PIN & SEW MAKES : French Terry Gable Dress

French Terry How to Sew with Knits Pin & Sew Makes Shop News Vlog

Hi, I’m Mel from Handmade By Ditsy Tulip and its so lovely to meet you here. For anyone who doesn’t already know me, quite simply I love to sew!

It was so lovely to be asked to try out some beautiful knit fabric to celebrate the launch of a new fabric shop Pin and Sew, a fabric shop that is to specialise in knit fabrics which is great because let’s face it, knit can be tricky to buy online if you are not given enough information about it.

I looked around the site and there was just so many beautiful fabrics to choose from, the site is laid out in an easy to follow way as the different types of knit fabrics are categorised together.
I decided on the most beautiful mustard and navy striped French Terry, mustard and navy is one of my favourite combinations.

In this post I tell you all about what I made along with some hints and tips on working with this beautiful fabric, by the way French Terry can be called different things (just to confuse matters), you may see it described as loopback jersey, summer sweat, loopback sweatshirt to name a few).

The fabric arrived in a brown recyclable paper bag which I was super happy about as it is a little step towards helping the environment.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to make, but I knew that I wanted a dress, so I ordered 2m of the fabric. I took a look in my pattern stash and found the Jennifer Lauren Handmade Gable Dress which I thought would be perfect.

I had a vision of using the stripes to add a little interest and sketched out what I had in mind and I love how it turned out.

So let me tell you a little bit about working with this fabric.

First of all I checked that the fabric had enough stretch, to do this you simply cut a 10cm square and check that it stretches enough e.g. this pattern calls out for a 40% stretch so the square needed to stretch to 14cm, which it did.

I then pre-washed and dried the fabric and laid it out ready to cut. My top tip when cutting out knit fabric, and especially when using stripes is to work with the fabric on the flat ie do not fold the fabric. I then trace around the pattern pieces using a chalk wheel rather than using pins. This helps to ensure that the fabric doesn’t twist out of shape and also helps to keep the stripes straight.

I used my overlocker to construct the dress, with the exception of the neckline and the hems (I used my standard machine for these steps), but you don’t need to use an overlocker, if you don’t have one just use a standard machine with a small zig zag stitch (so that it retains the stretch).

I find that using Seraflock thread really helps when sewing knits, the thread has a little stretch in it through how it’s constructed, this also means that you can sew the hems with a standard straight stitch and single needle (rather than a twin needle) and the hem will be stretchy, it’s certainly cheaper than buying a cover stitch machine.

The fabric was great to work with, it didn’t slide about or stretch out of shape whilst sewing, the only tricky thing is that the cut edges like to curl up a little, so you just need to ensure that they are flat when you sew them.

The Gable pattern was really simple to make and worked very well with this fabric as it drapes beautifully but also has a little structure so it was perfect for a pleated skirt.

The French terry also has a looped back which makes it super soft and cosy on the inside, therefore perfect for planning ahead for those autumn makes.

I have recorded a video review of the fabric and pattern too so that you can see the drape and stretch etc, oh and how those hems are stretchy.

The pattern had called out for 2.3m of fabric, but I had more than enough with the 2m, infact there was even enough left over to squeeze in a little mini tube skirt!

Thanks for reading and I can’t wait to see what you make from the lovely knit fabrics available at Pin and Sew.

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