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Posts Tagged ‘knits’

Well, I finally joined the party and bought Rae’s Flashback Skinny Tee pattern. I saw so many great versions in the flickr pool during KCWC, I couldn’t resist it any longer. My confidence sewing with knits isn’t the greatest, so I also got myself a walking foot, hoping it might makes my knit garments look a little more pro.

Here’s what I ended up with:

Does it look tiny?

It is. (feel free to skip this next part if you don’t care about my sewing woes, I won’t take it personally…) It started out as a 3T, but I failed miserably. Actually, to be fair, the whole thing came together beautifully until the neckband. The directions said to measure your neck opening and subtract one, then cut your neckband to that length. But there was also a chart with a recommended neck band length for each size. The two numbers were waaaaaay off for me (17 vs. 10.5 inches), so I split the difference and ended up with a huge, stretched-out neck. Which I tediously picked out. Of course, you can’t really pick out a narrow zigzag stitch on stretchy jersey, it just doesn’t work. The neck ended up totally misshapen, with little holes all over the place. It was pointless to try to sew on a smaller neckband at that point, but that didn’t keep me from attempting it, since I’d gone to all the trouble to rip out the old one. No go. SO…to salvage the fabric (and because I really wanted to make a damn skinny tee!) I cut it into a 12-18 sized month shirt.

And now all is well. If I had any use for a shirt this size, that is.

But really, despite my troubles, I love everything about this pattern and plan to make many, many more of these shirts. This thing is so soft and cozy – these are the clothes kids (my kid, anyway) want to wear! Lila always chooses from the handful of long sleeved T-shirts in her closet, so I think this pattern might just be my golden ticket. Once I get it made in the correct size.

BTW, I haven’t sewn a lot with knits, but I do think the walking foot made a difference. If you’re looking for info on avoiding puckers when you sew with knits, I found Rae’s post on hemming knits and her walking foot video very helpful. I used the walking foot and a narrow zigzag stitch throughout.

The main fabric came from a two-pack of Carter’s swaddling blankets that I bought on sale for this purpose – it’s a very soft, stretchy jersey. My neckband fabric also has a good deal of stretch, and it did say in the pattern directions to shorten the band if you’re working with very stretchy fabric. I should have stuck with the recommended length, which is what I did the second time around. I don’t have access to a toddler to see if this fits, but it certainly looks better than my first attempt.

In case you were wondering, here’s what a 3 year old looks like in a 12 month old’s shirt.

AND, she refused to take it off! I knew she’d love this shirt.

Also, have you checked out the Vintage May series hosted by skirt as top and Craftiness in Not Optional? It’s starting up next week (though both sites have lots of great vintage-inspired posts this week, too). And if you’re looking for modern patterns with a vintage (or retro) feel, check out Kristin’s great roundup, which includes the Flashback Skinny Tee!

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That’s right, I decided to kick off the New Year by sewing up some toddler undies.

I’m pretty sure this adorable little bum was my introduction to the That Darn Kat underwear pattern, and I knew immediately I couldn’t pass up on that level of cuteness. Can you blame me? They’re just so….irresistible. And ridiculous.

As I started writing this post I realized it’s been almost a year since my first attempt at sewing with knits. It’s not that I was traumatized that first time – my biggest issue with knits is that the selection is so disappointing. I mean, the number of gorgeous woven prints out there could easily send you to the poor house, but it can be pretty challenging to find knits that don’t fall into this genre. Nothing against “LiL FooTBaLL PaLs” or anything, just not my style. Michael Miller has a decent line of interlock knits that includes some cute dots and stripes, but other than that, I’ve found the yardage selection for knits to be pretty uninspiring. The pattern suggests re-purposing knit T-shirts for the underwear, so I went to Old Navy and found a girls’ XL shirt on clearance for $4.94.

I cut three pair of undies from the shirt, making them well under two bucks a piece, which isn’t half bad if you ask me. Yeah yeah, I know I could probably buy them cheaper at Target, but we all know that sewing has nothing to do with saving yourself a dime and everything to do with watching your kid prance around in handmade underwear.

The pattern was great – really simple construction and the end results were highly satisfying. It comes with a little boy version as well (they’re pretty cute, too – check these out for proof). And while a serger would’ve been nice, it’s not necessary – I just zig-zagged all my seams using a very short stitch length.

Never fear, I wasn’t about to deprive you of my own child’s adorable bum (doing some of that aforementioned prancing, no less):

Also, this is surely obvious to those who sew with knits more than once per year, but it turns out you really do need to use a cotton/lycra blend for the the waistband and leg bands, just like the pattern says, and not a 100% cotton interlock like I accidentally used for my first pair. Otherwise you end up with saggy baggies.

And for anyone interested in sewing with knits, you might want to check out the “Knit-erviews” going on right now at Made by Rae. I’m looking forward to reading them myself, and possibly avoiding more mistakes of the saggy baggy variety in the future.

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