Over the weekend, I was working on an inspiration piece for our Julie's Picks customers. I used a mesh print and jersey knit that will be included in the November Julie's Picks. (Sorry, these fabrics are only available to JP member's, but we have plenty of others available on our website.) Some people may be intimidated by mesh knits, but have no fear! I did some research on how to sew with them first and was prepared from the beginning. They are easier to work with than you think. Think of them as a lightweight or sheer knit.
Here are a few tips I researched, then used in my project:
1) Sew slowly and with a new needle. It is always good to start a project with a new needle, but I felt like if I had a dull needle it would pucker the fabric. Because I was sewing a mesh to a knit, it was even better. The knit and mesh stick together and allow for easy sewing. There were only two places I was sewing only with mesh: the hem of the mesh knit bodice and the sleeve hem. I stretched the mesh slightly and also used a stay tape, which helps keep it in place through wear.
2) Use stay tape if only sewing mesh. The stay tape helps keep it in place through wear.
3) Pre-wash your mesh. It is recommended to hand wash mesh knits because of pulls and puckering. I will machine wash my shirt, but probably by itself or in a lingerie bag on gentle cycle. Do not put it in the dryer, you don't want to risk it melting! Lay flat to dry.
I used Angela Wolf's Ruched T pattern. We carry this pattern on our website, but it is sold out right now. We have it on order and hope to receive it in the next couple of weeks! This pattern is really easy and fits great! I don't like fussing with patterns and you don't have to with this one. I made this pattern before so knew what to expect. It comes with three different sleeve variations and five different collars. I selected the regular collar and decided to do long sleeves without ruching. I also did not do ruching on the side seams.
|Here you can see the bodice hem. I pre-hemmed the mesh knit, and pressed a line in the knit so I knew where the mesh knit hem needed to end. Then sew right sides together as usual.|
|When sewing the sleeve together, I used stay tape to keep it stable. I also used it in the hem of the bodice and sleeves. |
I made the standard collar out of solid knit for a very RTW look. I also top-stitched just under the collar on the mesh. I love the way it turned out! I especially like it because it was quick, easy and fit without hardly any changes. I fooled a lot of people--they asked me where I bought my shirt!
Don't be afraid of the mesh knits. They are harmless. Plus if you add a regular knit fabric to them, it becomes even easier!