Sunday, May 31, 2015

Stashbusting Challenge 2015

Announcing the June theme for the 2015 Stashbusting Sewalong:

Click here to read all about the Sewalong
Yes, June is all about knits. You know you love them. Even if you don't sew with them very often (or perhaps at all?), I bet you wear them all the time. Tee shirts, yoga pants, underwear - nothing beats a knit when you want that second-skin comfort. And when that hot, summer weather hits, a knit dress or top in a nice, natural fiber is just what the doctor ordered.
The knit stash - smaller than it used to be!
Why did I volunteer to be the host for knits month? I can tell you that it's not because I am a skillful or experienced knit seamstress - I'm still a newcomer.  What I am, though, is an enthusiastic and accomplished stasher of knits. Knits were probably about 75% of my stash when I began the Stashbusting Sewalong in January. I've been diligently chipping away at the knit shelves over the past 5 months, so I'd say the proportions are now more like 50-50.

Oh, what the heck. I'll just come right out and admit it; I've bought some knits over the past few months too. I just can't say "no" to a good knit, especially if it's a great color or print.
Got these at the Tilton booth in Puyallup. The devil made me do it.
If you're comfortable working with knits, jump on the bandwagon and dive into your knit stash! You'll be glad you did. Especially when you throw on that new tee or maxi skirt and head on out to the beach. Or, if you're a Southern Hemisphere sewist, when you cuddle into that soft, warm cowl-neck Renfrew...

If you are a bit of a knit newby, here are  couple of knit myth busters that might encourage you to give sewing with these fabulous fabrics a try:

Don't you need a serger to sew with knits? No, you do not! I don't have a serger and I can sew up most any garment I want, right on my Babylock Craftmaster. My seams might not look quite so pretty on the inside, but knits mostly don't fray. Practically speaking, you don't need to finish those seams at all. And as far as hems, I often don't hem my knits at all. Remember, those edges don't fray, and no hem means less bulk if you're going to tuck in that top.  If you do want a hem, your regular sewing machine can handle the job just fine, especially if you throw in some stabilizing hem tape.

But you do need a special stretch stitch, right? Again, no! My friend Martha has recently been sucked into sewing. She's been turning out super cute tee shirts on her grandmother's Singer Featherweight.

I recently took the Craftsy class on the Ultimate Tee, taught by the Tilton sisters. I learned that, unless you're sewing something with negative ease (like a swimsuit), you can just go ahead and use your straight stitch. My machine does have a stretch stitch (a.k.a. lightening bolt stitch) but I rarely use it these days. The straight stitch is quicker, uses less thread and is much easier to pick out (not that I ever need to do that).

So, toss that stash and pull out your bits of knits! And remember to share the inspiration on facebook and flicker!


  1. I also took the Tilton class and heard their advice about the straight stitch. By golly if they're not right! I have used it on some flowy knits and on the skirt of a wrap dress and it worked like a champ. Actually, I never use the lightning bolt stitch precisely because it's too hard to unpick. A small wobble stitch, ie zigzag, is a lot easier to take out.

  2. Love the fabrics at the Marcy Tilton stand at Puyallup, heading there in 2016.

    I am sewing to theme this month, have the knit on the cutting table for a short sleeve version of KS3740.