Last day we talked about the fabric choices that are available, and today we will talk about the other supplies you need to work with knits.
You will need:
1. A sewing machine that does a zigzag stitch.
2. A ball point needle.
Yes, that is it. I promise you! There are other supplies that make it easier, but this is the minimum. One of my friends sews amazing professional looking knit garments with just her sewing machine (here is a little shout out to her blog).
Now it is true that there are some things that will make your life easier.
1.Double sided fabric adhesive. Look for the kind that washes out. This notion is perfect for holding hems and bindings in place while you stitch. If you can’t find it, glue stick works in a pinch!
2. A walking foot. Some people use these for quilting. You can buy one that is made by your sewing machine manufacturer, but you can also find generic ones to fit almost any machine that are a fraction of the price. Sometimes, when you sew knits, the feed dogs stretch the bottom layer of fabric and it moves faster than the top layer, so you end up with ‘extra’ on the top when you get to the end of your seam. A walking foot helps feed both layers through evenly.
3. A serger. A bit more of an investment, but I would be lost without mine. I do 90% of my sewing on mine, and with knits, you can just serge, no need to stitch the seam first! A serged seam is durable, but allows for the fabric to stretch along the seam. I have a Brother 1034D, and have used and abused it for 4 years now and it is still going strong.
4. Rotary cutter, mat, and pattern weights. I find cutting knits can be difficult with regular scissors. If you lift the fabric as you cut it, it stretches and your pattern pieces will end up wonky. I cut all my knits flat on the mat with my rotary cutter. It does take some practice though, especially around tight curves, but it will also speed up your sewing quite a bit!
5. Twin needle. A twin needle gives the nice even row of double stitches that you see on ready to wear garments. Nearly every machine can use a double needle, just be sure you buy a ball point/stretch one for knits. It is particularly useful for hemming.
6. Coverstitch machine. Now this is for when you become knit crazy like I am. It is a seperate machine (although some high end sergers do have a coverstitch option) and all it does is hem and topstitch knits. The front has two (or three) lines of parallel stitching, and the back looks like a serger stitch. Nearly all ready to wear clothes are hemmed with a coverstitch. I have an Elna 444, which is identical to the Janome 1000 CPX.
Tomorrow, we will be assembling the pattern and cutting into our fabric; I can’t wait!