Sewing curves on knits

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Sewing curves on knits

New postby Mule on Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:27 pm

I started making Vogue 8771 today out of a super soft cotton jersey. Now this is a very easy pattern, but of course the jersey wants to curl up and roll all over the place! I decided a binding on the neck would look better than just turning it under, and that was all kinds of fun.....

Anyway, now that the binding is out of the way, I'm sewing in the sleeves and they're a bit of a pain. Besides the curling jersey that makes it difficult to get an even seam allowance, this sleeve style has very pronounced curves.

Image

They way they go together reminds me of princess seams. But if I were doing a princess seam (in a woven), I would clip the curved part of the front piece to the stay-stitching, and the pieces would go together easily. Would this work in a knit? The pattern just tells you to stitch the seam. But then again, it tells you to stitch it twice, because it doesn't even acknowledge that you might be using a serger...... I hate when patterns only give you the conventional machine option for knits, and I hate when they try so hard to be "simple" that they leave out necessary information! Anyway, would you clip the curved part a bit to make it fit easily, or just try to stretch it into place?
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Re: Sewing curves on knits

New postby DorothyL on Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:48 am

With a knit I think I'd try to stretch it. First I'd sew it with a little zigzag then, to keep it from sagging later, I might put invisible elastic on when I serged it. I'm not saying that is the best way -- but that is probably what I'd do.

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Re: Sewing curves on knits

New postby lendube on Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:30 am

I would use my "safety stitch" on the serger which serges and sews the seam. I would go very slowly. If you have no "safety stitch" serge first and then slowly stitch easing as you go. Serging first should keep the curling to a minimum. Same as Dorothy; it may not be right but that's how I'd do it. I like the pattern. I notice you like Vogue. I've tried a few, not many, but apparently I'm too curvy for their designers. :roll: Vogue woks great for my dd who luckily inherited her dad's shape, taller and slim with long shapely legs. Lucky girl.
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Re: Sewing curves on knits

New postby Mule on Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:13 am

I do like Vogue -- but I like some SImplicity and McCalls too. I haven't found too many Butterick patterns I like -- in fact, the jacket I made and decided I didn't care for was Butterick. And I'm definitely NOT curvy! My brother once said I was built like an Asian boy :lol: Not sure why Asian, except maybe because they're a little smaller overall....

My question isn't so much the actual stitching -- after I baste it together on my regular machine I shouldn't have any problem serging. And I can use a little glue stick to control the rolling edges where needed. I'm more concerned about matching the two curved pieces together and up with a nice smooth line. Like I said, with a woven fabric there would be no option besides clipping/notching to make them match. Is that ever done with knits, or do you just try to stretch them into place?
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Re: Sewing curves on knits

New postby kaitlinnegan on Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:28 am

Vogue has horrible instructions for knits! Very good knit patterns, but every one I've seen (besides maybe some Sandra Betzina ones) call for double straight stitching the seams on knits -- that sounds like a recipe for a headache.

I would stretch the knit every so slightly -- too much, and it will bulge and look funky. My preference would be to stretch rather than clip, but if you find clipping works well for you, I say go for it. I would be a little concerned about the clipped area rolling even worse, and perhaps running at the clip points if your knit tends to run, so I would test on a swatch first. You can trim your seam allowance as well, that might help with matching up the curve.
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Re: Sewing curves on knits

New postby Mule on Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:05 pm

It's funny how much easier things are early in the day! :lol: I just sat down to sew again, and first thing that occurred to me is that the edges should be rolling the same direction, but they weren't. I looked a little closer and noticed I had a right side and a wrong side together, because my knit looks identical on both sides (but I put a little sticker on the wrong side). Funny, because I specifically took care to make sure I matched right sides together last night -- but it was quite late!

However, this wasn't the problem as I had put it on the other side so all notches etc. were still matched up. But still, everything was so much easier this morning! I decided to baste the middle part together first as it goes together with no problems, and then I wouldn't have to deal with the whole giant seam full of pins and slipping edges. Once I did that, it was much easier to finesse the end pieces into place. SO much easier..... I wonder why I even bother to sew at night, except sometimes that's the only time I have. :|
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Re: Sewing curves on knits

New postby MartySews2 on Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:07 pm

It's weird, Beth, but I wrote you an answer 2 hours ago & somehow lost it. I would serge the curves slowly using clear elastic to stabilize the armholes so that they don't stretch out of shape. Lovely top. I love Vogue & Butterick & Simplicity. McCall's is my least favorite but I do enjoy Kwik Sew patterns. Most of them have serger instructions whether they are a woven or knit.
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Re: Sewing curves on knits

New postby sewingmom on Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:19 pm

Beth yhe only thing I have to add is use lots of spray starch on your fabric before cutting , if it has curling edges.I think the curl is always to the wrong side. Is that correct Ladies?? Since it is already cut , starch and press before stitching. The other thing I would do is use lots of pins to hold the pieces together for stitching. Stitch slowly so you are better able to maintain an even seanallowance in the cure.

I'd also probably stitch with a narrow zigzag stitch on my sewing machine . I'd coverlock my hems and neckline. No real need to serg except fo neatness.
I likie that pattern. I wonder if it would make a short chubby girl like me look chubbier???
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Re: Sewing curves on knits

New postby Mule on Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:25 pm

I used spray starch on the neckline with limited success. To do the binding I had to pull out the spray adhesive! I cut the binding wider than I needed, sprayed it, and folded in half. Then I trimmed it down to the correct width and had a nice straight edge. :) Of course, since I didn't want to cut the binding too short it started out too long. So both times when I went to shorten it, I had to pry it apart in the area near the seam. But, it was well worth it as it was almost impossible to put on evenly without it.

I didn't really need spray starch on the sleeves. My issue with them was mostly joining the two different shaped pieces smoothly. But thanks for all the suggestions!

Now that all the people that have stopped by today are gone, I'm going to go finish it!
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Re: Sewing curves on knits

New postby MartySews2 on Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:48 pm

I use Wonder Tape to hold my neck binding or hem in place when using a coverhem. It is wonderful as it does wash out & is repositionable. Saves a major headache.
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