Making More From Your Patterns – How to alter a woven pattern to make up in knit fabrics

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My Celia Top in Striped Apart Pink Jersey.

One of the ‘frequently asked questions’ that often comes my way is whether you can use the same pattern for wovens and for knits.

In effect is it possible to make Kate or Celia and some of our other patterns in a jersey knit fabric too.

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The Kate Dress and Celia Tops were both designed to be made out of woven fabrics such as linen or cotton lawn. Nice sensible, stable woven fabrics. But they do make up beautifully in jersey knits too.

So the answer to this question is –  ‘Yes, BUT…”

Here are a few things you might want to consider before taking the plunge:

  • The best patterns to use as a crossover from woven to knits are pretty simple shapes that have no darting through the waist, so both Kate and Celia tick those boxes.  
  • Choose your knit fabrics carefully. Anything with too much stretch will probably not work. A more stable jersey or something that will hold its shape and have a good return will give you a better result. The Art Gallery fabrics we have in store are the perfect cross-over fabrics.
  • Jersey or knit fabric clothing tend not to have darts, even at the bust. It is a very simple alteration to remove, or partly remove, the bust dart. All you need to do is fold out the dart all the way across the front. (There is more information below so read on).
  • Woven patterns require a lot more ease than knit ones do. So you may find that you need to drop down a size or even two.
  • Knit garments are made up slightly differently in that the sleeves are sewn in flat, like a shirt sleeve, and then the sides seams sewn. This means you have a chance to judge how much ease to allow and you can take it in through the side seams if need be.
  • You may need to finish the neck slightly differently too. I tend to go for a very simple neck band and you can see how to work out how big to make the band in the Woven Peaseblossom Tutorial.

 

This is how I pleated out the bust dart.

Mark on the seam allowance at the side and then draw parallel lines across the front level with the ends of the darts. Then fold the pleat out so the lines match up removing the dart.

Showing how to pleat out a dart in a woven pattern for knit fabric

Tidy up the side seam to remove the point at the edge of the dart.

How to pleat out the dart on a woven pattern for knit fabrics

But… and this is one of those big buts, if you have a fuller bust you may wish to keep part of the bust dart in place to give you a bit more shaping over the bust.

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I have a fuller bust and frequently have to do an FBA, so I felt I needed to retain some of the dart to give a better fit. All I did was pleat out half the dart and then redraw in the dart.

I made this one a teeny bit longer and left off the frill at the hem. But you can change and adapt your pattern to suit you. That is the beauty of making your own clothes.

I hope you give the adaptation a go and I’d love to see the results so do tag us on social media.

Jules x

 

Forgotten stitches

red-side-of-violaI have had my beady eye on some of the gorgeous red linen for a while and as it goes so beautifully with the red gingham seersucker we have in store, I felt a new Viola coming on.

There are not many skirts in my wardrobe, I have to confess, being more of a tunics and trousers kinda gal, but the Viola is such an easy shape to wear.

 

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The red linen piping through the gingham really lifted it, but the plain red linen needed something to brighten it up a bit on the totally red side.

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That is why I used the contrasting white stitching.

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I used stitch number 49 in my Janome DXL 603, although many other machines have similar stitches.

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This is one of those stitches you have on your machine but never use, there are quite a few. But it’s a really good idea every once in a while to just have a go with them and leave the samples on your pin board or next to your sewing projects.

That way they will be upper most in your mind when you come to sew your next project and are looking for that bit of extra something to add.

Happy sewing

Jules x