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Conversational Threads

Stretchy knit fabrics in necklines,etc.

DianeN8 | Posted in Fitting on

I can never achieve a nice scoop neckline in a knit fabric. The fabric always seems to stretch enough that it doesn’t lay flat against me.  What is a good stabelizer to use in this case, and exactly how and when should it be used? Or, is there a better solution?   Also, I have a simple pattern I like to use for knit tops, but with each knit fabric I choose it comes out different – sometimes it’s way too big, other times too tight.  Sometimes it’s too big around the bottom, sometimes the neck is just a mess. Is there a formula to use to tell what kind of adjustments to make?  Most knit fabrics I find (and there aren’t nearly as many anymore, alas) look and feel pretty much the same to me. Thanks a lot! I’ve sewn for many, many years, finally have a pretty good sewing machine and a fabulous serger, but I think I scrap more garments now than I did 20 years ago!  Phooey!

Replies

  1. Nan98122 | | #1

    Some knits are looser than others. Are you very careful in not stretching the neckline when handling the front and back pieces? If you have a knit that doesn't recover well, you need to be very careful in handling it.  you may want to stabilize unstable knits with elastic. Either clear elastic which one can apply with a zz stitch on the sewing machine or serger (which never works for me until they make a teflon foot for my serger!) or that soft, off white swim elastic by sewing machine or serger. Apply with a one to one ratio (meaning measure the neckhole with a measurement tape on its side and cut elastic 1/8 or 1/4 shorter no more)  at quarter intervals and sew on the right side of the garment to attach the elastic without stretching the elastic. Turn the neckline to the wrong side and sew again so the elastic is covered. You can zz, hemstitch or twin needle.  If you adding a self rib or self trim, again measure your neckline. Sometimes the pattern piece for the self trim is too big or too small. I measure my cut pieces then cut self trim on the grain. Attach to the neckline at quarter intervals making sure you don't stretch anything.

    It could be that you are shallow chested and anytype of round neckline will pull away from your body and look big or sloppy. In this case you may want to look into an alterations book for that.

    1. DianeN8 | | #2

      Thank you for the reply. I will try the clear elastic on a knit test garment. Sounds like it draws the edges up just slightly to make them lay smoother. It seems like knits used to be simple to work on, but maybe I'm just not remembering right! 

      1. CarolFresia | | #3

        Diane, if you're able to view video tips from the Threads website, you might want to take a look at "A Neckline Binding for Knits," with Sarah Veblen. Go to the Threads homepage, and look for Video Tips in the left-hand column. She gives good directions for getting the neckline to hug the body. It might take a while to download the video, but try to be patient!

        Carol

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