Cindy asked for good reading material on sewing with knits. These are a couple of articles that have helped me:
"Taming Jersey Knits" June/July 2007 Threads (#131)
This article was extremely enlightening for me; I mentioned a few of the article's points when I was working on the Cosmopolitan dress.
"Expert Techniques for Finishing Stretch Knits" Aug/Sept 2006 Threads (#126)
This article shows how to finish necklines and armholes with a strip of binding, just as Cidell did on her Cosmopolitan dress.
If anyone out there can't get a hold of these magazines and would like a photocopy of the whole articles, let me know.
Dawn of the Secret Pocket has provided helpful tips on working with knits.
I've never read this but Taunton has a book called Easy Guide to Sewing Tops & T-Shirts. It looks like it's got a decent amount of info about knits, and Taunton books are always great. (Okay, I'm adding that to my Amazon wishlist now!)
Here are a few tips on sewing with knits from me. Remember that I am no expert; this is just how I do things and I am still learning!
Seams: If you are using a regular sewing machine and not a serger (like me, I don't have a serger), sew the seams with a very narrow zig-zag stitch. Alternatively, I have read you can sew with a straight stitch and stretch the fabric as you sew it (although I've never tried this). This will allow the seam to stretch later without the thread breaking. My SM has a "stretch stitch" but I don't really use it because it's much slower to sew than the zig-zag, and it's a major PITA to rip out because the stitch is so dense. However, if I knew a seam would be under a lot of repeated stress, like an activewear garment, I would use the stretch stitch because it is certainly stronger than the zig-zag or straight stitch.
Sleeves: Set sleeves in flat instead of in the round. Dawn gives a good illustration of the two in her post on set-in sleeves.
Shoulder seams: When you wear the garment, or if you hang it on a hanger, the shoulder seam will be under a lot of stress, so use a strip of stay tape (sew in or fusible) in each shoulder seam to prevent them from stretching out.
Does anybody else have pointers or resources they'd like to share?
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