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Combine Knitting & Sewing

June 26, 2013

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Creating a knitted and sewn project is not very popular despite the growning population of sewists who knit and knitters who sew. Combining the 2 arts can be tricky, frustrating and create headaches that most would rather not deal with. After all, two of the key reasons people craft is stress relief and and enjoyment of the finished product. However, it doesn't have to be very difficult and with some tips combining sewing and knitting can be a great way to design a one of a kind project. 

I first set out to couple knitting and sewing because I really wanted a way to quickly finish my knitting projects. I had one small child who was mobile and entirely too interested in my knitting. I need to expedit my process without resorting to crummy shoutcuts. It started with a dress I wanted for my daughter's first birthday which I quickly learned was taking too long and she was growing too fast for this project. I had manage to work the entire bodice but knew I would not be able to complete the skirt so as I was brainstorming I glanced at a piece of linen fabric that was just the right shade of yellow to compliment my yarn and it hit. I would sew the skirt and the stitch the two pieces together. I drafted a simple gathered skirt approximately the same width as the bodice and then crossed my fingers and put them on my machine. It worked! I loved the result and finally knew I could look at my ever-growning pile of knitted UFOs (UnFinished Objects) without shame. Here are my tips and tricks for combining your sewn and knitting projects. 

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  • To sew your knitting to your sewing you need some give in the sewn object. This can come from cutting on the bias, gathers or sewing with knit fabric. Knitted projects have natural stretch so this needs to be matched in order to prevent distortion. Use the smallest zig zag stitch that will work with your project when sewing the knitted to the sewn. This will allow for the stretch and retain it. 
  • Use a larger seam allowance, nothing smaller than 1/2'' to make it easier to pin the two together and to allow for mistakes. The knitted project maybe bulkier than the sewn so room for error is important. 
  • If pinning doesn't work for you, try office clips like these
  • Consider your edges. When I decided to sew on a skirt to my bodice I finished the edge of the bodice with a picot edge and then sewed the skirt to the back of the bodice (right side of the skirt to the wrong side of the bodice) so the edge of the bodice layed on top of the skirt. It looked great and eliminated the bulk that would have occured had I sewn them right sides together. I also could have finished the top edge of the skirt and sewn it to the top of the bodice for a cool ruffle effect.  
  • When combining be practical. Don't try to only knit half a sweater, that just won't look good. But you can just knit the front of a pillow or just the edging for a blanket. Plan before you start. How much knitting will achieve the look you are after. What kind of fabric will work for your project. With a little extra planning you could have something extraoridinary.
  • Experiment. Try knitting just the sleeves of the sweater and pair it with a t-shirt pattern. Consider which part of a given project could be swapped out for sewing and vice versa. I love knitted pillow ruffles, lace inserts in blouses and a knitted i-cord as piping for any sewn project. 

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This page contains a single entry by Tara Miller published on June 26, 2013 11:10 AM.

On Trend: Patterned Leggings was the previous entry in this blog.

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