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rayon knit on the bias??

ldm55 | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi there, I’m Lisa from Western Massachusetts.  I have a Vogue 9771 pattern, a pullover top with draping (cowl?) neckline cut on the bias.  I bought some thin rayon knit fabric because of the drape, but now I’m wondering if it would be too unstable to use on the bias.  I’m afraid it might never stop stretching.  The pattern recommends only silk-like crepe, charmeuse and silk-like jaquard.  Any advice out there?   


  1. Tatsy | | #1

    I've almost always considered the crossgrain of knits to be the same as a woven bias. Never had any problem with cowl necks. I did one on the bias/diagonal of a sweater knit. It had an asymmetrical drape which gave it a different look.

    1. ldm55 | | #5

      Did the asymetry result from the bias or was that the style of the pattern? I've read that the different stretch in right versus left pattern pieces causes one side to stretch more than the other, and that the pattern has to be laid out in a way to correct for that. P.S. Sorry I disappeared from the discussion for a week.  My life got in the way of my sewing.  Hate when that happens. - Lisa

      1. Tatsy | | #8

        I'm pretty sure it was from laying it out as if it were a woven instead of a knit because I'd done numerous cowl collar patterns without ever having this happen, and I really felt like a dummy when I realized I'd mindlessly followed the straight of grain arrows on this pattern instead of translating for knits.  It looked okay. It was just different than what I'd expected.

  2. Josefly | | #2

    Your rayon knit fabric sounds nice. Have you looked at Vogue 2945 as an alternate for it? The pattern suggests moderate-stretch knit.

    1. ldm55 | | #6

      Thanks for your input.  I haven't seen the vogue 2945, but I'll look for it and sorry for my lateness in responding. - Lisa

  3. Teaf5 | | #3

    With a nice drape, the stretch knit would work well for the cowl neck if you cut it not on the bias.  Try holding the uncut fabric up by the sides and let it "puddle" drape onto a table top; you'll get a good idea of how big and drapey the folds would be on the cowl.  Do the same by holding it up on the crossgrain and on the bias, and you'll see which drape you like best.

    1. Cathie | | #4

      I also have some gorgeous rayon knit, but with some lycra. I was also wondering about the stretching. Another idea, besides these good ones, is to shrink first, and to never hang up, but fold and put in drawers. I am very greatful for all the help here. So many answers/suggestions. I can't wear cowls, but love cross-over fronts, and deep V. H

      ere too we must be cautious, and stabilize the seam. Maybe behind the cowl too, on the seamline.

    2. ldm55 | | #7

      Thanks to everybody for the wonderful help.  It seemed the drape on the crossgrain was graceful enough without the bother of bias, so I cut it that way.  Given the recovery of the stretch, it seems to have a bit of lycra.  Another question is about the best way to stabilize seams, particularly at the shoulder, where most of the weight of the top falls from.  And what do you do to prevent a ridge of seam allowance/stabilizer from showing through from the right side? 

      1. Josefly | | #9

        About stabilizing the shoulder seams, I've seen clear elastic stitched into the shoulder seams in ready-to-wear, and I've read the suggestion from other sewers who've posted here, and who are experienced with sewing on knits. I bought several yards of the elastic on sale at Hancock's, but haven't tried it yet. I've several pieces of cotton, bamboo, and cotton/spandex knits in my stash, waiting for me to do something with them...how long will they wait, do you suppose? :>)

        1. Tatsy | | #10

          Jump in! Knits are wonderful to sew on. They are very forgiving. About the only things you need to worry about are getting the straight of grain to follow the line of the stitches and to give yourself enough but not overly much ease. You don't need to finish seams or hems.

          1. Josefly | | #11

            Thank you for the encouragement. As for the straight of grain problem - is that why so many t-shirts twist after laundering, because they aren't cut on the straight grain? I anticipate that laying out these knits is a little tricky because of their stretchiness.

          2. Tatsy | | #12

            Yes, that's why the tee shirts twist. Laying out the fabric can be tricky, but that only means there are tricks that work. I always find a line of stitches toward the center and make that the foldline. You know the knit is on the straight of grain when the fabric lies flat, with no wrinkles on both sides of the fold. If the fabric's been cut off the straight of grain, then the top and bottom edges may be vastly uneven. Make sure to check under the top and bottom edges before permanently placing pattern pieces to be sure that you have two pieces of cloth there.

            Some fabrics are knit in the round and can be so far off that if you try to cut pieces on doubled fabric, it's the same as cutting woven on the bias. If you've got some of this breed, and believe me, you can tell, cut it carefully along a vertical line of stitches and lay it out flat. Cut each piece out singly, and make full-size copies of any pattern pieces that normally would be placed on the fold.  Even the cheapest knits can become beautiful garments if you take the time to find the s. o. g. Have fun.

          3. Josefly | | #13

            Thank you for those tips. I will check the stitches for straight of grain. I don't have any of the knit-in-the-round knits, mine are all flat.

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