Working with knits is rather different from working with woven fabric. Here, we would like to share with you a few tricks on how to layout your fabric, cut, notch and transfer pattern marks.
Let the fabric naturally relax and smooth the wrinkles by lightly steam-ironing it before cutting. Iron along the lengthwise grain, gently and without pressure on the fabric.
If you find that the selvedge shrinks and causes some puckering — just cut notches into your selvedge about width-of-your-hand apart — this will release the puckers and allow the fabric to lay flat.
Laying Out Fabric
Most of the time you should fold your fabric through the middle lengthwise and cut out paired pieces — halves your cutting time. However, you might find that layout with single pieces is more economical for your fabric.
If you are dealing with printed fabric, you might find it useful to spread your fabric with right side out. It helps you to see where certain aspects of that print are going to lay on the pattern piece.
If you can't tell the difference between the right and wrong side, pick a side you prefer and mark the "wrong" side of each piece once they are cut out so that you don't get mixed up as you sew.
Once the fabric is laid out on the table, match your selvedges together and align them to the straight edge of your table; this will ensure that your grainline is straight.
If your project requires a long length of fabric and will be too long to fit onto your table, neatly roll up the remaining fabric at one end and place on the table. Unroll it when you're ready to cut the other pieces.
Laying Out Pattern
Use our layout diagram (laymarkers) as an idea for what you might do with your pattern and your fabric. Make sure to align the grainline on the patterns to the selvedge by the same distance on either end of the grainline.
If you use a layout with folded fabric, make sure that your pattern pieces are placed right up to the folded edge — otherwise, you will be changing the fit of your garment.
To Pin... or NOT To Pin
We prefer to weigh the pattern down and cut it with a rotary knife adding seam allowances as we go around. Remember to use a cutting mat underneath.
However, if you are more comfortable with using shears — pin pattern pieces to the fabric and cut them out adding seam allowances this way.
Make sure to transfer notches and pattern markings before removing the pattern. Once each piece is cut out, make sure to notch it. Some knits have a tendency to run, so mark your notches on the wrong side of the fabric with a wax marker or thin slice of soap.