December 15, 2011

T-shirt pattern quest pt. 3

I found my stash knit fabric that I had intended for my first sample. I bought this fabric about 12 years ago or so. Yes. It is army green. I bought this to match a beautiful wool fabric that was also green. I was going to make a tailored wool jacket with some kind of knit top underneath. It's never happened and now, all these years later, they aren't as a good match as I thought. Anyway, it needed a good wash because I had been using it as a Christmas tree skirt...

Patterns for knits need to include shrinkage. The amount of shrinkage to include in your pattern depends entirely on the fabric. You will have to wash test it to know for sure. There is much more on this topic that I may write about later.

In the mean time, my pattern is intended for knits that have already been pre-washed and shrunk from thrift store knits. So no extra allowance is included for shrinkage.

At this point I needed to double check the amount of stretch in this fabric. Fold the fabric so that you are not testing on the edge of the fabric. Place two pins 5 inches apart.

Pick up the fabric and hold the left pin in your left hand at the zero mark and then stretch the fabric as far as it will go with your right hand. Watch where the right pin stretches on the stretch ruler. In this case, my fabric stretches about 30%. Only stretch the fabric as far as it will reasonably go without overly stressing the fabric.

Let go of the fabric with your right hand and watch to see if the fabric returns to it's original position. Knits that do not return at all, have no recovery. In this case, my fabric returned to the 10% mark, which isn't great, but probably ok for a top.

I had forgotten, but this particular fabric is an interlock rather than a jersey. Interlocks do not stretch nearly as much as a jersey. I had originally planned on adding about 1 inch of extra wearing ease because I wanted a bit looser fit. Now I wonder if I should add a bit of extra? Once I work that out, I will modify my pattern and cut it out.

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