I have sewn countless garments over the years, but although I’ve become somewhat adept at handling chiffon and charmeuse, knit fabrics always seemed to be some scary area in the Nethersphere that I would never attempt to venture into. I would walk past the knit section at the fabric store and ignore any talk of sewing with knits. “Oh, sewing with knits is not for me” I’d whisper as numerous jerseys stared at me from their bolts. “I’ll just stay with my cotton voile, thank you.” But then Miss Moneta came along and my previous misconceptions were altered forever.
Aside from t-shirts, knits themselves never seemed like they were made for me. Knit dresses I would try on at department stores would cling to my wobbly bits and look less than flattering on my curvy figure. I avoided them like the plague. It wasn’t until I had the chance to try out the Colette Moneta as part of the Curvy Sewing Collective that I found out how lovely a knit dress could be. Sure, it’s a basic design that resembles a t-shirt with a gathered skirt — but it’s an ingenious and complimentary silhouette. This simple pattern is a canvas for beautiful prints and you can dress it up or dress it down and add your own personal flair. Plus, it’s a quick make and can be sewn in just a few hours.
I think of the Moneta as my gateway to sewing with knits. I was less than a knit novice when the Moneta arrived in my mailbox. I had sewn two cardigans with sweater knits, made a pair of panties and a lesser flattering Cake Tiramisu and that was it. Knits seemed like some inferior form of fabric and I somewhat looked down upon them with an arrogant attitude. I’d say that my perception of knit sewing was due to my thinking that stretchy fabrics were a sewing nightmare and were meant only for tees, activewear and the like. I had no idea how to navigate the different weights of knits nor that there was a difference between ponte and jersey. It was this entire branch of sewing that dwelled forgotten in the basement for me and was one that I never visited.
Since then I’ve found out nice it can be to sew with knits. There are no darts or zippers to contend with. The fitting issues are minimal. They can be sewn up quickly and easily. And they are so SO comfy. While I might feel a bit constricted by a tailored woven dress, I never feel that way in a knit dress. They are great wardrobe builders and separates that can be mixed and matched and they’re easy to care for. It’s no wonder that many sewists prefer sewing with knits.
It was a bit of a learning curve educating myself about the differences between fiber contents and weights and choosing the best type of knit for each garment. I have had some ups and downs with that, which mostly had to do with ordering knits online and varying quality. Beautiful knit prints seem to be hard to find and being able to feel them in person is even harder, so I’m often perusing fabric sites looking for prints and colors that I want to add to my closet. I’ve found that my favorites are knits with bamboo, viscose and cotton. I also love a nice wool jersey. I tend to skip polyester, but I’m not much of a poly fan in wovens either. As a lover of woven silk fabrics, I thought I would love silk jersey, but found that I don’t really like the feel of it. I swoon over linen and cashmere blends. Who would have thought that knits could be so lux?
Now, I have a sewing queue of knit patterns and a pile of pontes and jerseys waiting to be made into glorious, comfortable garments. A year ago I would have never thought that I’d even be thinking of sewing knit wrap dresses, tees or leggings and yet they’re all lingering in my sewing room waiting to come to fruition. And I owe it all to Miss Moneta.