knit fabrics are just like toddlers

A few weeks ago, I took the plunge and bought some knit fabric. I had run up to Hobby Lobby real quick to get some black thread to mend a bag and while I was there, I saw they had some jersey knit on sale. I had been thinking about getting some jersey because several of my sewing goals for 2017 involve sewing up knit garments. I decided to get 3 yards in order to have a bit to practice on before cutting one of my projects.

I knew I wanted to practice with something small, because I've heard that sewing with knits can be tricky. However, I also wanted something cute and fun, so I decided to use this free peplum pattern from Sew Much Ado. It's a really cute pattern and it makes a fun and functional top for a toddler (read: there are no buttons or zippers and since it's a knit, it's super comfy!)

It was during this project that I discovered that sewing with knit fabrics is very similar to parenting a toddler. If you have a toddler or have raised one or even spent an hour with one, you'll know that it's not as easy as it looks. Here's a few examples:

First, knit fabrics never sit still. Just like my toddler is constantly moving around, even when she's sitting down, knit fabrics move easily. The plus side of this is they can make great flowy garments. The down side, however, is it gets difficult when it comes to cutting out your pattern and keeping them together when you take it to the sewing machine. So, here's some tips:

1. Use pattern weights. I think there are projects and fabrics that you can get away with cutting your pattern without using weights (as I've done with all my previous projects), but I have also decided that knits need help. So you can purchase pattern weights, or you could also just go get some large washers from your husband's tool kit or local home depot and use them to weigh down your pattern pieces and keep your fabric still while cutting.

2. Always pin, and pin, and pin. Since I've mostly been doing small projects with woven fabrics, I sometimes skip pinning (gasp), but on this project, I used almost every pin I could find. I pinned. And then I would go back and see that somehow my pieces still weren't lined up. So I pinned again!

Second, they are hard to hold on to. I don't know about your toddlers, but mine is all over the place. She asks to be picked up and then immediately she's jumping back out of my arms. She really doesn't like holding my hand and walking with me. She marches to the beat of her own drum. At times, it's adorable, but when we're in a parking lot or trying to get somewhere, it can be trying. My knit fabric was just as trying at times. I would pick it up and it would drape the wrong way. I would fold it and it would go in exactly the opposite direction I wanted. I experienced most of this while I was cutting my initial pattern pieces. I had three yards of fabric that I was dealing with, and trying to get an accurate pattern cut was difficult. It got better once I was just working with my pattern pieces, but man, I almost quit before I even got the pattern cut!

Third, when it's all said and done, you love it anyway, and you just want more!! I know you've all had those days when you thought your patience couldn't be tried anymore, and then as soon as you lay down your baby and they fall asleep, you just stare at them and realize that you couldn't love anything more and all of the troubles from earlier seem so small and trivial. Well, that's what I felt when I finished this little knit top. It was the most difficult project I've made so far, but once I was done, I had this adorable, flowy little peplum top that I knew was going to be easy to get on my busy toddler and super comfy for her to wear. And I knew that no matter how difficult knit fabric was, I wanted to find more patterns for knit fabrics and make them all!

Thanks for reading! 

Leave a comment and let me know either (a) your favorite toddler activity, or (b) your favorite knit sewing pattern/project! 

I hope you (and your toddlers) have a great day!


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