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Tuesday Tip with Lindsey Rae!

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

Personally I think one of the worst things we can do is to get stuck sewing with one type of fabric. Sewing is such a creative skill and we all want to get the absolute most we can out of it. Time and time again I hear from woman that are not confident enough to put down the woven and pick up the knits, but ladies I'm here to say...DO IT!

So, thanks to the question from Sherrill, here are my top tips when working with knits... (I also have a video tutorial of working with knits which I've added below)

✂️When purchasing your knit fabric you will want to check the recovery of the fabric. Put your hand in a fist and stick your knuckle up in the fabric let go and see if it holds the bump, or goes flat. Fabrics that have 100% cotton and no spandex tend to loose their shape. So I like blended fabrics that have a slight bit of spandex to hold everything together. Also pull the edges of the fabric to see if they roll. This can help you determine how much roll and squirm of the fabric you are willing to deal with.

✂️Use a ball point or stretch needle. This will move the fibres out of the way rather than piercing the fabric and potentially causing a run.

✂️ If sewing stretch fabric on your domestic sewing machine, use a lighting bolt stitch. Most machines will have them and they look like a tiny zig/zag. This stitch is used for your seams so that they move and stretch with the fabric. If you used a straight stitch it would pop and break when the fabric stretched. If you don't have a lightening bolt stitch, then you will want to work out a narrow zig zag on your machine by adjusting the length and width and testing it on fabric.

✂️ I also like to use a walking foot when working with knit fabric. It helps keep all the layers together when sewing and prevents stretching.

✂️ Let the fabric go through your machine at your machine's own pace. If you pull from behind or hold on tight from the front, you will stretch the fabric and create waves. It is all about being patient with your machine and going with the feed dogs.

✂️I found this new product called heat and bond soft stretch tape. IT IS A FREAKING MIRACLE!! I am trying to source a distributor in Australia with little luck, but I will keep looking. Anyways, you simply iron this to the wrong side of your hem, fold and press up your hem, and then stitch. This stays in the fabric and allows it to move and stretch but keeps it stable when sewing. LOVE IT!

Ultimately, just try it. Start with a simple shirt or nighty so it doesn't matter if it's a little wonky. Just practice and you will be so excited to start working with stretch. So quick and easy to sew up, hardly any fitting, and comfortable to wear!

As always ladies, if you ask me a question and it is used in a future Tuesday Tip post then I'll send you a free PDF pattern! So what do you need to know? Ask below or send me a DM....


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Welcome to Sew To Grow!
Our mission is to help you build a perfectly fitted handmade wardrobe, so when someone asks where you got your fabulous frock you can confidently say 'I made it!'. To help you on your sewing journey, here you'll find a range of tutorials about sewing techniques, garment fitting, notions and tools, fabric and more!

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