An Introduction to Sewing Sweater Knits

sewing sweater knits

Ah, sweater knits! These highly textural, stretch fabrics can be cozy, lacy, casual, or sophisticated. With a good sweater knit and a little practice, you can cut and sew a sweater in a day or less, even if you can’t knit or crochet. Yes, they’re enabling. And they’re beautiful. If I sound a little biased, well… full disclosure, I’m a designer of sweater knits and I love what I do! What exactly is a sweater knit? All knits are fabrics that are made by interlooping of threads or yarn; that is, by pulling one loop of yarn through a previously made loop of yarn, row after row and column after column, depending on the type of knit. A sweater knit is made with a heavier yarn and bigger stitches than what you find in a standard t-shirt fabric. You’ll know … Continue reading

Is there an easy way to unpick knit fabrics?

unpick knits

Arghhh.  I’m not the biggest fan of seam ripping anyway, but knit fabrics drive me crazy sometimes. Because of the way I sew, with designing my own patterns and projects, I usually end up with “un-sewing” a lot of my seams as I make changes to designs as I work.  That’s all well and good in cottons and other woven fabrics, but when it comes to knits I find that unpicking them is a whole new adventure. If you recall, for cottons and other wovens, we recently published an article about using an electric seam ripper.  If you missed it, you can read all about it in our post entitled:  Have you tried an electric seam ripper?  More on that later though. Now back to knits.  For a start, we might use different stitches in knits. Not always of course, but perhaps … Continue reading

Warm days and cool nights, a flared t-shirt for many seasons.

Flared t-shirt

Spring is the time to dress comfortably and in layers.  A flared t-shirt is the one of those pieces of clothing we can just throw on with a pair of jeans, leggings, capri pants or if the top is long enough, it can also be a short mod-style dress.  Perfect for a quick run to the supermarket or picking up the kids!  This is an incredibly easy pattern and I have added two sleeves lengths to give you some flexibility.  If you want to, you can even eliminate the sleeves entirely and it becomes yet another top. I am using a fabric from my stash, because I am determined to reduce the amount of fabric in my sewing room.  I realize it is spring after all and that you would want to see some flowers.  I am not a flowery … Continue reading

Pinterest feature – Working with knits

Collection of pins all on the subject of Working with Knits - follow this Pinterest board for all the best tips on working with stretch fabrics

It’s been a while since I did a feature about sewing pins on Pinterest. Check out this earlier article about binding and bias tape pins and one of my favorite boards that I refer to often for tips and reminders: Pinterest – bias and binding pins If you aren’t yet a follower on the So Sew Easy Pinterest boards do come and join us. It’s not just me, I have a whole team of the best sewing bloggers helping to find great content and keep those boards up to date with all the latest free sewing patterns and best sewing tutorials. Today I’m focusing on Working with Knits. My board has 44 pins at the time of writing this, although I’m finding new resources and adding them all the time.  I find Pinterest really useful because: its a visual way to … Continue reading

The Graffiti dress – free pattern

Free sewing pattern for this easy summer dress. Love the circle skirt and the v-neckline at the back.

Another free pattern for you today. Another quick and simple to sew dress pattern that looks good on lots of different body shapes. I know many of you will be feeling the chill as you are approaching winter, but that also means many are feeling things warming up and summer approaches for the other half of the world. Here in Cayman it’s always summer so a sassy dress to show off my tan is appropriate every month of the year. Features of the Graffiti dress: Sleeveless with narrow shoulders to show off your tan Slightly cut in arm holes front and back Scoop neckline at the front and interesting V in the back Option for a contrast waist band Full circle skirt with ‘choose your own length’ pattern Full video tutorial including fitting tips Available to fit bust 29-41 inches and … Continue reading

Brief Encounter Dress – Free easy dress pattern

Free dress pattern. Modest knit dress with sleeves and circle skirt. Full video tutorial to show you how to make it too. Perfect for work?

