CUT/SEW 020 Hood + Tunic WIP - Sewing & Working With Knits
Time to cutting the actual fabric and putting it together! Actually I lied - before we get to that I'm gonna talk about working with knits since it can be...pretty frustrating, to say the least.
Lately, my costumes have either been bodysuits or consisted mostly of stretch fabrics so I already had a lot of these tools. To make your life a lot less frustrating when working with knits, I'd recommend getting ball point pins and tear away stabilizer if you haven't worked with knits before - the latter makes the knit more cooperative and less slippery when working with it. I personally didn't use stabilizer since I'm more or less use to working with stretchy fabric. Sewing really slowly also helps, like a lot. SEW SLOW, KIDS. Ball point pins aren't necessary but I did find it made working with knits a little easier. What you absolutely do need, though, are really sharp shears and a ball point needle for your machine.
Aaaaand now we get to cutting and sewing! The instructions provided by CUT/SEW are pretty self explanatory but here's how I went about doing it. You can save a lot of time by using pattern weights instead of pinning the pattern pieces to the fabric but I found with knits it can be really difficult to carefully cut around the fabric when it's not pinned down.
I like to keep the pattern piece pinned to the fabric until I need to sew it to another piece - this way it's easier for me to remember what piece goes with what when I have to stop working on a project and come back to it later. It's especially useful when a lot of pattern pieces look similar, which is the case with the modifications I made to this pattern with the panels.
I forgot to take photos of this step (whoops again 😅) but pin the rights sides of the mesh and knit together - remember to use the notch markings you made when modifying the pattern and line them up when pinning. Working with mesh can also be tricky and probably more annoying than working with knits so I like to pin more closely and generously than I normally do. Also work really REALLY REALLY slowly when sewing mesh to keep it from bunching up or slipping away. Here's where stabilizer can come in handy.
As for sewing knit to knit - it's basically the same as sewing knit to mesh. Work very slowly and/or use a stabilizer when sewing. Did I mention to work slowly? SERIOUSLY. SEW SLOWLY.
Another thing that some people swear by is using a walking foot when sewing knits but I've never really felt the need to use one but you could try that too!
The instructions for TUNIC + HOOD call for pinking shears for finishing the raw edges. I personally like to use the overlock stitch I have on my machine for finishing edges. But, here's what the edges should look like when using pinking shears to finish them.
Back to working with the mesh - once you're done sewing the panel you'll notice it looks kind of ugly with the mesh peeking out. To fix this, I first finished the knit to mesh edges using the stretch overlock stitch on my machine. You can also use a zigzag stitch to finish the edges if your machine doesn't have an overlock stitch. I then pinned the finished edges away from mesh and towards the knit and sewed them down. You can watch a video of how an overlock stitch works on my machine over here!
That's all for now - next time I'll talk about using the iron-on applique and continue sewing the rest of the tunic!
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