Before we get started, readers, I must share this latest entry in the "Who Wore It Best?" muslin competition. Michael was insistent he get a shot, and since his mom was visiting yesterday afternoon... Aren't they adorable?
The competition's stiff, however. This may require a celebrity panel.
Moving right along, friends, one thing I very rarely sew with is knits. I wear knit t-shirts and tank tops and even knit boxer briefs all the time, but making them myself doesn't excite me. I buy most of my t-shirts at Goodwill for a couple of bucks and it doesn't seem worth the trouble to make them myself.
I've made a few knit shirts, and if you include polyfleece which, after all, is a knit, I do have some experience, but knits can be persnickety.
Anyway, I was in the Garment District on Monday and I picked up this striped knit at Chic Fabrics (225 West 39th St.). I also have this thin solid blue knit in my stash waiting to be used.
I decided it's time to get over my knit issues. I have many sewing books that address knits, particularly how to do the neckline in a professional way, including Couture Sewing Techniques and Serger Secrets. Of course, there are many online tutorials too but I never know which one will yield the best results.
The big question always seems to be whether you attach the neckband with the neck open (i.e. with just one shoulder seam stitched) or with the neck closed (with both shoulder seams stitched and the band closed into a pre-measured ring). While it's no doubt easier to add the neckband with the neckline open, this method doesn't stretch the neckband taut while it's being attached, which can result in a neckband that's a bit loose and/or doesn't sit flat. Or am I missing something?
Yesterday I cut up an old t-shirt and experimented. One method has you make the "v" in the neckband before attaching the band, another has you apply the band flat and then stitch the "v" afterward. I experimented with the latter method. What method do you generally use?
I made the band by cutting a strip of cotton from the shirt itself (width-wise, where it's stretchiest), folding it in half, and serging the raw edge. I added a second needle to my serger so I can use it for all my seams. Very strong.
Anyway, readers, this is my project for today.
Do you enjoy sewing with knits? Do you generally stitch your seams with a sewing machine first and then serge, or do you go directly to the serger?
Re the t-shirt, would you stabilize the entire neckline with knit interfacing first (this is suggested in Couture Sewing Techniques) or just staystitch the "v"?
I'm a native New Yorker and self-taught sewing fanatic! I've been sewing obsessively since 2009 and today make all my own clothes using mostly vintage patterns and vintage sewing machines. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!