I’m surprised every time I read a sewist’s sewing-with-knits-is-so-much-easier-than-I-previously-thought story. They’re everywhere. Or do I only notice them because I seem to have nothing but trouble? I find knits utterly befuddling. Partly my problem is that I overthink it. I couldn’t figure out, for example, how to finish knit seams. Answer: you don’t.
So, Moneta. Again. I tried to sew it last year as my first sewing-with-knits project. It was an utter failure. I was trying to be good and made a trial run or two of the bodice but it didn’t seem to give me a good idea of how things would turn out. Then I got to the part when you gather the fabric with clear elastic. I couldn’t manage that at all. I was wrestling with the elastic and wrestling with my fabric and wrestling with my machine and each one seemed to be pulling in a different direction. My results were abysmal.
I stuffed it in a drawer, but instead of forgetting about it this project weighed on my conscience. After making that tiny t-shirt I decided to go for broke. I already at the double needle installed and raring to go, why not take it for another walk?
I graded from a size small bust to medium waist and added 1.5 inches to the bodice and got…
a somewhat drop-waisted Moneta. Turns out I didn’t need all that extra length after all! Not bad, huh? This came together like a dream one Saturday morning as the children were
making a horrible mess playing. A serger can make a big difference! Especially with clear elastic. It was happening! I too would have a sewing-with-knits-was-easier-than-I-previously-thought story!
And then? And then (dramatic pause) the dream turned into a nightmare. I sat down at my Bernina Nova. As I was winding a bobbin the double needle broke spectacularly. Weird, right? No matter, I had a jersey double needle on hand. I could sub that one in. I tested. It looked terrible. Was it the needle or something else? I investigated and discovered that the screw on the bobbin casing that I had so carefully loosened had, in fact, flown out of the bobbin casing entirely. STRESS.
My priority after that was to get my machine and the bobbin tension back in good working order for regular sewing. I have no confidence in my mechanical abilities, but I’ve made a dress muslin or two and a top since then and they’re all sewn together which is as much as one can ask for from a sewing machine if a brain doesn’t overthink it (I refer you back to the first paragraph of this post: I excel at overthinking). But I haven’t tried the double needle again, yet, and so the dress in the picture that came together so quickly on a Saturday morning languishes for want of hemming and finishing and my sewing-with-knits-was-easier-than-I-previously-thought story continues to elude me.