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Friday, September 7, 2012

Working With Knitted Fabrics: Pinning a Pattern

So I'm still working on the projects on my plate that require knit fabrics. I was doing this while I had a friend over. She was just sitting there watching me lay out a pattern on the fabric, a pretty pink knit that's becoming a gown, talking about the nonsense women talk about when they find themselves alone.

At some point, she cocked her head to one side and really focused on me. "Why are using little weights? Why don't you just pin the pattern in place?"

And so there was born my next tip for working with knitted fabrics. Never, ever pass a pin through a knitted fabric, especially if you're working with drapey knits such as slinky or matte jersey. Why? because if your pin goes through the knit instead of between the loops, you can end up with tears and runs in the fabric. Besides, pinning through knit layers often causes the fabric to shift, resulting in fabric pieces that aren't quite perfect.

What can you do instead? Use little weights to hold the fabric and pattern pieces so that they don't move. Or cans from the kitchen. Or whatever you have lying around. I bought little weights from the local hardware store, but you probably have enough small items in your home to make due if you don't work with knits very often. If you do frequently work with knitted fabric, you might want to invest in a few heavy weights. But to avoid damage to your fabrics, you might want to stitch little pouches for the weights. It never hurts to be cautious.

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