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Make Knit Garments with Style

Threads magazine - 156 – Aug./Sept. 2011

From super-chunky sweater knits to whisper-thin tissue knits, to cobweb-style open knits—and textured, printed, dyed, and double-faced fabrics in between—knit textiles are more interesting than ever. Designers for Rodarte and Missoni have created signature styles with these fabrics, taking them far beyond the expected cardigan or pullover. You can do the same, with a few common-sense sewing techniques and an experimental mindset.

There are many ways to approach designing with knits. You can use the unique properties of the fabric to transform the look of a trusted basic pattern. Or, you can play around with combining fabrics to see what kind of garment they want to become. Whether you begin with the pattern or the fabric, you’re sure to arrive at something modern, original, and completely you.


Combine sheer knits with solids

Are you wondering what to do with knit mesh? I layered it over a brightly colored solid to eye-catching effect in this dress, an adaptation of Vogue 1160.

knit dress with nylon overlay
An overlay of black nylon mesh adds texture to a bright chartreuse microfiber polyester/spandex knit underlayer.

Make the most of both sides

Take advantage of a fabric’s interesting reverse side—and its stylish selvage as I did with this double-faced print polyester/spandex. I used Vogue 8710 for this top.

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Previous: How to Sew Wool Double-Knit Appliqué Next: Sewing Jackets from Knit Fabrics


  1. user-2313475 | | #1

    Really enjoyed this article and loved the combinations of knit fabrics, artful. I am inspired and have projects ready to apply the ideas to. Thank You!

  2. carbonglo | | #2

    Great information and inspiration! Thank you.

  3. cgincolorado | | #3

    Great article! I have two of your Bluprint classes on knits and have used them successfully. My black/grey/white knit top with several different fabrics always gets compliments. But I just can't get my head around sewing selvedges to the outside and having raw edge hems.

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Sewing With Knits

Sewing With Knits

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