Adventures With Knits

Sewing with knits - Hooray for Rain

I've had a rocky relationship with knit fabrics. About a year ago, I bought some gorgeous knit fabric and set out to make a pilot cap for a friend's kiddo. The pieces of the hat were supposed to be stitched together with a mock overlock or zigzag stitch. It would be an understatement to say it did not go well.  I ended up with a  horrifying crumple of fabric with a stretched out, jaggedy seam. I managed to laugh instead of cry, but it was close!  I tried the hat again a few months later. It went slightly better that time, but still nowhere near the quality that I would feel good about giving as a gift.

I guess hope springs eternal, because I gave knits another try on a small scale this spring when I made a rabbit softie. Sewing knits with a straight stitch went a lot better, so I took on a bigger project with with this receiving blanket.  It was still a simple project to be sure, but this is how we build skills and confidence, right?

I made this 36 inch square receiving blanket for a pregnant coworker who loooves giraffes. I ordered the fabric from Spoonflower. Isn’t it cute?

Organic Knit Receiving Blanket - Hooray for Rain

Spoonflower prints its organic cotton knit in 56 inch widths. I bought a yard and trimmed it to 36 inches square.  Then I used a plate to draw curves over the corners, and cut them down. (As I’ve mentioned a few times before, I am currently loving the look of curved corners.)

Curved corners are especially important for a knit blanket like this one, because it’s bound in double-fold binding, which would not work with traditional square corners. I made the double-fold binding with a stretchy ribbed knit from one of my local fabric stores, Bolt. I cut it into 2 ½ inch widths and stitched them together in one long piece. Then I pressed the long piece in half length-wise, and then opened it back up and folded the raw edges into the middle, pressed it again, and then folded it in half. Then I sandwiched the 36-inch square piece of knit fabric between the two halves of the ribbed binding, pinned it in place, and stitched it in place using coordinating thread.  

I had a significant amount of the giraffe print knit left over, so I bought some terry cloth and made some simple burp cloths to go with the receiving blanket. I took same-sized rectangles of the knit and terry fabrics and sewed around the edges with a half-inch seam allowance, leaving a small gap to turn the fabric right side out. After I turned the fabric out, I top-stitched a quarter of an inch around the edges to finish it off.

Knit Receiving Blanket and Burp Cloth - Hooray for Rain

Last but not least, I bought a super cool board book, Alpha Block, to go with the receiving blanket and burp cloths.

Sewing With Knits - Hooray for Rain

Maybe I'll try that pilot cap again sometime this winter. Third time is bound to be a charm, right?