Monday, May 18, 2015

Striped Knit Scout Tee

As I've mentioned at least a dozen times before, I've been terribly afraid of sewing with knits. I don't own a serger and I don't plan on purchasing one anytime soon, so it was up to my standard sewing machine to get the job done. This meant researching various knit tricks and practicing every single one multiple times before starting on my actual garment.

For the seams I debated between using a regular straight stitch or a zig-zag stitch. I ended up going with the straight stitch for all of the seams and the neck binding because zig-zagging made the fabric way too wavy, even when I adjusted the tension and used a jersey fabric needle. For my first attempt at finishing the sleeve hems, I folded the edge of the fabric twice and then used a straight stitch to secure it. While I didn't have any issues with it being too wavy, this method was way too bulky and just didn't look right. Instead of seam ripping the hems, I simply cut the binding completely off since the sleeves had plenty of length to them.
After abandoning the original sleeve hems, I realized that I needed to go back to my scrap fabric and practice different hemming techniques. I thought using a twin needle would be the best option, but I was definitely wrong. Because my machine wasn't built to hold two spools of thread at one time, the tension was messed up and I always ended up with huge knots of thread. Using a straight stitch for hemming created way too many ripples. So, as a last resort I switched to the zig-zag stitched expecting to be disappointed again. However, zig-zagging the hems followed by ironing them worked perfectly. I did this for both the body and sleeve hems, and will probably stick to this technique in the future. The sleeve hems are still a tiny bit wavy which I'm content with for it being my first time sewing with knits, but I'll try sewing on top of tissue paper next time to see if that helps.

For the neck binding, I used the same instructions that were given for the Linden pattern. This worked out really well. The only change I made was shortening the neck binding piece by about 1.5 inches since I was working with super stretchy fabric.

I'm not sure what happened while I was cutting out my pattern pieces, but the back bodice piece ended up being a lot shorter than the front when sewn together. I should've waited till the very end to trim the front piece because I haphazardly cut too much fabric off. Luckily I have a short torso so this wasn't a huge setback. It's a little shorter in the front than I would've liked, but I doubt this will deter me from tossing on this top often.
For my first adventure in sewing with knits, I'm pretty stoked with what I was able to make. Thankfully I have plenty more knit fabric to practice with, and hope to have a bundle of ultra comfortable knit tops to wear daily. The Scout Tee ended up being a great pattern to sew with knits. It's a loose fitting top to begin with, add in knit fabric, and it becomes even more drape-y. For my next knit Scout I'll go a size down for a more fitted tee to see which version I like better.