Let’s continue right on with more preparation:

Thread selection: I’m sure someone is going to disagree with me, but I use polyester on everything. I”m not a quilter. I’m not recreating historical apparel for any reason.For me it’s a 3.5 hour drive or 1-week turn around via mail to acquire thread. I bought the whole Gutterman In-Home cabinet and replenish as needed. I’ve found I can buy exactly the spool of thread used up at Erica’s. Once a month I sit down and order replacements and check to see if I need a new color for an upcoming project.  You can buy Gutterman threads on-line in several places.  Erica’s is not the only one or even the cheapest one.  But it is the only place I found where I can look at the color number on the bottom on the empty spool and order exactly the same color on her list without any interpretations or hoop-jumping.

I remember being instructed to use natural fiber with natural fiber and synthetic with synthetic  i.e. cotton thread  with cotton fabric;  and silk thread with silk fabric. I probably am close to still following that recommendation. Some of my knits are 100% cotton. But I prefer cotton blends and I think I’ve fallen in love with ITY knits. I haven’t sewn with bamboo yet so may change my mind. And the only rayon threads I’ve found are for machine embroidery.  Not recommended for general sewing.  M.E. threads are too delicate.  I’d have blown underarms if not worse. The key here is:  test before you sew.


Needle Selection: I use a ball-point needle with knits. Every time. I’ve had universal needles poke holes and create runs. I don’t trust anything other than  a ball-point needle. I do vary the size to accomodate the weight of the knit fabric. I usually use a size 12, ball-point needle. But I’ve had some sheers that I’ve used a size 10 and a very, very-beefy double-knit that needed a size 14. They key, here too, is test before you sew your garment.


STITCH Selection: I use a straight stitch, the zig zag hemming stitch and 4-thread serger seams. My HV Ruby, so far, has no problems creating a flexible straight stitch on a knit. I do need the zigzag hemming stitch to have enough give when pulling down over my shoulders and hips. Ruby sews the straight hemming stitch just fine.  But pulling my T’s over the shoulders and neck can be a little challenging. With past sewing machines I have used a narrow zig zag in place of a straight stitch. I mean like .1 or .3 not even a .5mm wide zig zag  OK sing along with me:  The key is TEST BEFORE YOU SEW