewing with knit fabric. I think some of it stems from how frustrating it was to try and sew with knits as a beginner and just felt like no matter how hard I tried, everything came out wonky.
That was at least ten years ago, and my sewing skills/craftsmanship have come a long ways since then--but I still avoided sewing knits like the plague. I revisited the idea of giving them another chance as I thought about what kinds of clothes I wanted for a newborn and of course having some soft, snuggly, stretchy pants were in order. I selected the Monkey Leggings pattern from Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders, since the contrasting bum gusset was too cute to pass up. Also it's simplicity and mere 3 pieces plus cuffs made it an attractively easy project for someone so wary of jersey knit.
Both of my fabrics I picked up at my local Joann fabrics--the turquoise one is 100% cotton and the gray has a bit of added Lycra to hold it's shape. I cut them out carefully with my nice, sharp Ginghers, I put in a proper ball point needle intended for knit fabric, and set my machine to do an overlock stitch and eased up the pressure of the presser foot, used an ample number of pins, and-- it WORKED. I made baby pants. Out of knit fabric. They look nice and professional. I didn't need a serger (always thought that might be the key to my knit fabric woes) and I already have another grey pair cut out, stenciled with little clouds, and ready to be assembled. (This is in addition to a version I whipped up out of wool interlock (so cozy!) and a fun pair made by my mom in a print.)
It felt so good to have success this time around (good thing, I have many more knit projects on my list!) Now I have this need to buy so many knit fabrics to add to my stash dominated by fat quarters for quilting. Seriously, I've spent hours online looking at all the knit fabrics money can buy. It's a little sad that previously my stash only had ONE jersey knit in it left over from making an infinity scarf a few years back. Clearly lacking.
So, do you have any secrets to sewing knit fabric with success? I'd love to hear them!