I just love sewing with knits, and they are a staple in my wardrobe. Here’s a little hint that will make your knit sewing super successful. I notice this especially with rayon knits, though it also manifests in other fabrications. If you look at the selvages of knit fabrics, you will often see a “cupping” effect. The fabric curves at the selvages, because of the finishing the mill uses. This isn’t a defect. It’s an artifact of the milling process. But it can pull your fabric and have deleterious effects on your finished garment. Check out the selvage on this knit that I just used today for a new top:
So what to do? Should you leave it alone and cut your pattern? Should you stretch it out and hold it down? Mmmm, in my experience, both of those are likely to distort the cut pattern piece. Instead, I cut off the selvages. This relaxes the rest of the fabric and eliminates any problems. And it’s easy as pie!
All it takes is about ¾ of an inch to release your fabric. It can actually free up several inches along the selvage, and it gives you great results. I used this today in my McCalls cowl neck top (to be reviewed shortly).