5/16/17

Ruffle Top + Tips For Sewing Knit Fabric


 A couple of weeks ago I was browsing the fabric section at my local Walmart.  I knew they had basic sewing tools and fabric, but totally forgot that they sold sewing patterns as well.  Right then I decided I would give my self a little challenge of making a couple of garments from items that I found at "Wally World."  This top is my first completed challenge.  I found this cute Simplicity 8337 knit top pattern that was recently released.  I have been eyeing it for a little while and was glad to find it here.  The fabric is a Walmart find as well.  It's a slinky turquoise lightweight knit fabric.  I love the color and thought that View A would be perfect for that ruffled neck line.


I cut out size Small and glad that I did.  The arm holes fit perfectly and the neckline doesn't go too far down.  I also ended up taking off about an inch and a half from the bottom hem.  As for how this garment was put together, I think there were a bit too many steps than it really needed.  I had never used bias tape with knit fabric before, so I used a stretch stitch for that.  I feel that the arm holes and binding could be simply sewed together with a serger (if you have one and experience doing that).  I also finished the bottom hem with a double needle, I feel this gives a more clean and professional look.



Over all I'm pretty happy how this top turned out.  I hope to get some wear out of it with our upcoming hot summer.  It'll be nice and easy  paired with shorts and sandals.  The knit fabric I wasn't very fond of working with.  It was just to slinky and slippery.  I ended up accidentally cutting a small hole in the front of the top while trimming the arm hole seams (*ugh*).  I think next time I'll use a knit that has a little more weight to it, and I will definitely break out my trusty serger.  I give this pattern a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

And speaking of knit fabric, I wanted to share my go to tips for sewing with knit fabrics.  I've been sewing with knits for a while now and these are what I always keep in mind when I'm sewing with knits:

Always Use A Stretch Stitch:  I know there are many patterns that say to use a zigzag stitch with knits, but honestly a stretch stitch is the way to go for a sturdy and stretchable stitch.  This stitch is usually indicated on your sewing machine with 3 vertical dotted lines and/or SS on your stitch dial.

Know How Much Stretch Your Fabric Has:  I have made the mistake of over estimating and under estimating the stretch of my fabric to which my project has come out weird, wonky and didn't fit right.  Many pattern packaging has a chart to determine the amount of stretch is needed for that pattern (usually where the sizing is).  Use this!!  Or here's a nifty article I found that talks about it as well.

Always Use A Jersey Needle:  Yes you must use this special needle for your sewing machine.  It's the perfect sharpness to pierce that knit fabric.  These are always available to buy at Walmart or any fabric/craft store.

Finish Hems With A Double Needle:  Most sewing machines come with one.  And I learned how to use mine by reading my sewing machine manual (huh?! what?! She reads the manual?!?!)  It's so easy to use, it stretches with your fabric, and makes your garment look super nice.  Do it!  (PS - with some knits you may also need to use a walking foot).

What are your tips for sewing knit fabric?

5/5/17

Chambray Lace Front Dress


I have a new goal for the summer to try patterns again that I have made before.  I hope to become a little more adventurous when it comes to making minor tweaks to sewing patterns.  I really would like learn more about getting a better fit plus I like to experiment with different fabrics.  This cute chambray dress was made with New Look 6448, View B.  I made the maxi dress version here a couple of months ago, and loved how it turned out.  For this dress I thought I would do a chambray version in the shorter dress because I love how it looked on the pattern packaging.  Plus I have been seeing chambray dresses for the upcoming summer season and I have been wanting to sew with chambray.



The chambray fabric that I used is from Fabric.com.  The leather lace tie and brass grommets are from Joann's.  I also used denim thread for this project.

When I was sewing the maxi dress I was on the fence about cutting the bodice one size bigger (I cut a size 10 for both dresses).  I originally liked how the maxi was fitted on the top and then flared out. The first dress was little snug getting on but once my arms were through and the lace was tied up I liked the fit.  Since the chambray fabric is a little more stiff than the rayon its a even more snug getting on, and I realized that this fabric doesn't have any give like the rayon.


So I should have gone with my instinct and sized up to 12 in the bodice.  But hey!  This is why I love sewing and continue to do it.  I learn from each project and especially learn a lot about fabric and sizing.  I have dabbled in mixing one size for the top and another for the bottom for dresses.  I am still not completely comfortable doing this, but I am realizing that it's usually necessary.  I will be back with some more repeats and share some clothes that I made last summer.