Monday, July 25, 2011

Fit for Life -Knit Workshop

Yesterday I went to Lorianne Reeves Fit for Life workshop to make my knit block  patterns. Before the workshop we had to make a muslin in a Connie Crawford pattern.  I had bought the pattern,  Fashion Patterns by Coni pattern B211 Scarf Collar Tee Top from Coni Crawford herself at the Quilt Festival a few years ago, so I took it out and cut out "my size".  Then I couldn't find any of my leftover knit that I know is somewhere, so I went to JoAnn's and bought two yards of camel colored knit fabric.  I cut out the fabric and basted it together on Saturday.   The results were absolutely gigantic.  At the workshop Sunday, Lorianne kept subtracting and subtracting to get a T-Top that fit me by draping it on me.  It took a lot of time and when I tried to move my draping to paper I realized I did something wrong because the back was much wider than the front.  So today I will re-draft the paper pattern to make sure it is correct.  Then I'll need to put it on the oak tag to make my blocks.   It is a  lot of work.  I don't know how they make it look so easy on Project Runway, but I understand why the contestants are so exhausted all the time.

Here are some of Lorianne's suggestions for working with knits:
1) Wash the fabric because it will shrink.
2) The knit selvedge edge will roll to the wrong side of the fabric.
3) She gets a newsprint mill end from the newspaper for about $5 a roll and then lays her fabric on top and cuts the pattern out with the newsprint.  The is good for silks and silky's also.
4) She always cuts with the right side of the fabric facing outside.
5) She uses a very large shears from Kai with a serrated edge.
6) She uses these products that she gets from Emma Seabrook ( or other notion sellers
     -Extremely fine Fusible Knit Staytape for shoulders
    - Clear elastic on necklines and in crotch of knit pants to keep the bottom from sagging.
7) She uses a serger cover stitch for hemming.  If you don't have a serger she recommends using 1" wide knit interfacing for hems.  Hems are usually 1" or 1-1/4" and she sews a line of stitching 1/4" from top of hem and 1/4" from the bottom of the hem.  You can also use a double needle.
8)  She uses a needle meant for knits (Jersey, Ball Point, Stretch). 
9)  She likes polyester thread and uses Sew Fine from Superior.
10) She uses a 3.0 stitch length.
11) To make a sleeved pattern sleeveless, come up 1/2" and come in 1/4"
12) Ease on block for knits is 1/4"
13) Length on top should cut the butt in half but always consider silhouette, fit, and proportion.
14) Lorianne likes cross-over knit patterns.    She has made Kwiksew 3497, Vogue 8390, and Vogue 8323.

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