I’m delighted to offer you another free and easy dress pattern this month.  With the summer here, I’ve been really enjoying wearing some cute dresses both during the day and in the evening.  All too soon the temperature will drop below 80 as winter approaches and I’ll need my fleece and joggers (only kidding…) I like the combination in this dress of a fitted bodice and then a longer length circle skirt.  Of course you can make this up a lot of different ways too: Make it as shown Make it without sleeves Color block – with different but complimentary bodice and skirt fabrics With a short flirty skirt – skater style I’m trying to find a couple of knits that are opposites to each other, and if I’m lucky to find what I’m looking for, I’ll probably make at … Continue reading

Fit and Flare Dress – free pattern

Free pattern for this fit and flare dress with princess seams. Full video tutorial too - yup, this is perfect for me :-)

I have another free dress pattern for you this month.  I managed to pick up a couple of nice ponte knits in my local fabric store – shock – and wanted to use them right away so I drafted this simple fit and flare dress pattern. It’s got a scooped neck, short sleeves and design lines front and back for a negative ease fitting in the bust, close fit in the body and then softly flared out skirt from the hips down.  Those design lines front and back can really help you to get a nice fit. My first was in this plain blue ponte and you can see the design lines much better in this one.  For the second I used the tribal/striped print.  Although it has the same seams, they really disappear in the print and for once my … Continue reading

Learning to sew with knit fabrics – offer

Learn to sew with knit and stretch fabrics. Exclusive discounts off all the knits classes on Craftsy.

Did you take advantage of the Craftsy pattern drafting class offers?  I hope you got all the classes you were interested in and are starting to build up a great library of sewing resources. If you missed it, some of those classes are still on special, so its not too late to make some savings on the pattern drafting classes too. I love to bargain hard with suppliers to try to get you all discounts and specials or prizes for giveaways.  This month, I’ve been working on one of our favorite sewing sites, Craftsy and have come up with a very special exclusive deal I think you will LOVE. I asked the members of our sewing chat group to vote on what classes they were most interested in taking next and reported this list to the Craftsy team, to see what offers … Continue reading

The Perfect for Work Dress pattern – free

Just what I've been looking for. Free pattern for a work dress that looks smart but fun.

You might have noticed that I lost some weight this year.  35lbs !  Yay.  Gradually it had crept on over the last 3 years and now it’s gone again.  So to celebrate, I wanted to make something figure-hugging, a new dress I knew my husband would love.  Something for work and formal occasions, but which could also be a date-night dress too. The Perfect for Work Dress fits the bill perfectly and yes, hubby loves it!  When I modeled it the first time, he suggested we go out to dinner tonight and show it off – he’s a good guy!  It’s the sort of smart dress I used to wear when I had an office job – oh a gazillion years ago now. It’s easy to sew, comfy to wear.  You don’t have to make yours as figure-hugging as mine. … Continue reading

Sew a pretty summer sundress pattern

I love the fact this dress is reversible. The v back is so cool for summer, and would make a nice date night dress too. And the pattern is free - can't beat that!

Summer is here!  Time for more summer dresses and here is my Empire of the Sun-Dress.  It has a cross-over bodice front and back, and an elastic fitted empire-line waist, and a softly gathered skirt.  Pull it on and go – it’s actually reversible!  The front and the back are the same. The free clothing pattern for July comes to you a little early this month because I’m taking part in the 30 days of Sundresses series over at Melly Sews.  Melly is gathering up all of your favorite bloggers to share their summer sundress tutorials during June, and there’s a giveaway each week too.  Drop over to enter her giveaway here. If I can get the time, I’ll try to do a bonus extra pattern in July too – no promises! Features of the Empire of the Sun-Dress Cross-over … Continue reading

Moved to Tiers striped maxi skirt pattern

Free sewing pattern for this diagonal striped maxi skirt. Of course it doesn't have to be striped but it looks great either way!

In our sewing chat group, sometimes we chat about seeing clothes and thinking  “I could make that!”  I carry around a notebook and make a quick sketch – my book is nearly full.  Others sneak around the mall taking pictures of strangers in clothes they’d like to make for themselves!  (Mary, you know who I’m talking about!)  One skirt in particular was in my book and also featured on the chat group recently – a maxi skirt with stripes that go across the skirt in diagonals. This is just like the Moved to Tiers Tunic pattern I made a little while back, and I love this so much, a skirt in the same fashion is ideal. Obviously I’m not suggesting you wear them both together or you’ll look a little odd and give people a migraine. Features of the Moved … Continue reading