Sewing Blog

Sewing with knits? No problem!

AGF Enchanted Voyage Knit

Hello everyone! I am so excited to share today’s post with you! I am going to be talking about sewing with Art Gallery Fabric Knits specifically using Knits from Maureen Cracknell’s new fabric line Enchanted Voyage! Sewing with knits can be intimidating but I am here to let you know the supplies you need to get started and my top tips!

Have you seen Enchanted Voyage by Maureen Cracknell for Art Gallery Fabrics??? Its so pretty! Enchanted Voyage is a beautiful fabric line with dreamy shades of blues and whimsical prints! I totally thought of the story of Peter Pan looking at these gorgeous fabrics! There are 3 knits available for Enchanted Voyage.

I imagined some very cute boys shirts made out of these prints. I chose to use Saltwater Stream Fade (K-61784) and Nautique Spell Sky (K-61781). Playful like the the Lost Boys of Neverland. Luckily I have 2 cute little boys who love to play and were perfect models for these shirts!

The lost boys spying on Captain Hook! 🙂

I used the Downtown V-neck shirt pattern by Fishsticks Designs. Find this adorable pattern here. I love this pattern as you can really play with different color combinations and fussy cut the pockets, neckband and trim. This pattern would also make a cute play shirt for a girl as well! Make sure to check out the Enchanted Voyage LookBook for more great project ideas and to see all the pretty fabric!!

Now onto sewing with knits! I love sewing with Art Gallery Fabric Knits. They are so soft and wash up wonderfully. I especially love all the great color and pattern options as well. Make sure to check out all of AGF’s knit options here.

I am here to let you in on a little secret….I sew knits with a regular sewing machine and I taught myself! You can do this too!! With a little bit of practice you too can be sewing with these beautiful knit fabrics whipping up all kinds of soft garments, cozy scarves and home decore!

Lets get started! Here are the basic supplies you need for sewing knits on a regular sewing machine.

  • Ball point needles
  • A built in walking foot or walking foot attachment
  • A Blind Hem Foot to use for an overlock stitch
  • A Standard Presser Foot to use the lightning bolt stitch
  • lots of pins
  • Thread~I usually use Aurifil or Signature 50A

Here are my top 8 tips for sewing with knits!

  1. This is the most important tip of all! Don’t be afraid to just go for it! You might surprise yourself!
  2. Prewash all your knit fabric. There will be some shrinkage. I recommend machine wash cold on a normal cycle. Use non chlorine bleach and then tumble dry low.
  3. Always use a ball point needle! Ball point needles have a round tip that let it more easily move through the knit fabric.
  4. When pressing knit don’t use steam. I have found it will curl less with just heat.
  5. Don’t be afraid to pin a lot! Knit can curl and shift and it can become quite frustrating. I have been sewing with knits for awhile now but I still pin usually every couple inches. This keeps the knit from shifting and keeps your sanity it tact!
  6. A walking foot is a must! Not all sewing machines come with a walking foot, but it is such a good investment. You will use it all the time! It helps feed the top and bottom fabric evenly through. For knit this is important because of the stretch and shift factor.
  7. On a sewing machine you need to use a stretch stitch with knit! I use a tiny zig zag stitch that looks like a little lightning bolt.
  8. After you use a stretch stitch most pattern directions say finish the seam. I remember I was like huh? Didn’t I already do that?? But no, you need to use an over lock stitch to finish the seam. This gives it a very professional and finished look. (This is what a serger would do all in one step for you). Knit fabric will not fray but using an overlock stitch gives it a very neat and professional look.
Think of it as a 2 step process. 1. lightening bolt stitch 2. overlock stitch

To sew knits, think of the stitching as a 2 Step process. First sew a lightening bolt stretch stitch per the seam allowance directions. Then if you want to, you can use an overlock or zigzag stitch to finish the seams. I prefer an overlock stitch as it looks most like store bought and really provides a neat finish. The nice thing about sewing with knit fabrics is that it is pretty forgiving. If you need to stretch the fabric slightly to get it to fit that is ok! Like most things this just takes practice.

Next, start with a simple project or pattern. A wonderful project that Art Gallery Fabrics just published on their creative blog was how to sew an oversized scarf using rayon and knit! Check this out here. I totally want to make one of these! If you are interested in a clothing pattern there is a simple tank pattern called, The Greenwood Tank, that you can purchase at Indiesew.com. The Greenwood tank uses 7/8-1 1/2 yards of knit depending on your size and is a good beginner pattern. Just a reminder that knit fabric is typically 60 inches wide compared to quilting cotton which is 44-45 inches wide.

I hope you found this post helpful and encouraging to give sewing with knits a try! Don’t be afraid to just go for it! I am still learning too! Trying new things is always sort of scary but in the the end you learned a new skill! Which is actually pretty cool! 🙂

Thanks again sewing friends for following along! Sew happy! 🙂

🙂 Jennifer

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