Monday, February 08, 2010

LOVE 1 :: Sewing Knits

I am not a sucker for romance (I prefer gifts from my husband in the form of a new pair of Chucks), but I am sucker for LOVE. This week I think I shall post about things that I am loving. This may be a challenge because my love is currently being divided between two almost thirty pound terribly sick tyrants who recently acquired the black lung. But I am gonna' try to spread a little here this week and hope it comes back tenfold.

Today? I expound on my love of knits. Not knitting, but knit fabric, particularly that of the kind you can sew. I mentioned last week that I sewed my first t-shirt for the boys. It came out quite wearable, if a little Flashdance in the shoulder area. And it really boosted my confidence in the sewing of knits.
sewn :: scrappy shirt

Here is the thing, knit material seems so very intimidating, right? But when you think of it, I have been primed by my healthy love of the act of knitting to understand the fabric better. I know how to 'see' the right and wrong side, I understand the propensity it has to stretch way out, to roll, to shift. So, now not so scary.

But then there is the whole serger issue. I read the Wendy book and immediately wanted a serger. They sound delightful, seams and cutting all in one swoop. Sign me up. But then I borrowed a serger and it scared me too much to really try it.

So, eventually the shirt came together on my regular sewing machine using two stitches, straight and the 'overlock' or 'kind of zigzaggy' stitch. I basically followed the directions from the tutorial, used a 2T shirt for the base pattern and fuddled through it in about the 90 called for minutes.

What I loved? The addition of the cuffs and collar in the ribbed fabric (found at JoAnns).
sewn :: scrappy shirt
I was surprised at how well you can iron knit fabric (I used steam to crease the ribbing) and finished the ribbing with the overlock stitch to decorate it a bit.
And I love that I can use old t-shirts in new ways. And I loved the fact that Mace knew it was for him, made by Mama.
sewn :: scrappy shirt

And I loved that I can still sew the knits even though I will not be investing in the serger in the immediate future.

The not so loves were pretty small...just need to adjust my hand made pattern a bit to prevent neckline gaping, and I found that if I want to use the best parts of the old t-shirts, the graphic area, I have to cut the shirt front and back off the original seam which leaves a raw unfinished edge to the new t-shirt.
sewn :: scrappy shirt
Which I decided is okay for now.

So, to recap Day 1 of Love Week :: I love knits. Yes I do. And I think you should too. If you have been longing to try your hand at sewing your own t-shirts, I say Do It. Just remember to use a rotary cutter to cut your pattern pieces (much cleaner edges that way) and use a zigzaggy stitch at the seams. And have fun with it.

You can find the tutorial here. Now you know what I want to do? Sew some really comfortable underwear. Oh yeah. LOVE.

Tomorrow ? Love of new friends and what they do.


lori z said...

you go girl! your craftiness is inspiring. there's lots of thinking about crafting, but not a lot of crafting going on over here.

Preeti said...

Waaaay cool! Sending get well soon vibes to the boys xxx