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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Friday, November 10, 2017

Sewing and hemming knits Exhbit H

Well folks it appears this is my final hemming knits series posts.

I have to say I have really enjoyed doing these.

I sew all the time and sew more than I can sometimes get organized to post. Yes I know item by item pictures is how sewing bogs work, but I too often go onto making the next thing before I get proper shots taken.

Writing is not hard but having someone home to take pictures, without their thumb over the lens, can be hard. My husband has been working late this last few weeks and that's why I put these recent sews on my dress form who definitely is going to get signed up for Weight Watchers real soon.

I know pictures on me are what I should do but would you rather see a garment on a dress form than not at all?

Anyway back to knits.

Exhibit H.1

An another project I made last week was in this angora like knit and the fabulous Jalie Marie-Claude pullover pattern. I like this pattern because it skims not clings the body, and is not too loose to be sloppy. The drafting of the turtle neck is brilliant, soft at the front but with a centre piece at the back neck that means the back of the neck is smooth and close to the neck - so much more sophisticated a draft that the usual turtle neck tube:

Because this sweater knit had far more body than say the green I used in the last twin set,  I used the wider cover  hem for this project. I think you can see below here how nice that looks, again to scale, and how much nicer the wider rows of stitching look than if I had used say the narrower cover hem:

The next, and final project, I have to show is a knit version I did of Stylearc's famous Adeline dress. This project was totally inspired by the cool fabric, a sort of a double knit with the stripes in opposite colours on each side. I used my own technique for a knit V neck on this one, here's the post on how to do it,

Again because this was a beefy knit, I used a wide cover hem for the bottom of the dress, but on the patch pockets, and because I liked the wrong side of the fabric so much, I just folded the hem to the right side and working from the wrong side of the pocket and with some jeans top stitching thread in the looper (I have tons of that thread once having had a finger slip on an online order and ordering 14 not 4 spools of the stuff) finished the raw edge of the pocket hem on the right side that way.

The cool thing about the loopers, and this is true of serger loopers too, is that the eye of the looper is so much larger than the eye of a needle and so you can easily use thicker thread there:

And here is the hem cover hemmed from the right and the wrong side:

Well that's it, a pause maybe more than a conclusion, on the subject of hemming knits.

I don't know about you but this topic focused way of sharing garments has worked for me this week. There is a good chance that I will be doing more with this in the future.

In the meantime what do you have to share now?


Aurelia said...

I've found this series really interesting! I appreciate the balanced approach you take to different sewing techniques. I'm not an fan of sewing knits since I don't have many tools to do it beside straight stitch (which as you've stated is less than optimal). I don't own a twin needle, none of my (3) sewing machines has a functional zig-zag, and my serger has a non-removable blade. So my technique of choice is hand-stitching! Which is how I will be finishing the armholes on a tank top I'm making. Very meditative, and I like the control I have over the knit and how much/in what direction it stretches.
I enjoyed this way of sharing your finished projects - informative and interesting :)

knitsync said...

This has been a great series thank you. I've leared a few new techniques and been reminded of some others. ....if you wanted to continue with your coverstitch series you could go on to cover reverse side decorative coverstitching. .. :)

Anonymous said...

Great soon as the 2 projects currently on the go are done I am tempted to dig out some knits and give it a try....always reluctant to try with knits, but I seem to have bought a fair number over the years.....


MaryEllen said...

I’ve loved this series !! Thanks for all your hard work in preparing these

Kansas Sky said...

How nice it was to find a fresh post from you every day! And on knits! It appears to us readers that you have a gift for teaching and we benefit enormously. I'm going to try the coverstitch with contrasting thread that you used on that patch pocket. THANK YOU for the time you took and the wisdom you so generously shared!

sdBev said...

Had to pon your pocket finish. It’s really kewl. I sympathize with your lament on the photos. I bought the Alexa Look to solve my own pic issues.

Laceflower said...

I'm making the Sewing Workshop Chateau Coat
out of black fleece left over from a jacket I made DH, this is all raw edge with lapped seams. I also will be making the Adeline dress out of camel fleece altering the neck to a funnel for winter wear; thank you Barb for the sales pitch on that pattern.
Thanks for this series that reminded me to pause and figure out the best application for the situation instead of diving in with the twin needle or zig zag.

SuzieB said...

Have enjoyed your series on hemming knits & immediately ordered a catalog for the wooly nylon thread. Love the black striped knit dress! Hope you will model that one and post a pic, please. That's my kinda dress.

Starch is my usual go-to when machine hemming a turn-under-and-stitch hem in knits & I have had good luck using twin needles. Strangely, in my old age, I've come to enjoy hand-basting. I do lots of alterations and re-makes to thrifted clothes, and basting gives me better control than pinning. Also I just like the feel of the fabric in my hands.

bbarna said...

Thanks for taking the time to post all the interesting and wonderful hem finishes. I have returned to clothing sewing after a long break doing quilting. I love knits and do lots for myself and the grandkids. I see you have joined one of the same FB groups as I belong to. Great for finding new patterns, ideas, and best of all Canadian fabric sellers for knits.
Barb from Prince George.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this series on hemming knits! You're a great teacher--entertaining as well as educational. I'm inspired to try some reverse cover hemming the next time I hem a T-shirt. Your pockets are cute and add just a little extra color to the dress. About the photos, I'd rather see a photo on the dress form than no photo at all, but I always like seeing pictures of you wearing the clothes.

Anonymous said...

Again thank you, Barb, for your time and your generosity in putting together these posts.

I am intrigued by your description of the turtle neck on the Jalie pattern. It will pick it up soon.
I can attest to your excellent version of the v neck. i still have your notes on that technique from classes you taught pre internet days.
Some time I would like you to whisper into my ear your best Canadian source for online knits.
I've been thinking about heavier threads in loopers. Your pocket trim is brilliant!
So much food for thought in all your posts on hemming.

Noelle said...

What a great series! I love your dress with the contrast stitching, and thanks for the v-neckline link. Makes so much more sense than the pivot-and-hope-for-the-best method. Can't wait to try it.

Meg Hamel said...

Also worth considering:

Walking foot — helps reduce waviness by moving the fabric through.

Blind hem — on either a conventional machine or a serger. Takes tiny stitches spaced apart, so fabric doesn't get stretched out. Finishes the raw edge. Almost invisible on textured and thick knits.

Anonymous said...

You did again. Thank you for being a great teacher. I recently learned a new technique to bind a v neck. Cut and sew a V on both ends of the binding. I favor your way on the edge of the v interfacing? I think...
I am sure you are familiar with different methods. I need all the help. I did a similar neck binding you so kindly posted... it was ok, not a total disaster. Let me say this, its not a shirt i will wear in public. Now, i know better.

Thanks again for sharing.

Josie in SoCal

Kathleen Meadows said...

I'm a huge fan of the Marie-Claude pattern as well - I made up 2 in a silk knit for undershirts and 2 to wear under hoodies and I've ended up wearing the 2 I made to wear under hoodies around the house with leggings. I LOVE this pattern! I really like your leopard print knit - I don't usually go for animal prints but yours is gorgeous - so cozy! For hemming knits I always use SewKeys double sided tape. Works like a charm :)