I find sewing with knits very frustrating. The different weights and stretch properties mean there is a lot to think about when matching pattern to fabric.
But when a knit garment goes well, they are such useful and wearable things to have. Two of my Mabel skirts are the most-worn things I’ve made since I started sewing.
So I’m going to try to get better at sewing knits!
My plan is to make the same pattern in two (or more) different knit fabrics, and see what I learn.
The first test subjects are my three Mabel skirts. They all have the same modification – I omit the back vent to give a more figure hugging line.
The black one – above – is made from scuba knit. Scuba is a fine, smooth knit, usually made from polyester. It doesn’t drape particularly well and is often used for body con garments.
I’m not a fan of artificial fibres so didn’t think I’d like this fabric, but it’s my favourite of the three. It was very easy to sew, the hem looks nice and stays straight, it doesn’t crease and it looks as good now as when I made it.
The second Mabel I made from a medium weight navy cotton jersey (not pictured). I loved this one. It was very soft, with more drape than the scuba. But it was more difficult to sew, so my hem wasn’t straight, and it pilled badly after a few wears.
And finally, this one, from a small remnant of sweatshirt knit. The thick fabric means it’s not very flattering (which is why you aren’t seeing it on me!) but it’s so comfortable and cosy. A skirt to be worn with in winter, at home, with a big jumper, and woolly tights. I had to sew a deep hem as the narrow hem kept curling up.
So that’s the end of the first experiment. Lessons learned – I’m going to be less prejudiced against artificial fibres, and I need to find out how to sew better hems!
I’m not sure what to do about the pilling problem. It’s annoying to throw away a skirt I like after a few wears. I’d love to hear your thoughts and any tips you have. How do you select knit fabric?