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Topic: Sewing patterns and recommended fabrics - how important is it?  (Read 761 times)
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tingeling
« on: November 03, 2006 01:40:33 AM »

Im sorry if this question has been asked before, but I have tried searching with no results:

How important is following the recommendation of fabric choice when following a sewing pattern?
For example:
1.  Would it be possible to sew a pattern recommended for wovens in a knit?  Would that mean that I should choose a smaller size, since the knit is stretchy?  Or would it ruin the whole project?

2.  I have a vintage pattern for a tunic/caftan thing  that I would like to sew in wool felt. (I want to make the short version, but without the hood) 
But the pattern is recommended for poplin, batiste etc. - that is, thinner fabrics.  Would the tunic end up being to small? 

I hope some of you experienced sewers can help me - thank you!  And please excuse my rusty English  Smiley
« Last Edit: November 03, 2006 01:46:51 AM by tingeling » THIS ROCKS   Logged

alvan
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« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2006 02:30:56 AM »

1. It depends on what type of pattern it is. You have to be more specific.

2. If the wool isn't very thick it's no problem. The only thing you have to consider is that wool has a friction that is higher than poplin and that effects how it slides against the the garment you wear under the tunic.

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stacysews
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2006 05:28:25 AM »

Yes, sometimes you can substitute a knit for a woven in patterns.  But, you don't always want to go down a size just because you're using a knit....  It kind of depends on a lot of things, how you want the garment to fit you (close fitting v.s. more ease), how much ease the pattern already has, etc.  the best way to know if you want to go down a size is to make a muslin of the pattern.  Use an inexpensive knit and sew it up and see how it fits.

Poplin and batiste are going to have a very 'flowy' feel to this pattern.  The fabirc is going to move and drape more than the wool will.  And as alvan said, how thick is it?  It may also effect how 'tight' the garment feels when you wear it.
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silvermander
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« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2006 10:42:58 AM »

For that pattern I personally would be willing to try it in wool felt, if it wasn't too thick. 

Though I would go up a size to be safe.  You can always take it in if you need to, letting things out are sometimes impossible without ruining the shape/cut of the garment.

That's just my two cents.  I did go to college for fashion design, but that was a long time ago and I have not sew much in a couple years.

Ken
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Never regret the things you've done, only the things you've dared not do.
tingeling
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2006 03:28:03 AM »

Thank you so much for your replies, they were really helpful  Smiley 

I guess sewing a muslin for dresses is necessary (though I have to admit I was hoping not to have to do that, Im a bit lazy  Grin ).  Better doing the extra work than ruining good fabric...

As for the wool felt its quite soft.  Its thicker than batiste of course, but not super-thick, so I think I will give it a try.  If it ends up being to small, I can always give it to my 14-year old  Wink  Going up a size would probably be the smartest thing to do, the problem is that I only have the pattern in one size.  Ill give it a try anyway and will post the results if they are not to terrible  Wink

Again, thank you Silvermander, Stacy and Alvan  Smiley Smiley
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paroper
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2006 08:54:33 PM »

Your wool felt is a knit?  Although I've seen woolen sweaters, I don't know that I've seen knitted wool on a bolt?  I think that a light weight wool might look just fine in that pattern.  I'm not sure about a heavy weight.  However, I don't know that I would like that pattern in wool without something under it.  Do you plan to wear a blouse with the garment.  I would think without something it would be very scratchy. 

Many times you can substitute similar weight knits for wovens...it really depends and then it is a judgement call.  It is much easier to substiture knits for woven than to substitute woven for knit. 

I can't remember when patterns cost a buck fifty but I would think that it might be around mid-1970.  About 1970 the patterns were running about $1,25.  At that point the knits we had were not at all like the knits we have now.  By about 1973 we did have some decent knit jersey but it was still different that what you would think of.  Most knit was very thick and had a texture so the range of patterns recommended for knits were a little more restrictive and few in number.  We also had a lot of bonded knits which were thinner knits attached to a thin layer of foam rubber (believe it or not).   By 1974 we could get a nice grade of knit RTW in exclusive stores, but not so much in fabric stores.
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tingeling
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2006 02:55:54 PM »

Your wool felt is a knit?  Although I've seen woolen sweaters, I don't know that I've seen knitted wool on a bolt?  I think that a light weight wool might look just fine in that pattern.  I'm not sure about a heavy weight.  However, I don't know that I would like that pattern in wool without something under it.  Do you plan to wear a blouse with the garment.  I would think without something it would be very scratchy. 

Many times you can substitute similar weight knits for wovens...it really depends and then it is a judgement call.  It is much easier to substiture knits for woven than to substitute woven for knit. 

I can't remember when patterns cost a buck fifty but I would think that it might be around mid-1970.  About 1970 the patterns were running about $1,25.  At that point the knits we had were not at all like the knits we have now.  By about 1973 we did have some decent knit jersey but it was still different that what you would think of.  Most knit was very thick and had a texture so the range of patterns recommended for knits were a little more restrictive and few in number.  We also had a lot of bonded knits which were thinner knits attached to a thin layer of foam rubber (believe it or not).   By 1974 we could get a nice grade of knit RTW in exclusive stores, but not so much in fabric stores.

No, my wool felt is not a knit, it is a woven, but it has quite a lot of stretch to it.  I guess its a medium weight, so Im not really sure how it will turn out, I guess I will end up with a "stiffer" tunic than the one in the picture, but i hope it will still work out fine.   I do plan to wear a long-sleeved top underneath it...I live in Norway, winter is cold here  Smiley  And as you say, wool can be uncomfortable to wear next to the skin.

I did not know about the difference in fabrics, that was really interesting!  I have been wondering why some vintage patterns recommend both wovens and knits for the same dress, now I got the explanation!
Good thing that fabrics are getting better, knits attached to foam rubber does not sound like anything I would like to wear  Cheesy

Thank you so much for your answer and the interesting info, Paroper!  Smiley Smiley
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paroper
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2006 05:19:30 PM »

The change in fabrics over the last 30 years has been amazing!  Not all of it is good because many of the common everyday fabrics that were great for sportswear and children's clothing, even vintage wear are a whole lot harder to find, if you can find them at all, but some of the newer fabrics have so much versitility and the care is so much easier..and the look..WOW!
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