Steely Seamstress

Sewing for life



I fear I may be suffering from “Knitphobia” – the fearing of sewing with knits. I seem to be doing everything under the sun to put off sewing any garment using a knit fabric.

T-shirts on washing line

Since buying my overlocker I have been overlocking the raw edges on my seams with no problems, but I’ve really yet to sew anything in a knit fabric.

Why have I been holding off doing this? Well, I can think of lots of reasons:

  • I’m overwhelmed by the information and advice on the internet about sewing with knits

There are so many horror stories about hems that are wonky and necklines that look odd and for every horror story there is an equal amount of advice. Where do I start? I never seem to have this fear with woven fabrics, even if I’m picking something that is new to me; I think this may be because my trusty old Singer is a reliable constant in this and I have been sewing with it for many years. I know its strong points and its weaknesses. I’m still a novice with my overlocker and too many unknowns make a disaster.

  • I’m not an expert on buying knits

There is a limited choice in my local fabric shops, shops where I can go and “fondle” the fabric. I’m going to have to take pot luck and hope an online purchase choice will be pleasurably easy to sew. I know that it will be harder if the fabric doesn’t like staying flat, but rolls up at the edges, or is thin and flimsy. Is there anything else that I should avoid for a first attempt?

  • I might have to read the overlocker manual.

Yes, I know this is a daft one! I really can’t be bothered to read the manual. It is enough to send me to sleep and it isn’t easy to find the specific bit that explains how to change a needle or anything else I may need to do.

  • There is something else I need to sew

This is my current excuse. I have my Weaving Destination garment to sew at the moment for the fashion show. As it has to get to Edinburgh in time for the show, I need to prioritise this. Another excuse I keep giving myself is that I have lots of fabrics in my stash that I need to sew. Actually I don’t need to sew anything, this is just an excuse like all the rest!

  • I’ll tackle this when I have some quality sewing time

Well, that isn’t going to happen, and you know it! I work, I’m a Mum, I’m lucky if I get an hour without interruption to sew. Just on Monday I woke up earlier than usual and decided that I should get up, rather than lounge about in bed for an extra half hour. Next thing I know, I’m sewing a French seam and I’m going to make myself late for work. The same evening I’m sewing another seam at nearly midnight. Most of my sewing gets down either when I’m only half-awake in the morning or half-alseep before bed. Quality sewing time, don’t make me laugh!

  • I already have enough t-shirts

How long can I keep using this excuse? Yes, it is true I still have very serviceable t-shirts from my clothes-shopping days, but I’m now approaching the two-year stage in my fast and so possibly an extra t-shirt or two wouldn’t go amiss.

No fear overlockerSo any thoughts on how to get going on knit fabrics? How can I tempt myself to do this sewing? Is this knit-phobia?

Author: steelyseamstress

Sewing a new wardrobe

11 thoughts on “Knit-phobia

  1. Just do it!! I was scared at first too, now I sew with knit more than woven fabric.

  2. One of the great things about sewing with knits is that they’re much easier to fit. The fabric is more forgiving than a woven and will bend to accommodate the body in a way wovens just don’t. Any extra time spent on de-wonking a knitted hem will be made up in the fitting! I love sewing with knits for just this reason — ease of fitting.

  3. I also had a phobia of it after i messed up with my first try with a knit fabric. Turned out all I had to do was read my machine manual and follow the instruction on how to sew stretch fabrics. It’s all in the right needle and the right presser foot pressure. Just give it a try, it’s a lot easier than you think. 🙂

  4. You just need to have a go and you’ll never look back. I love reading all the blogs about sewing – soaking up all the tips and advice – but I also find that other sewers hang ups and fears become contagious!
    Buy a pattern that has bands for the bottom and sleeves which makes finishing off so much easier – the Renfrew from sewaholic is a great starter pattern. A recent make on my blog – the dimpsy t – I used lace to finish the hem and wonder web for the arms! Cheating but only me knows!
    Good luck! 😀

    • Think I agree with this. I keep on saying how trousers aren’t that difficult, but there is definitely a fear in the sewing community about them. I have some patterns for knits already, but I may indeed do a cheaty finish. Like the idea of using lace on the hem and you’re right no will know!

  5. You already have some good advice here…. so all I can say is “go for it”. Although I have a phobia about sewing pants (trousers)!

  6. Pingback: My First T-Shirt | Steely Seamstress

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