In the 4 short years that I’ve been sewing I’ve learned loads from my thrifted machine, and just like any other relationship I’ve gotten to know its likes and dislikes and have discovered the little tricks needed to encourage it to behave properly and do what I want. However I didn’t always have such a wonderful rapport with my machine. There once was a certain type of fabric that my retro beauty simply would not get along with and tore to bits whenever they were introduced: Knits
Through much trial and error (+ more than a few tantrums & tears) I finally discovered the simple solution to successfully stitching every type of knit fabric with my grumpy old machine! Take a peek at my Refashioning 101: Sewing Knits and see how it’s done!
To illustrate just how easy it is to sew knits with a regular machine I selected two completely different types to combine from my stash: the thick chopped body of a cable knit sweater & a light knit hoodie with sliced sleeves.
The fraying edges of the chopped sleeves of the hoodie were easily fixed with a tight zigzag stitch paired my fabulous rolled hem foot – that little attachment neatly hems up the edges of thin knit fabrics and prevents fraying, hooray!
If you gently stretch the knit fabric as you are stitching a rather fabulous wavy lettuce hem appears!
A quick, easy and oh-so-pretty result thanks to the rolled hem foot!
Attaching the two knits is a bit more challenging but is absolutely achievable with minimal frustration. I popped the bottom of the cable knit sweater over top of the hem of the thin knit hoodie with right sides facing and pinned the side seams together.
Selected a tight zigzag on my machine. (The miraculous zigzag stitch allows the knit to retain its stretch at the seam while at the same time magically helping to prevent fraying!)
And stitched them together.
Chopped off the bulky excess fabric.
Selected a wider zigzag…
and stitched over the raw edge as an extra precaution against fraying.
Then used the same wide zigzag to stitch directly over the outside seam for extra strength – this step is totally optional, I just really like strong seams.
The rolled hem foot sleeves are darling!
and my new knit dress looks fabulous styled with a belt, vintage bag and my refashioned cowboy boots!
Check out my entire Refashioning 101 series right here.