Sweaters are a crucial component of any stylish, comfortable winter wardrobe. Why not start the near year by diving into a new artform and crafting a sweater entirely your own? Here’s what to know before sewing your own DIY sweater so that you (and your sewing machine) turn out a garment you adore.
Knit Fabrics Are on Their Own Journey
You can find some of the cutest, coziest sweaters made from knit fabric. There are several kinds of knit fabrics, but they all share a similar looped structure that gives the fabric drape and stretch characteristics that are perfect for sleek sweaters and cardigans. Knit fabrics are also wrinkle-resistant and offer a softer appearance.
If you’ve ever designed and sewn your own clothes before, you know that some fabrics are less interested in playing along than others. Even 100 percent cotton has its moods. However, knit fabrics are on a journey entirely their own. Spend a little extra on a spare foot or two of this ideal sweater fabric so that you can practice and discover the sweet spots between you, your machine, and the fabric.
The Right Machine Settings Save the Day
Speaking of your sewing machine, the best way to make a DIY sweater you’re proud of is to alter your machine’s settings. You’ll find most machines automatically set to a line stitch that works beautifully for stiff fabrics and quick fixes. Before you sew, turn the dial or change the settings to one of a few zig-zag stitch options. This durable stitch ensures the seam moves and stretches with the fabric and helps you create a more professionally made look!
Hems Are Now Optional
Hems are more than a nice finishing touch on most garments. Hems help prevent visible fraying and preserve t-shirts and jeans alike. However, the fabric most often used for sweaters doesn’t fray at all. This unique feature of knit fabrics means that anyone who struggles to complete a pretty hem can take the day off and get right to enjoying their sweater—no emergency scissors required.
Ultimately, the most significant thing to know before sewing your own DIY sweater is that perfection is a journey, not a destination. Creating your own clothes is a deeply rewarding process and sweaters, even with the complexities of their fabric, are a forgiving place to start!
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