How Fabric Affects Garment Fit
Wanna see the same pattern, sewn in 4 different types of knit fabric? Here’s a quick visual of how fabric affects garment fit; and can change the look and style of your project.
Here’s my latest sew, Jalie 3245 again. I love this pattern, I wear baseball tees all the time. (And flannels. And moccasins. It’s my momiform.)
These prints are high quality, medium weight jersey knit with 4-way stretch. Both are cotton with 5% Lycra. This is my favorite type of fabric to work with; 5% lycra is the magic number for me. It has excellent stretch recovery, the fabric hugs you and it’s super soft.
Below is a very similar top in tribal print and stripes. It’s the exact same type of fabric, jersey knit; except it’s lighter weight and has 2-way stretch instead of 4-way. It stretches along the width of the fabric, but there isn’t much stretch vertically.
Visually, I don’t see a ton of difference in the top using less expensive fabric. This top thinner and needs a tank under it, and it’s definitely not as stretchy. But still a great top that gets a ton of wear.
Next is the same pattern, using an upcycled t-shirt with 100% cotton and very little stretch. Using this type of fabric won’t give you much ease, and you can really tell the difference in the fit. I got claustrophophobic taking it on and off! That’s why my sister in law is wearing it.
Here it is again using a lightweight jersey slub. Slub knit has a little bit of texture to it, since it’s made using uneven yarns. Linen and handwoven cotton almost always have slub, but in knit fabric it’s made that way intentionally.
The fabric content and stretch varies with slub knits. I like a cotton/Lycra blend; but I’ve used some with a little bit of polyester (or some type of synthetic fiber) content that felt nice too. Often it’s a bit sheer, great for summer clothing. It gives this top a looser, drapier feel. I wear this top a lot!
After wearing all these tops, I gotta be honest and say that the pricier fabric on the first version look and feel the best. The less expensive fabric in the second top looks just as nice, but isn’t as thick and stretchy. Not a deal breaker for me. The slub knit has a totally different aesthetic that I love; but the 100% cotton knit top (version 3) was worn only once.
My newest Jalie 3245 is my favorite of all. Sadly, I used the laziest construction of all with this one!
I didn’t serge any of the seams. I used a double needle to stitch the neckline, hem, and sleeves; but the tension was a little loose. I really need to unpick it and redo. I’m holding my breath for that sponsor who wants to give me a coverstitch machine. Ha!
I think it’s interesting to see how fabric affects garment fit. But I’m kind of boring, sewing the same things over and over. I’ve become pickier about everything sewing related; from fit to fabric. It makes it harder to get a project off the ground!
Until next time, friends.