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sewing with knits

fabricmaven | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I recently purchased a very pretty loosely woven sweater knit made of mohair, silk and a gold metallic thread running vertically and horizontally through the fabric. I’ve decided that it could be a very dramatic looking sweater. I’ve purchased vogue pattern #7829 which calls for the fabric to be cut on the bias. My question to all, Is it redundant to use a knit fabric and still cut it on the bias for further draping in the fit? Or should I just cut the pattern on the straight grain? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


  1. denise | | #1

    i always cut PLAIN FABRIC on the straight grain,  but a little worried about your beautiful print.

    type in the the search part of threads magazine you can find at times wonderful answers there from experts.

    1. denise | | #2

      i found and article called  bias  101

      on the threads site.

      may help

  2. spicegirl | | #3

    It sounds like you have found a beautiful fabric.  The gold thread that runs the length & width of the fabric, if not evenly placed might be difficult to match on the bias (at seams).  I have sewn open weave fabric that seemed to stretch in every direction and knits on the straight of grain, using a pattern for woven fabrics without a problem.  On the open weave I reinforced the shoulder seams with clear swim wear elastic.  The neck and any other openings may need the same type of reinforcement.  Test this before cutting.  There should be some reference in Threads for using the clear elastic as reinforcement.  Best of luck.  I think you are going to have a gorgeous, one of a kind garment.  That's the best part of sewing - you won't see anyone wearing a garment like yours.

    Edited 2/2/2007 1:22 pm ET by spicegirl

    1. fabricmaven | | #4

      Thanks for your thoughtful reply in reference to my fabric query. Thanks for the reminder to reinforce shoulder and neck seams. It did seem to me that a loosely woven knit would work just fine cut out on the straight grain and not giving it further drape by cutting on the bias and still having to  control even more stretch in all seam lines. I might try a bias cut on a loose knit someday but don't want to mess up this special fabric that I could never replace. 

  3. HeartFire2 | | #5

    I looked up vogue 7829, its for a long white blouse. is this waht you are planning on? The whole point of bias cut fabric is the drape that you will get, knit fabric will often give you the same drape. Patterns planned for bias cut woven fabric are cut wider around the body because the bias will 'drip' and narrow the width when hung up. so, you may not need to cut it quite as wide as the pattern calls for as knits (cut onthe straight grain) generally don't 'drip' like bias does. Yes, you can cut a knit on the bias, I've never done it but I know others that have.

    A previous poster mentioned that you need to be carefukl about the silk ribbon woven through.

    I would play with the fabric on a dress form if you have one and see how it looks and behaves. If you don't have a dress form, drape it over yourself. A helpful hint here is to use 2 mirrors and look at yourself in the mirror behind you - it just gives you a better idea of how others see you rather than facing the mirror. or take some photos of it and evaluate the image on the photo.

    1. fabricmaven | | #6

      Thank you for your thoughtful advice. Yes vogue 7829 is the white blouse and the view I want to use. My fabric is a black knit designed in a wide stockinette stitch, possibly three purl stitches to one knit stitch. The fiber is a mixture of mohair and silk with a gold thread in the knit stitch running vertically and a gold thread running horizontally every three rows. Hope I'm not getting too much into the minutia. I will definitely take your advice with draping it on my dress form. I found the fabric on a sale table for a ridiculously low price and I wouldn't be able to find it again if I mess it up. Intuitively I feel that cutting it on the bias would give it a more dramatic and delicate looking touch, I'm just fearful of losing control if the seams stretch only so far as they possible can but the fabric itself stretches even further and you get a ripling effect. Guess I won't know till I try. Anyway, it's great getting anothers point of view.

      1. cafms | | #7

        I looked at the pattern also and didn't see anything about it being cut on the bias.  Were you going to change the patternor does it come that way?  It also says   "Unsuitable for obvious diagonals, plaids or stripes. Use nap yardages/layouts for pile, shaded or one-way design fabrics. *With nap.**W/O nap." and suggests these fabrics:  Georgette, Crepe De Chine and Gauze.   I don't always follow their recommendations but a knit may be too thick or heavy.   Just a thought.

        1. fabricmaven | | #8

          Hi, You are right the pattern says nothing on the envelope about bias. It's only when you open the pattern and see the pieces that you see the bias lines rather than straight grain lines. When I buy a pattern, I rarely cut it out, I just redraw it onto tracing paper and then fit it to my dress form. Takes time but I'm 60 and no longer in a hurry. If I really like it, I do a final pattern on interfacing which I roll into a tube or store in a jumbo zip-loc bag which I hang on a skirt hanger. Then when I use it again I dont have to iron it. Back to the knit fabric. It is fluffy but very sheer. You couldn't wear it without wearing something underneath. After an earlier suggestion from another messenger, I did drape the fabric on my dress form on the bias and although it looked very dramatic I went ahead and cut it on the straight grain because I felt there was way to much stretch for me to deal with. when I am finished with my creation, I will send a picture to all that have offered such thoughtful advice.

  4. SewNancy | | #9

    Yes you should. but I'd be worried about the ease in a bias pattern.

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