Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Understanding Knit Fabrics - Sewing Class Review

I sew with knits fabrics frequently, but my results have always been a bit unpredictable, and I have never been able to pinpoint why things went wrong or right. I had seen this class on Pattern Review previously, but had decided to enrol in a cheaper course on Craftsy. The Craftsy course came with 5 pdf patterns, so it seemed much better value. Unfortunately, it wasn't particularly helpful to me. Here's my review of that class if you're interested.

When Sarah Veblen's Understanding Knit Fabrics course came up on Pattern Review again, I signed up. The course consists of pdf lessons, a kit which is mailed out on enrolment, optional video lessons, a class message board and a couple of online class chat sessions with the instructor. The cost of the kit and the video lessons does add up, but I believe it is worth every cent.

As the title suggests, this course is all about understanding knit fabrics. The swatches in the kit are examples of all kinds of knits, with different fibre content, different manufacturing processes, different appearances and hand, and a variety of possible uses. There are also examples of knit interfacings and 2 types of needles to try. There is also a small scale pattern for a knit top to be made from 2 fabrics to demonstrate the difference the amount of stretch in a fabric makes to the finished garment. From the photo below, I clearly haven't done that exercise, but now I get it!

The first pdf lessons go through the swatches in groups. Sarah has included a lot of technical information about each fabric from manufacturing processes to tips for successful sewing to possible garment choices. You handle each swatch while you read about it, stretch it, imagine sewing with it. This tactile way of learning really embeds in your brain the information you'll need to make great garments.

The class then moves on to sewing techniques for overlockers/sergers and sewing machines, needle choices, graining knits fabrics, and pattern choice.

The optional video lessons complement the pdfs very well. They are short and to the point, giving clear demonstrations of particular techniques like checking your stitches for holes or sewing button holes in knits.

I learned so much in this course that I immediately enrolled in the follow-on course More Knits by Sarah Veblen. I really do feel much more confident in my ability to assess a knit fabric for a particular use and sew the garment well.


  1. Your review is very lucid and clear. An informative and educational read about knit fabrics in sewing.
    Ed of FashionPatterns.com

  2. Thanks so much! I just googled understanding knits (which I know nothing about) :-). Thanks. :-)