Montag, 20. Februar 2012

Cutsews and Knitwear

Hello Ladies!

Today I want to talk about cutsews and knitwear. There are 6 different types of fabrics. The most common one is woven fabric but cutsews are made out of the second most comment fabric: knitwear. The difference is woven fabric "emerges from crossing two thread systems at an right angle" and knitwear "consists of thread loops, made out of one or more threads, that are locked into each other"... well, woven fabric is woven and knitwear is knitted ^^

Knitwear is much more flexible because of all the thread loops. They are all connected and if one end needs more thread, the loops get bigger at that end and smaller at the other. The problem is, because the loops are all connected, if the thread rips somewhere in the fabric it can unravel itself much easier and you get a ladder like in a stocking or a tight.

There are some things you need to keep in mind if you work with knitwear. The stitch of your sewing machine needs to be flexible. Otherwise the seam will rip if the fabric stretches. The best way to sew cutsews is with an overlock but if you don't have one, that's fine. It will work with a normal sewing machine too. It's also a good thing to get a "jersey needle" for your sewing machine. Normal needles have a "apex" which means the needle pierces right through the fabric but that could damage the threads and you don't want that if you work with knitwear. "Jersey needles" have a ball point which pushes the thread aside. (btw, my teachers would be so proud that I remember all these things. I have so much useless, unused knowledge in my head XD)

For the pattern I took an old t-shirt apart. I folded the pieces in half and shortened them to the length I wanted.

For the sleeve I added some width at the top and bottom (sleeve head and sleeve hem) so I have a puffy sleeve. Fun fact: it's only a "puffy sleeve" if the sleeve is ruffled at both sides (head and hem). If the sleeve is only ruffled at the top it's called a "gigot sleeve" (german: Schinkenärmel... yeah I'm serious about that!)

Because knitwear, thin jersey especially, is so stretchy you need to a strip of extra fabric to support the shoulder seam. It needs to be as long as the shoulder and about 3cm wide. The long side should be the less stretchy side, which is mostly in warp direction.

You close the shoulder seam, pin the extra fabric folded in half lengthwise to the back and sew along the shoulder seam again (from the front of course otherwise, you don't see where you need to sew ^^)

Bias tape is a good way to close the neckline and the sleeve hem. Bias tape is so easy to make, just a little time consuming. You cut the fabric in a 45° angle 3 to 4cm wide. If you have a tape maker ironing the strips will be even easier but you don't necessarily need one.

I'm sorry, I forgot to take pictures of how to sew on the bias tape :/ but this is a very good tutorial (though I don't like how they make the tape.)

And this is what my finished cutsew looks like

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me and I will try my best to explain it to you :D

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