Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sewing with Knits

Black Yoga Skirt

I have been wanting both to sew more clothes and to try to learn how to sew with knits, so I jumped right in and sewed up some jersey knit clothes!  First I made the black yoga skirt above, to replace one that I had given to a friend to wear for maternity purposes, and then I made the peasant-style dress below.  The yoga skirt was based off of one I owned (I wear these all the time in the summer, so I have them in several colors), and I made it first to get my feet wet with this whole sewing with knits things.  As you can see above I did get a bit of puckering at the seam but it generally looks fine, fits and is super comfy, so I am very happy with it!

Blue Peasant Dress

The dress is inspired by a similar tee/tank top that I got recently at Ann Taylor Loft and just loved.  Looking it over I had one of those "I could make this" moments, and so I used the shirt and a knit dress together as a basis for figuring out how to cut the fabric.  The shirt didn't have a waist but I thought it would be nice to add one to the dress to give it a bit more structure - although I think it would look cute without one, too.  The ruffles at the neck and arms are totally easier to make than they look.

Blue Peasant Dress Bodice

I found that sewing with knits was tricky in some ways (like that hem puckering issue) but really easy in others (like fit is super forgiving).  I have a few ideas of how I would improve this dress design next time and I am hoping to make another one with a tutorial sometime in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!  Overall I love how this dress turned out - it really is my style and can easily be dressed up or dressed down.  I think I will get a lot of use out of it this summer!

Now that I have started learning to sew with knits I am seeing folks wearing cute knit tops and dresses everywhere and feeling so inspired so hopefully there will be more other knit projects coming up too.  I will share any tips and tricks that I figure out as I go - if you have sewed with knits before what tips do you have to share?


  1. Very cute dress!

    I used tissue paper to act as stabilizer with my knit dress to eliminate puckering. But I didn't hem it at all. (Came out a touch shorter than I intended, and I didn't want to fiddle with the hem. If I had a serger, I would have just serged it lickity split.) The right needle was also very helpful.

  2. Wow, you're brave! Everything I have tried with knits so far has been refashion projects and they've all be tricky, with mixed results. Your dress looks really nice and perfect for summer.

  3. The skirt looks great and I love the dress! You're inspiring me, maybe I should take the plunge with knits... Almost everything I wear is knits and there are such cute jerseys in fabric stores now, but eek, I am nervous that I'll just create an irreparable mess. Maybe I'll start with a t-shirt refashion... Great job and yay for adding some handmade to your wardrobe!

  4. I really want to start sewing some clothes, and this inspires me even more.

  5. Hi Kate! I'm so behind on my blog reading from all of our traveling I'm just now catching up! I love the skirt and the dress-- I've been wanting to try making some clothes at some point, and I'm all about things being super comfy, and these look perfect! Did you sew them on your regular machine? Was it able to handle knit fabrics ok? I am so used to non-stretchy cotton I'm not sure how I'd handle the stretch! Hope you're doing well :)

  6. Love these! Gonna hive them a try. Really curious how you did the top of the dress?
    Two tips for hemming knit. Use your longest stitch length when using a straight stitch. It helps avoid the picker.
    Also if you like the length but want a finished look with some feminine flow..use a close zigzag stitch at the edge of the fabric.

  7. Oops. I seriously need to do more spell checking when using my phone. lol
    I would love to see how you did the top of this dress. Please email me. :o)


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