Simplicity Sewing Tips With Wendy Gardiner – Sewing Knit Fabrics

Simplicity Sewing Tips With Wendy Gardiner – Sewing Knit Fabrics

Simplicity Sewing Tips With Wendy Gardiner – Sewing Knit Fabrics

June 17, 2014 | Skills | 1 Comment

Happy Tuesday Y’all! Guest posting today is Wendy Gardiner in the second in her mini series of Simplicity Sewing Tips…

Wendy Gardiner red 2013Sewing with Knit Fabrics

I love to sew with knit fabrics so was delighted to see these fab fabrics being tackled on the Great British Sewing Bee. Garments that are suitable for stretch fabrics are quicker to make (as stretch fabrics often don’t fray, so don’t need seam neatening) and they are easier to fit as they stretch!
2369aI particularly love Simplicity 2369, (sizes 8-24). This dress has been on my radar for a while and I do have a wonderful printed stretch jersey that is just waiting to be turned into view B. The swooping tie at the waist is perfect for defining the waist (even if you haven’t got much of one!).
1619I also like to wear leggings with long tops, they are so comfortable and practical if you are doing something active. Simplicity 1619 (sizes 8-24) has a pair of leggings in the pack so if you are tempted too, have a go with these.

Stretch fabrics can be a little trickier to handle than woven fabrics but they are definitely worth the effort. Why are they trickier?  Well, they stretch – and can stretch as you cut and sew, and you may get skipped stitches if you use the wrong needle – but these little hurdles can be avoided if you follow a few simple steps…

 1 When cutting out, pin regularly, taking care to pin in the seam allowance only (and make sure you are using sharp pins as blunt ones might snag the fabric). You can also use tins of soup or beans to hold pattern and fabric layers firmly together as you cut out.

 2 Use a ball point or stretch needle when sewing stretch fabrics. These needles have a slightly rounded tip which parts the fibres rather than piercing them, so you shouldn’t get the skipped stitches that may result when knits are sewn with a universal sharps needle.

3 On any horizontal seams, ie waist, hemlines etc, sew with a stretch stitch or small zigzag stitch so that the stitching will stretch with the fabric as you pull the leggings on or the dress over your head. A stretch stitch looks like a small slanted zigzag stitch.

4 To prevent the fabric edges curling, after sewing vertical seams with a straight stitch, sew again close to the seam with a widely spaced zigzag (increase the stitch length to 3.0) and then trim the seam allowances close to stitching.

So there you have it – sew stretch fabrics with confidence and enjoy!

♥ – ♥ – ♥

Wendy Gardiner is Simplicity’s Sewing Guru and loves to share tips and techniques to make sewing easier and fun.
For more tips, fitting advice and to browse and buy Simplicity, New Look and Burda patterns visit

Be sure to check out Wendy’s tips for Learning To Sew and check back next week for expert guide to adding piping and pleats!


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