Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Basic Black

I had a lovely internet-free interlude (aka major outage) of several days, courtesy of my service provider. It seems to be connected at the moment, so I’ll jump on and post an update.

I used my time wisely, sewing like mad and using up almost every inch of black knit fabric in my stash.
Long-sleeve wrap top

from this McCall’s wardrobe pattern.

closeup of the side gathers
The fabric is super-soft and stretchy rayon lycra. I had enough of the same rayon to make some very nice yoga pants using some old well-worn favorites as a pattern.

Need I mention how difficult it is to photograph black? I purposely overexposed everything to show the detail but now it all looks either dusty or shiny.  


I think this one is my new favorite - in a stretchy ribbed rayon/poly/lycra:

I created dolman sleeves out of necessity, because I wanted longer sleeves but only had about ¾ yard – not enough to cut separate sleeves.
 
 
The neckline looked quite dull so I added the little roll collar from a scrap and now I love it! No pattern for this one, but I’ll have to make one since I want to make more like it.
 
Finally a cotton-lycra shell
 
from a fun old 70s pattern.
Why sew a top like this when you can buy one for $5 or $10? I probably wouldn’t if I didn’t already have all these pieces of knit fabric. The simple cap-sleeve tee is perfect for using up small pieces – 2/3 to 3/4 yard of 60” knit. (Also, since I buy most of my knits for $1.99 or $2.99/yard, I’m still beating the price of a shirt at most stores.)

 
Yes, I am still managing without a serger!  I’m definitely not an expert in sewing knits, but I’m slowly picking up a few tricks that work for me:

·       Most of the knits I’ve sewn so far have been fine with a straight stitch and a slight stretching of the fabric as I sew. I don’t really have to pull very much on the fabric, since the presser foot actually stretches it somewhat.

·       For the extremely stretchy fabrics, like 4-way stretch knits, I do use a zigzag stitch, set at the narrowest width I can get, which is between the 0 and the 1 on my width dial. This provides some give but looks like a straight stitch unless you inspect it closely.

·       I’ve had better luck with the hems when I fuse a strip of very lightweight knit interfacing to the folded-under part before stitching. That way it doesn’t stretch way out of shape while hemming, but the finished hem has some give during wear.

 

As much as I would love to move on to the grays in my neutral basics, I have a backlog of utility sewing and some gifts that must be finished, so those are next on the list.
 
Are you sewing and crafting for the holidays?
 

Katrina

2 comments:

  1. Missed you, thought perhaps you were away on another trip. Oh dear, internet withdrawal - painful. It would be for us, especially now the dark nights are here.

    Love all your black items. However much I admire bright colours I always end up in black myself. I like to think it's instantly stylish - your wrap top certainly hits high on the style counter.

    I've been doing some jewellery and knitting for xmas presents. Will post about them in time.

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  2. Yes I am, Katrina. A few felted wool i-pad covers, a tote bag for a daughter in college, a baby quilt for a 1 year old granddaughter, and a pillowbook. I should post about that pillow book when I finish - like after Christmas since it's a gift for a daughter who I think reads my blog now and then and I'd hate to ruin the surprise....

    Thanks for the tips for sewing with knits. I agree with you - i really like the roll top neck on your ribbed piece.

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