A couple of months ago I went a little berserk buying some knit fabrics off of Ebay. Nothing is as dangerous as eBay (Etsy coming in a close second) for art supplies. Yes, art supplies: that’s how I justify buying textiles.
I’ve never been really big on knits in fashion, outside of t-shirts. Knits are a little too casual, or maybe I am still shell-shocked from the sorts of fabrics I knew as a kid in the 70s and 80s. (Who, oh, who, thought up that ugly polyester doubleknit stuff that made up cheerleading uniforms of the 80s? It made you smell. Bad.) But there seems to have been a jersey revolution in the last decade. Blame it on Juicy Couture and yoga, but I’ve sort of come around to some of the drapey jersey fashions. They’re getting more sophisticated.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, there is a certain L.A. style that’s crossing over into high fashion. Look at designers like Rachel Pally, Velvet, Ella Moss, T-Bags, Splendid. (Aren’t they all from L.A.?) The type of fashions built around these fabrics become more tempting because I live in a hot and even more casual climate.
Last summer, I decided to give in and sew a knit jumpsuit out of a kelly green rayon jersey. I was thinking something like a drapey, sexy Stella McCartney jumpsuit but the thing was a little too close fitting and I ended up looking like Kermit. Even so it gave me a chance to pull out my serger which had been collecting dust for five years.
Now that the heat is coming on again, I’m inspired again to find some knit designs I can live with. The particular ebay seller that I found sells designer-quality modal jerseys (modal is like rayon, a breathable fabric made from wood pulp). My buying splurge resulted in about 10 fabrics which all seemed to have come from the same designer, as they have matching colorways. One of them is signed Rachel Pally.
As far as style, there are some cool patterns for knits. Mostly I am into lightweight dresses. I like these two, especially the Simplicity pattern, which is kind of 70s retro cool. Hot Patterns has a lot of sewing patterns designed for knits and I like the dress below but I don’t think the style would flatter a big-bottomed woman.
I’m far more interested in some of these 70s Jean Muir patterns; I’m a sucker for vintage patterns but they also sometimes seem more now than the now patterns. Jean Muir was known for her unusual knit designs.
Even better, I might try and draft my own. I’ve already taken a t-shirt pattern and turned it into a knee length dress with a bateau neckline. It was so easy to do that I might keep morphing the pattern into other styles.