Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Sewing with Knits My Way, Part 3

It seems I really "got into" sewing knit garments about five years ago. I have learned much along the way, and I'm sharing some tips here.

Part one was posted here

Part two was posted here

3. My third tip is for garments which include bands. I always cut the bands first. Well, not always. The first time I made a garment with bands, I did not have enough fabric to cut any bands after I cut out the other pieces. Apparently, some of my best-learned lessons were learned the hard way.

Is there a pattern piece for the band, or is there a cut chart showing what size to cut the band? The neckbands I’ve been making lately are pattern pieces, but I will discuss both methods. Either way, the length of the band should follow the direction of the fabric with the most stretch.


Some garment instructions tell you what size to cut the bands. If the cut chart states that the band should be cut on the fold, read the next section carefully; if not, skip to the cutting section.


When the pattern piece for a band has ends that are square, I check to see if it needs to be cut on the fold. Because I cut bands straight across and not on the fold, I check the length of a band pattern piece that uses the fold, then I double that length. So, if the pattern piece for a band is 2” x 12” and one short end shows that it should be placed on the fold, I know that I need to cut the band 2” x 24”.

When the pattern piece for a band has ends that are not square. Oops, that would be for a V Neck, and I have not made a V-neck garment in many years (too many to give you any advice on that!).


I have a 2" x 48" aluminum ruler which is very handy for cutting 2" bands. I also have two yardsticks which are 1" wide, and I can combine them to make wider bands. Here is an example of how I can cut a 4" band: I line them all up like this, and cut as far across as I can:

I very carefully move the wide ruler to the other end of the fabric to continue the cut:

Of course, cutting a 2" band, such as I usually use for neckbands and armhole bands, is much easier for me.

Do you have a wide ruler (or two) to help you to cut even bands? Quilter’s rulers can be handy for this. Clear rulers are quite helpful when the width of the band includes a fraction, such as 1.5” (aka 1 ½”).

I hope you find these tips helpful.

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