knit fabric, help needed
Thank you for this wonderful site full of information. I have started to make a top with a very strechy knit and am having lots of problems. Mailny on the hem, armholes, and neck. It keeps streching. I was wondering if I should use some sort of stibliser on it? I’m pretty new to the world of knit fabric and don’t really know how to go. I have staystiched the neck but I don’t think it is enough.
any tips no matter how small would be great. thank you.
There are a few things you can do to minimize stretching on knits. However, you don't want to stabilize too much or you will not be able to take advantage of the knits stretch and recovery to, for example pull it over your head.
Depending on your comfort level and sewing tools, there are several easy methods to solve the problems you're having:
First, if you are using a serger, set your differential feed to a 'plus' setting (1.5 or 2, test on your fabric) to eliminate stretching.
Lighten the pressure on your presser foot if it is adjustable so it doesn't stretch as you sew.
Or, you can use small strips of fusible knit interfacing to stablize it, you can fuse it on the stitching lines in about 1/2" widths. HTC makes some wonderful high-quality interfacings and has a special one for knits with an all-way stretch called "Sofknit" or they also make a knit one with only crosswise stretch called "Fusi-knit". Just make sure you have the stretch of the interfacing match the stretch of the fabric. (Honestly I don't use a lot of interfacing on my knits)
You can stay-stitch along necklines and armholes with a small zig-zag that will stabilize the edge but still provide a little stretch. I like to stay-stitch INSIDE the seam allowance so if you are off a little bit in your finished stitching you won't see the stay stitching on the outside of your garment.
Or, some people swear by using clear swimsuit elastic to stablize seams. Don't stretch it or the seams will pucker. Just lay the elastic over your seams when you sew.
Good luck! Knits are really fun and easy to sew, they just take some understanding of special techniques that will give you good results. If you want to look at some of my knit projects, go to: http://photos.yahoo.com/sewingsusie
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