Monday, January 16, 2012

Overpants, not underpants

After looking like I was doing a rather disturbing recycling project with on old t-shirt last weekend I am now back to report on my first foray into sewing with knit fabrics.

I have to admit that I didn't entirely enjoy it, but it wasn't a complete failure either.  I did a bit of reading around on the internet about sewing with knits before I started.  This great post on Prudent Baby went through a whole lot of basics, including info for those that don't have an overlocking machine.  I used my walking foot (rarely sew without it anyway), put in a ball point needle and used the stretch stitch on my machine.  OK, deep breath and away we sew...first seam I did the material disappeared in a tangle down into the to bobbin compartment under the needle.  There was no unpicking this, there was just yanking and cutting.  I picked my sewing ego up, dusted it off and tried again and after a few goes was sewing straight seams, avoiding doing the back and forth sewing at the start and end of seams drastically reduced the risk of the machine eating the fabric (seams don't seem to unravel so all good!).

I had chosen this very simple pattern and tutorial for a nappy cover from Made as my starting project.

Half way through making them I was already a bit over sewing with the temperamental knit fabric and was pretty sure the whole thing was going to end in the bin.  But I did persevere and a rather nice, soft pair of red stripey overpants was a pleasing end point.  I actually didn't bother to sew up the gaps I left for threading the elastic - one attempt at that ended in another fabric eating situation so I just quit while I was ahead and went off to tickle baby tummy instead.

I am going to make a few more of these in good old familiar regular cotton while I think about where to go next with knits.  Anyone else out there sew with knits on their regular machine?  Any top tips or advice to share?  I'd love to hear it.


gret said...

Cute! My goal for this year is to sew better more knits too. I've just bought myself a twin needle, and have been following this series - Have you?

willywagtail said...

I'm no help with the stretch. My machine seems to be temperamental when it comes to sewing with it so I just accept that. I made a pair of these same pants the other day for a friends baby. I accepted what the author said and just let the fabric bunch a bit. I first pulled the casings, though, to get as much stretch from the seam allowance as possible. I didn't close my openings either. They seem to fit you little one just fine.

Yana said...

great job! i actually like sewing with knits, not having to do anything with the edges pleases me a lot. i find good quality polyester thread and ball point needle works for me. some knit fabrics seem to be easier than others, but im not sure how to tell the difference. if you persevere with it, practice will be your best teacher :) xx

Julie said...

Oh cute. Well done.
PS. Much more attractive on the baby!


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