Knits are very on trend currently.  They are so popular one might say it’s a revolution of knits, they seem to be taking over the fashion industry.  I really don’t think anyone minds either.  They are comfortable, wear well, and require little maintenance.  As a Fashion and Psychology Major, I have this need, desire, drive to know all there is to know about fashion.  Textiles have always had me intrigued.  How can cotton and poly blend together and create so many different fabrics?  Why is double knit in 2015 completely different than the fabric of the same name in the 1970s?  Why do fabrics behave so differently?  The questions are endless.

I feel it’s the evolution of textiles.  Think about when all clothing was made of cotton.  I cannot imagine wearing clothing without at least a little stretch.  That sounds horrible to me. I remember fashions trends resulting in new social rules.  NO SHIRT NO SHOES NO SERVICE.  As a child of the 70s this was devastating.  I did not go topless, just to be clear haha.  I did not like and still do not like shoes though.

Knit is a good example of a fabric with a personality that has evolved over the years.  I started sewing my clothes in the 1980s.  Knit was one of my favorite fabrics.  I love the way it feels, or the hand of the fabric.  I never considered it as a difficult fabric to work with. But, as I got back into sewing earlier this year, the internet is FULL of techniques for sewing with knit. Threads Magazine defines slinky knit, jersey knit, and stretch velvet as moderately difficult to sew with.  Everything else is considered easy by this magazine.

When sewing, how do you choose which knit is the perfect match for your pattern?  On the back of the pattern there is usually an area that says, “must stretch from here to here”  To determine the amount of stretch use a single layer of the fabric on the crossgrain. I borrowed this info graphic from Threads Magazine to better explain the crossgrain of fabric.  Simply place the fabric on the measuring device printed on the pattern envelope.  Then pull to stretch the fabric comparing the stretch to the ruler. If it has enough stretch it is suitable for the pattern.  If not, keep looking until you find a material that is suitable. If you really love the fabric, then by all means adjust the pattern to work with the fabric. How to adjust the pattern will be discussed in another blog.

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