I finished making a top for myself which has been a long, drawn-out process. I bought the material about 3 years ago because it caught my eye.
Am I happy with it? Not entirely.
Will I wear it? Definitely.
What is there not to like? It is a bit on the short side but still wearable. The style is too boxy so I would not make it again. I would prefer something with more shaping through the body of the garment. However, the fabric I used is a knit but does not have a lot of stretch so probably would not work in a more fitted style.
I am happy with the final finish on the v-neck which was my own creation. I did have 3 attempts before I was satisfied.
I have been making clothes for the best part of 50 years but I still struggle with sewing knit fabrics, in particular, getting a professional-looking finish on necklines and hemlines. I have never owned an overlocker and continue to vacillate about the value of them. Would it make a real difference to sewing knit fabrics?
Since the spotted fabric did not have a lot of stretch, I managed a hem that looked acceptable. I then turned my attention to a plain navy top which I bought in Canada. It ticked almost all of the boxes – navy, v-neck, fitted style – the only thing wrong is that it was too long on me. It was quite a bargain so I decided to buy it despite the length as I felt that I would be able to shorten it.
I did the alteration but due to the fact that the fabric has some elastane in it and consequently more stretch, the finish is less than perfect. Once it was pressed it is OK and I will wear it but I still feel a degree of disappointment in the result.
I really want to be able to make my own v-neck and scooped neck fitted knit tops in a range of sleeve lengths from sleeveless and short sleeved to 3/4 sleeve and long sleeved versions that are the correct length in the body for me. This would allow me to choose colours and designs that I like and not be limited to the range which some fashion buyer has deemed will be available this year.
Would an overlocker help, do you think? All comments gratefully accepted.
Meanwhile, I will go back to sewing garments from several pieces of woven fabric which are awaiting my attention.
You could try twin needling your hems Yvonne. A good blog is Thornberry. She makes a lot of knit clothing and is very good with her instructions. I enjoy my overlocker but I’m not sure it is essential. You may be able to pick up a not very used one if you ask around. I did a two day get to know your machine which was worthwhile.
Thanks, Barb. I will definitely take a look at the blog.
hi mum! I haven’t been sewing anywhere near as long as you (naturally), but I jumped straight into sewing knits – twin needling is definitely one way to mock the overlocked/coverstitch finish. The other thing I like to do with hem and sleeve finishes is to stabilise them somehow so they don’t stretch out (the feed dog pulls the bottom layer of fabric and you end up with that horrid wavy finish). I’ve used a layer of tissue or tracing paper between my fabric and the stitch plate, although it can be a bit of a drag to pick out.
The other thing to try, and I think Lara (Thornberry) does this too, is to use a hem tape like Vliesofix to stabilise the hem before stitching. You can buy it online from knitwit here: http://knitwit.com.au/shop/vliesofix-bondaweb-tape/
I’ve actually been sewing on stretch fabrics almost as long as I’ve been sewing at all–when I took home ec in middle school, everyone had to make T-shirts. I don’t have much to add to the other comments, except to say that an overlocker definitely isn’t essential (no home sewer had them back then), though of course it can be a boon. And check your tension–both top and bottom– when you’re sewing on finer stretchy fabrics. Too much pull results in misshapen seams.