SEWING

HUDSON PANT SEWALONG DAY 2 – SEWING KNITS

July 1, 2014

Today we are going to talk a little bit about sewing with knits and using a serger verses a sewing machine to sew up your Hudson pants.  I know that a lot of people are intimidated to sew with knits, but I promise you that it’s not as hard as it seems.  If you choose the right knit, and follow a few basic rules, you will be just fine.

Sewing Knits on a Sewing Machine

You can use either a serger or sewing machine to make your Hudson pants, but because the instructions show you how to use a sewing machine we will start there.  Here are a few basics that will help with the process.

1 – Always use a ball point needle.  This is very important.  The tip of a ballpoint needle is more rounded which allows the needle to moved between the stretch fibers of your knit.  If you use a regular needle you run the risk of making holes in your fabric.

2 – Use a Stretch Stitch – Most modern sewing machines offer a stretch stitch option.  It will look something like a lightening bolt and is stitch number 9 on my machine.  Give it a try and see what you think.  It tends to be a bit slow for my taste, but does do a good job. 3 – Use an Elongated Zig-Zag Stitch – If your machine does not offer a stretch stitch, or if you just prefer it then you can also use an elongated or slight stretch stitch.  You can play around a bit with the combination of length and width according to your preference and the weight of your fabric, but the widths and lengths that I like are about 1 wide and 1.5 tall  (see picture below) .  The zigzag should not be so wide as to make it visible from the outside of your garment, but just enough to let it stretch a bit when pulled.

Sewing Knits on a Serger

When I finally broke down and bought a serger a couple of years ago (this is the one I have) it seriously changed the way that I sew.  I love that I can sew up 90% of my Hudson pants on the serger, it streamlines my seam allowances, it is super fast, and looks really professional on the inside of my garment.  It’s up to you, but if you have one I recommend using it. The only thing to consider is that the Hudson pants instructions will tell you to press seams open.  Since you are using a serger your seam allowances will be combined so instead just press your seam allowance to one side or towards the back instead.  You also won’t need to trim your seam allowances to remove bulk as this is taken care of with the serger. Below is a picture of all three of the stitches that we talked about today.  From left to right – stretch stitch, elongated zigzag, serged. Ok, that is it for today.  I’m excited to actually start cutting out our fabric and get sewing.  See you tomorrow.

A big thanks to Wanderlust fabrics for providing the prizes for this sewalong.  

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4 Comments

  • Reply Fabric Tragic July 1, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    Being sadly serger less I do all my knits on my regular machine. I’d highly recommend the lightening stitch for knit pants (looking forward to making my own Hudsons!) because you’re likely to be pulling upwards to get them on, and I’ve found single zigzag, no matter how stretchy is more likely to pop!

    • Reply True Bias July 2, 2014 at 5:33 PM

      thanks for the tip. I took your advice and decided to do the lightening stitch for the sewalong even though i find it terribly slow!

  • Reply Kalle July 2, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    this may be a silly question, but if i’m using a serger, do i need to have ballpoint needles in there, too? thanks!

    • Reply True Bias July 2, 2014 at 5:32 PM

      not a silly question at all. I have wondered that myself. I have done a little research and havn’t found conclusive evidence one way or the other. I currently do, but I would just test a piece of your fabric. If it doesn’t damage it then I wouldn’t worry about it.

      Anyone else know?

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