Sweater Knits: Close Knit with Drape
by Shannon Gifford
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  • Sweater Knits: Close Knit with Drape

    This category of knits includes those which are firmly knit, retaining some drape. These knits are among the easiest of knits for sewing. The fabric has stability, which makes sewing a breeze! These fabrics are comfortable and flattering to wear, as well.


    Hand wash, lay flat to dry. Treat the finished garment as you would treat a fine sweater.

    Needles and thread:

    Use a jersey/ballpoint needle, size 11, for construction. Cotton covered polyester or all polyester threads are good choices. If you can find silk thread to match your fabric, use it for surface thread finishes, such as hems, for a beautiful luster.


    Fusible knit tricot, cut to match the stretch of the fabric, is the preferred interfacing for these fabrics.

    Seams, seam finishes, and hems:

    A serger makes quick work of sewing these fabrics. Use a three or four thread balanced stitch for construction and seam finishes. If you do not have a serger, use a small zigzag stitch for construction, approximately 2.0 length and 2.0 width. This will allow the fabric to maintain the stretch as it is worn. Hems can be topstitched with a ballpoint twin needle, or use a coverstitch.

    Pattern suggestions:

    Anything that looks like a commercial sweater is a good choice for this fabric. Cardigans, turtlenecks, tees, tanks, skirts, dresses, hoods, capes, shawls, and twin sets are all good choices.

    Creative possibilities:

    Pair your knits with leather or wool felt accents for a trendy embellishment.

    Additional Tips:

    Use your iron's steam (without pressure) to press the seams on these fabrics. Hover the iron about ½" above the fabric and allow the steam to permeate the fabric. Remove the iron from the area, and gently finger-press the damp fabric to set the press. Allow the fabric to cool completely before moving it. This gentle treatment will prolong the life of your fabric.

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