There haven’t been as many crafty projects on the blog lately. I’ve been busy doing the Sewing with Knits course, run by the lovely Deborah from Whipstitch. If you’ve been following me for a while, you may be wondering why I’m doing a course – I sew with knits all the time!
While I have sewn clothes for my kids out of knit, I’ve never been confident that I’m doing it right (since I’m mostly self-taught). I get frustrated that my son regularly breaks stitches in the knit clothes I’ve made, and then they don’t look as good as they could. I wanted to start from the basics and learn how to do things properly.
This course was just what I needed – forcing me to slow down and get things right with simple projects (rather than diving in headfirst into complicated projects). The projects were all useful though, so I didn’t feel like I was wasting my time.
I made a couple of headbands (for my daughter as my head is not designed for headbands!), a doll’s blanket, camisole top, T-shirt, skirt with a yoga waistband and lounge pants. Better yet, all the clothes were for me! The patterns were all included in the course.
I’ve read a lot of guides on how to sew knits, but this course helped me work out what works for me and my machine. After sewing a stitch sampler and the projects, I’ve found I don’t like sewing with a zig-zag stitch with knits. I don’t like the look of it and it doesn’t have enough stretch for the fabrics I was sewing with.
Funnily enough, I prefer the two stitches my sewing machine manual recommends for knit fabrics – the lightning stitch and the triple stretch stitch (this is incredibly slow since each stitch is sewn three times, but I love the look and it’s the only one I couldn’t get to break, no matter how hard I pulled my fabric!). The course also reiterated how important it is to do a test run for each new fabric – knit fabrics can behave so differently, so it’s best to experiment on scraps first!
For an online course, there was also a great sense of community – through comments on the lessons and two on-line chat sessions. Because everyone starts the course and works through the projects at the same time (well, within everyone’s busy lives!), it’s more like an in-person class than say Craftsy, where you can start anytime. People also seem more willing to share their experiences and work together.
So I definitely recommend Whipstitch’s Sewing with Knits e-course (there aren’t any scheduled at the moment – maybe you should just try one of the other classes instead!).
Now I just have to find the right patterns (or draft my own) for all my dream knit clothes. What are your favourite knit patterns?