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Fabric Maverick Says... Don't Be a Knit Wit! A few tips on sewing with Knits - Extreme Home Makeovers Home Edition And We Helped!

January 3, 2008

The Fabric Maverick says "Do not be afraid to work with knits"  Once you have mastered the basics, you are on your way to a lovely garment. Let's get started.

A knit is a fabric made from interlocking looped stitches.  The lenghwise ribs are called wales.  The crosswise is called courses. Knits are wrinkle resistant and do not ravel. They stretch.


  1. Needle type- Ballpoint machine needle
  2. Thread: Fine polyester or poly/cotton thread for lightweight knits. Use an all purpose polyester or poly/cotton thread for medium to heavvy weight knits.
  3. Elastic- No-Roll elastic is good for waistbamds. Braided elastic is not good for knits.  Check out the specialty elastics for swimwear and lingerie.
  4. Interfacing: If your pattern requires interfacing, a good choice is Fusi-Knit.  This is a fusible tricot.


Fabric preparation checklist:

  • Check to make sure the knit fabric has the proper stretch for the garment you are sewing. The pattern will indicate the amount of stretchibility.
  •  Check your knit for memory- the knit should return to original position after it is stretched.
  •  If the knit is washable, wash it to remove excess sizing.  If there is too much sizing, you may have skipped stitches when you sew.
  • Check to see if the knit is on grain. The wales and courses should be right-angled to each other.  If they are not, the knit will need to be blocked.

You are well on your way to making a great garment! Choose the pattern layout for fabric with nap. When cutting your fabric, do not let it hang off the cutting table. It may distort the grain. If there is a permanent fold line which will not steam out, create another fold line to cut from. You may use a straight stitch or a small zig-zag stitch. when sewing your garment.When you press your fabric, use a pressing cloth. Press the fabric, do not iron it.  When you finish the garment, let it hang for 24 hours, before marking the hem.

Many books and articles have been written about working with knit fabrics.  This is just the basics to get you started.  The Fabric Maverick always keeps a basic sewing book available to which she refers frequently.  Go create something beautiful.

A note about this Sunday's Extreme Home Makeover Edition-  many fabrics from Fabric.com were used in this episode. If you would like to know which fabrics-, the Fabric Maverick will tell you.

UR-932 Maggie Pink and Kelso Brown

UB-732 Black and White Globes

UR-093 European Linen Black

UR-217 European Linen White

AY-631 Oriental Brocade

AY-632 Oriental Brocade Dragonflies

AY-636 Oriental Flowering Vines

I am looking forward to seeing how they used these fabrics. 

Keep sewing!




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I am new to this forum and look forward to making some new friends

Take care!

I sew childrens' clothing and have a hard time finding juvinal prints on your site with only a few to choose from. Can you help me? Knits are perfect for pajamas etc.. Please help

Hi, thanks for the informative post!

I've actually been practicing knitting alot lately and I find it very entertaining but I do have some troubles but this clears up a few things!

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This page contains a single entry by published on January 3, 2008 5:13 AM.

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