Will you look at the back on this beauty?! I am in the deepest amount of trouble…
I have been “collecting” fabric for years! Only occasionally sewing until the past 18 months where I have really committed to making time for my hobby. But lets just call it an investment! Some people collect shares and houses, and I’m over here banking on fabric. Fingers crossed people!
So this “collecting” has gotten pretty intense in the last 6 months in particular, because every time you sew one item that basically gives you permission to go buy enough fabric to make 10 more right? Well now there are more than 10 billion metres of woven cotton in my sewing room. You can barely open the door (think about your Mum’s Tupperware cupboard back in the 80’s and you will be close) but there are barely a scant few yards of knit in there! Mostly opshop finds, because who goes looking for knit when they’re scared to sew it?
So this has not been a problem at all, because I only sew with woven right? Wrong!!! I just made this dress from the new pattern by Little Kiwi’s Closet – The Choose Your Adventure Tee & Dress and well, just look at it! It’s awesome, AND I made it!!!
I did not even know I could do that. I was frightened of knits so I just steered clear. I’d tried to play with them before but my machine ate them and threads snapped and, well I don’t think I need any more excuses – aint nobody got time for that garbage!
I’ve learnt a few things since those days though, and I’ve spent so much time on my machine sewing in general, that I know how it works now. So here’s my first couple of tips if you’re scared or been having any trouble…
- Don’t use crappy thread, the quality of thread was the reason it snapped all the time. It was the simple swap from the 3 for $5 reels from lincraft, or the bulk buy of colours from big w, to guiterman and Birch thread, that stopped that happening. Now I can get back to finishing my Love Notions Pemberley Tunic that I threw in a corner because the threads snapped every 2 inches in every seam!!! I can’t tell you how frustrating that was. I don’t give up easily, but I fully wigged out, blamed my sewing machine and threw my hands in the air on that very rare knit project.
- Don’t start your seams on the very edge of the fabric. Start a little further in, hold your threads taut at the back, do a couple of stitches, back stitch and away you go, then your machine wont eat the material.
- Don’t stretch your knit as you sew. Feed it gently under the foot so that it sews evenly. A walking foot will do this for you, feeding both pieces of fabric evenly but I don’t have one of those. Put it on the wish list…
- Use a ballpoint needle in your machine and a stretch stitch. A straight stitch will snap when stretched.
So now you’re ready to go! If you would prefer a simpler pattern to experiment with knits, you can try another LKC pattern. Lydia has many knit patterns, like the Women’s Take Flight Dolman, which can be made in girls or ladies sizes. That was my first go back with knits, which gave me the confidence to go again. Well Lydia and her tester friends at LKC gave me that confidence really. Thanks for having faith in me!
The options in this pattern will keep you busy for quite some time. I have made a simple long sleeved dress with the peep hole back feature and binding around the neck. I nearly chickened out on the pockets because, well, knit sewing is scary in general and I was still packing it! So glad I didn’t though, they were easy peasy and I’m basically shocked at how easy it was to make this gorgeous dress.
So this pattern can be made into an a-line dress as I have made, or a more slim fitting tshirt for both boys and girls. Both have a huge number of options. You can colour-block with diagonal panels on the front. You can do the peep hole back (which looks amazing in stretch lace too), you can do a simple plain back for the boys or girls or a colour-blocked back instead. You can add 1 or 2 bound or cuffed peekaboo pockets to the front, or chicken out like I almost did (but really there’s no need to be frightened). You can add binding to the neck, do a cuff, add a hood or a cowl. You can do short sleeves, long sleeves, ruched sleeves or bell sleeves, you can even add a cuff to your sleeves.
If you are feeling adventurous you could even size up and make a nice thick fleecy sweater knit dress or hoodie. With sizes NB-12 and all these options, it really is a fabulous versatile, value-for-money pattern! If you look at the line drawing (which I always look for in a pattern – tick!) you can imagine how many garments can be made by mixing and matching the options.
Lydia’s patterns are always expertly drafted. I love testing for her because you know it is always going to be an accurate, well thought out pattern. The sizing is great and I am always confident cutting into my fabric for that first test that it will not go to waste, it will be a gorgeous and wearable garment. I think she might have been really good at maths back in school kids. So clever!
This new pattern has already released and you can get it on sale for 30% off with the code found in the Little Kiwis Closet Facebook Group. In fact that magic code will get you 30% off all LKC patterns! But be quick, it expires Saturday night (April 23 2016) NZ time.
If you have any questions ask away! I’ll do my best to help and you can join the group to meet lots of new friends making LKC patterns.