Monday, August 13, 2018

Tip on Getting Wavy Knit Fabric Hems Flat

It's been month's since I even looked at anything pertaining to my blog.  I just realized my last post was on saying goodbye to my little Winnie and that was super sad to anyone visiting for the first time.  I never intended to have that be the story I left as my opening page for most of the summer!  Well life goes on and I thought I would share something that totally bugged me for a loooong time when I was learning to sew with knits...wavy hemmed edges.  No matter what stitch I used I always ended up with a wavy edge.  Some people would say use a zigzag, some would say just slightly stretch the fabric, some would say don't stretch the fabric and on and on.

 So here is my hemmed edge of a cardigan I was making.  Super wavy (and wrinkly).  I'm not sure exactly what this knit is made of but it's very thin and does seem to wrinkle easily.  I think I bought it at Joann's a long time ago when they didn't have the selection they do now.  I used a zig zag stitch on this because I wanted the look.  Normally I'm not into a zigzag but I was feelin' it for this.

The big secret is all in the steam.  Don't touch the iron to the fabric!  Just slowly work steam all over it and you can almost watch it shrink up.  If you put the iron to the fabric even pressing it, the weight of the iron keeps it from shrinking up and thus it will only make wrinkles and waviness worse.

 You can see in the photo above that the top half is a before and then the lower half has been steamed.  You can see some slight wrinkles in the bottom half still but if I just picked it up lightly and put it back down for another steam it would be perfect.

 Here it is now with the whole thing done.  I wasn't really concentrating on removing the wrinkles in the body of the garment yet but you can see how much the steam removed.

 Here's a sleeve sample/before and after.  The top sleeve was steamed at the hem and the bottom one wasn't and you can see how wavy that hem was before steaming.

Here's a close up of the zig zag and the straight (not wavy!) edge.  It's a beautiful sight...

And the finished project!  This was started about 5 years ago, no lie.  I had it all sewn together except I did not finish it because I could not get the hems to lay flat.  I found it in the bottom of a box and was like whoa! I've come a long way and couldn't wait to hem it with my mad sewing skills I've acquired since then.

And the back.  Luckily the color and style are still in after 5 years.  At least I think.  I second guess myself a lot more these days as my girls get older and roll their eyes at some of the things I like.

Oh and the way I like to sew knits, sometimes with a slight stretch, sometimes not stretching at all and sometimes with a zig zag.  ;o)

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