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Sewing Knits

If there is one thing that I could wear every day, it's a knit skirt.  In fact, chances are that most days I am wearing a knit skirt.  Yet outside of one of my first sewing projects which involved successfully sewing knits, I haven't had much luck with this ubiquitous, stretchy fabric.  I've attempted it several times.  Oh trust me, I have.   But each time has turned into one big frustrating disaster.  I decided that knits were not for me.

Then I got pregnant.  My burgeoning belly has long outgrown my previous skirts.  When it came time to look for new ones, I was shocked by the cost of maternity clothes.  A trip through the non maternity section proved fruitless as well.  So I decided to take matters into my own hands and give knits another try.

I started with a high quality knit fabric (though still about half the cost of what I was finding in the store).   I read this tutorial on sewing knits.  Then I followed about half of it. When I made my first knit skirt, I did everything wrong.  I used a straight stitch on the whole thing.  I used a universal needle instead a ball point.  I didn't finish any of the seams.   It's held up through two years of weekly wear.  Beginner's luck?  Maybe.   But I didn't want to deviate too much from what worked.  This time I did use a ball point needle.  I also used a pinking shears on the seams and a zigzag stitch around the waist seam only. I pre-shrunk the fabric, as I always do.  But I kept it simple.  It worked.

I didn't use a pattern, instead I traced a favorite skirt adding a half inch for the seam allowance and a couple of extra inches around the waistline.  I made a wide waistband, imitating my other knit skirts.  Because of the stretchiness of the fabric, no elastic or zipper is needed.  It took some time and patience to get the fit exactly right, but the sewing part was a breeze.  I think the secret is in finding fabric that is stretchy, but not too stretchy.  

It's not fancy, but it's exactly what I needed.

And I might have even overcome my fear of sewing knits along the way.


  1. for what it's worth - i do not know how to sew - so i am envious of those of you who do! but, i do know how to find a bargain! and, being pregnant this time around and not having summer maternity clothes and having three kids to take with me while i try to shop for maternity clothes meant i was getting nowhere. i ended up finding my best success at thrift shops like salvation army! and, almost all of the stuff is non-maternity, but comfy skirts and longer shirts with a few random maternity pieces thrown into the mix. in the event you need a bargain and have no chance to sew anything new, check it out! :)

  2. YES! shannon, my #1 problem is that i just don't have the time or inclination to spend much time shopping. there's so much i'd rather do with my free time than shop and shopping with three kids ages 2, 4, and 6? a total nightmare!

    i've had better luck finding non maternity skirts than shirts. my belly is just too big now that what fits me in the belly doesn't fit in the shoulders (in non maternity). :/

    thanks for the tip! i appreciate it!


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