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Choose the Best Lightweight Knit for Your Garment Design

Learn the secrets of choosing the right lightweight knit and design for your garment-sewing project.
Threads magazine - 167 - June/July 2013

The array of lightweight knit fabrics on the market is mind-boggling, and selecting the right one for your garment-sewing project can be tricky.

Lightweight knits are not just for summer weather and warm locales. Although designers often use light and airy knit fabrics for simple, casual-chic garments, they work equally well for more complex cuts, such as draped and twisted designs that lend themselves to more sophisticated, year-round garments.

The article by Connie Crawford outlines the fabric content and characteristics of 10 common lightweight knits, and how to determine a knit’s stretch and recovery to match it to a pattern. Included are sewing tips and techniques for cutting lightweight knits, such as selecting the right thread and choosing a seam style.

If you want to make comfortable, attractive garments with a carefree aesthetic, then lightweight knits are the ideal fabric choice. Their characteristic weightlessness, stretch, drape, lack of bulk—and the ease with which they can be sewn—make these modern fabrics highly wearable. They can be used to create a wide variety of styles, from sporty to feminine and whimsical to sophisticated. Many lightweight knits are perfect for sewing clothes to wear in summer weather and warm locales, but they also make excellent year-round layering pieces for everyday wear or travel wardrobes.

The array of lightweight knits on the market is mind-boggling, and selecting the right type for a particular project can seem tricky. Your choice depends on the garment design and the fabric characteristics needed. But never fear—this article will help you make the best pairing of lightweight knit and design.

Choose complementary garment designs

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Previous: How to Identify Knit Fabrics Next: Taming Jersey Knits


  1. carolhenderson | | #1

    I love wearing knits as I live in Phoenix, which is hot most of the time. However rather than cutting fabric using layers of paper, I spray it with starch which I wash out when the item is sewn. I find this makes the fabric much easier to sew as it doesn't stretch but acts as a woven.

  2. DRWsews | | #2

    Thanks for the tip. I am about to start a knit blouse today and was suffering the usual worries about the fabric.

  3. user-2068325 | | #3

    I can sew the fabric but I lack imagination .....so thanks for the advice!

  4. User avater
    fair | | #4

    Is Knit fabric available through your web site?

  5. user-6908281 | | #5

    The pdf or pages about knits does not open. Problems like this happen too often. It is not worthwhile being an insider if the process is not made more reliable and user friendly.

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Sewing With Knits

Sewing With Knits

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