I sewed my first proper knit garment last year. I bought some sequin fabric in the LA garment district and decided to make it into a dress.
Believe me I learned a lot during the process. Why can’t I be a normal person and just get a simple fabric with a simple pattern when learning things??? Makes sense, no? But me? Noooo – I want sequins, I want a chiffon yoke (upper bodice) with bias binding. Peplum and elastic band? Pfffft is that all??? BRING IT ON….
I broke two needles on my serger – in over five years of having that serger, I think I had replaced a needle once!! I had to take a picture. Turns out my stitch width was too narrow. When I read the manual for my serger, I made the appropriate adjustments….so yeah, manuals and things.
The other thing that was super handy for knits was the twin needle!!!!!! Seriously, if you don’t own one, buy a few. Even if you have no plans to sew knits. The day you decide to do so, you will come and hug me for ordering you to buy knits. wait and see….
Initially the design was a maxi dress with a peplum. Cue the iPhone photo of meh-ness.
Ummm I made it and hated it. I looked heavier because it was too full on the bottom and baggy in the top and bodice. When sewing with the straight needle, I managed to sew the fabric in it’s stretched out state because I wanted to encase the elastic waist band. Then serged the seam to enclose the band. Let’s just say it was painful to remove the stitches.
I also shortened the dress and turned the bottom into a fitted pencil skirt while keeping the peplum. Nice because peplums are fun and feminine. Also the peplum detail made the dress more modest for me. Otherwise it would have been a body-con dress and that’s not my thing.
Moral of the story
- Sewing jersey can be very easy
- Make sure your stitch width and tension are set correctly (check yoour manual)
- You don’t need any seam allowance. You do need some for hemming.
- Use a twin needle
- If using a single needle, zig-zag stitch is where you want to be!