There is a lot of knit myths widely told among people – “you can’t sew it by hand”, “you need a coverlock sewing machine”, “you need special elastic thread”… This is not true at all, however, all myths have a racional core.
First, you need a high-quality knit fabric. Synthetic/natural fibre does not matter for this purpose because your doll will not sweat. 🙂 Do not buy the cheapest see-through knit – if you can see your hand through the knit, it is too thin to sew on a hobby sewing machine. This is an usual problem when recycling your old T-shirts for a doll clothing. You can sew thin knits by hand but do not use a straight stitch – you would not be able to stretch the clothing. In a case of cotton thread, even a minor stretching will cause the straight stitch to tear.
Walking foot by Brother.
Sewing knits on a hobby sewing machine is very challenging. Some (OK, many) feeding mechanisms love to eat knits (or thin fabrics in general) and tear them. You can try to sew through a silk paper or a paper tissue and then tear it off, or through a water-soluble vlieseline and then wash it. Walking foot is a good investment when you plan to sew knits but you can work with a standard one.
This is a hobby machine stretch stitch:
Picture by Crystal Graziano.
If your sewing machine does not have this feature, you can use a narrow zig zag stitch. Use polyester or cotton threads, do not buy elastic threads – they are used in bicycle jerseys, bodysuits or swimsuits. You don’t need them for T-shirts or stretchy pants.
Well, so much for a theory. Do you want to see my second BJD T-shirt? Wait for the next post! 😉