My IRL sewing friends and I have been discussing this and I wanted to get a broader perspective.
Half of my sewing friends sew with knits all the time, and insist they are so much easier than wovens. I'm a woven's seamstress - 90% of my stash is wovens, and knits baffle me.
What do you think? Are you a woven or a knits sewer, or do you sew with both? Do you find one easier than the other?
This is a great debate. Last week, I sewed my first-ever knit dress. (The black/red striped thing.) It went together lickety split, for the most part, except the sleeves need re-setting to a more supportive position). On the serger, knits go fast. I could wager that a skirt could be constructed in less than an hour. They don't require all the stabilizers and hand-work, they are more informal and less tailored than using wovens. All that said, I generally prefer woven b/c I like more fitted, formal garments (corsets, skirts, bodices) than body-clinging knits. I learned to sew on cotton woven, so find them more predictable in hand than knits. My stash is 95% woven. I have perhaps 5 pieces of knit, including more of that black red stripe that never seems to go away. I found Project Runway Season 1's Jay (the guy who won) really inspiring to use knits.
Most of my stash is woven and while I've sewn a lot with knits, I wanted to challenge of fitting clothes to my big bust and feel like a tailored look is more flattering on me. I still love knits but tend to be drawn to different wovens. I don't think one is easier for me than the other but now that I've been fitting woven dresses for a little over a year, it's become easier to understand how a woven will function in a final dress. I just made a red dress in a stretch sateen and had a really hard time getting the fit I wanted because it had so much give.
To me, knits are a very casual fabric where as wovens are usually not. Most of the sewing I've done in the past has been for special events--weddings, proms, graduations, college formals, etc.--so I've used wovens. However, now that I'm trying to only sew my own wardrobe, I imagine at some point I'll have to/want to make something from a knit.
I started sewing on knits, actually, since there was no fitting required and I felt like they were more forgiving. Once I started taking on more fitted, structured skirts and dresses out of wovens, though, I rarely use knits. I only have a few pieces in my stash, and only because I bought them before I knew much about sewing.
Now that I know more about sewing, I would agree with other commenters that I find wovens much more predictable, and knits more casual. I still get a mild case of sewing anxiety every time I prepare to tackle a knit garment, although inevitable they end up being more worn than the wovens in my me-made wardrobe, if only because they're more comfortable.
My stash is very close to 50/ 50 on woven and knits. I grew up sewing on both and still like sewing on both, so I don't think I have a preference. There are things I like and don't like about both. I have trouble finding knits in fun prints so my stash is mostly solid colors. The fabric stores only seem to carry solid colors for the most part. I like them because they are easy. You can dress them up and dress them down. And, they are easy to take care of (laundry and ironing). And if you don't want to, you don't have to hem them. I like woven materials because they come in such fun prints. I also like that I can easily (usually) adjust them to fit my body. I don't like ironing and most everything woven has to be ironed.
Intriguing - mostly wovens so far.
From reading Made by Rae's Kniterviews, it seems like people with kids mainly sew with knits because 1) the material is easy to harvest from adult clothing, since the garments are much smaller, and 2) kids like the comfort of knits.
Definitively wowen - I usually buy fabric out of inspiration, not out of need (which means I decide afterwards what I want to make out of a fabric) - and what really gets me going is usually the "wool corner"...
I'm a woven person. I started sewing in large part to get away from knits-- I feel like a slob if I wear knits all the time and it's damn near impossible to find shirts that fit me well that aren't knits. Jersey knits are the fashion industry's answer to fitting as many people as possible with minimal effort. Even knit shirts often strain in the bust area and are too clingy for my liking. I also live in a hot climate and knits are just not what you want to wear outside when it's 100 degrees. Your pit stains never dry!
I have a solution to hot weather pit stain nastiness on knit tops... I've been working on a cut-on sleeve basic t-shirt and I can happily report that all 6 billion t-shirts I've made this summer are still perma-stink-free because they don't come into contact with my pits... But it's still a cute fitted shirt. And I'm working on some cute patterns made from that basic tee. It's available free for download here. Sorry for the plug, but that was a big "breakthrough" for me! No perma-stink!
6 billion is a slight hyperbole on my part...
I went through a phase where nearly everything I sewed were knits (probably because they are so quick and easy). Once I realized I had a bunch of knit tops and hardly any wovens I decided to put the knits on the back burner and make more of an effort to do wovens. My stash is about 50/50.
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