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[personal profile] chebe
I'm new to using knits (or, at least, trying to understand knits). And I'm new to underwear. So I'm starting small. With smalls. Kwik Sew's 2100 in fact. And I'm going to go through it in great (probably painful for you) detail.

Thing Number 1: Fabric
Designed for stretch knits only. Suggested Fabrics: Nylon tricot, single knit.

Drawing from Claire Shaeffer's Fabric Sewing Guide (am really loving this book).

  • "Stretch knits have moderate to good elasticity."

  • "Tricot is a lightweight knit..."

  • "Single knits are the same as jerseys."

  • "Jersey is a single knit... Generally soft and drapeable..."

  • "Compared to tricot, jersey is more elastic in the width and less stable."

  • And from The Bra Maker's Manual (amazing fountain of knowledge, especially marking differences in usage of applicable words).

  • "Jersey knit - a lightweight knit with very different right and wrong side (knit side and purl side). ... Antron is a common brand of nylon jersey."

  • "Raschel knit - a one way fabric with stretch in the lengthwise direction. ... In Canada we call it "one-way" stretch."

  • "Tricot knit - has stretch in both lengthwise and crosswise directions ... Please note that in the United States, the word tricot refers to the "slip fabric" particularly Antron III tricot, not the fabric that stretches in all directions. Tricot in Canada means any fabric with spandex fibres, that stretches up and down the length as well as across the width and it is common called four-way stretch. This is the type of fabric that is absolutely necessary for swimwear."

  • To muddy the waters a little. From Claire Shaeffer again:
  • "Two-way stretch knits stretch in both length and width. Knitted on a tricot machine the stretch is dependent on the stretch yarns used. They have good stretch and recovery."

  • So. My head hurts, but it seems;
  • Single-knit, one-way stretch, jersey knit, and raschel knits are basically the same.

  • Two-way stretch, four-way stretch, and tricot knit are basically the same.

  • Power stretch knits, and fabrics often simply labelled 'spandex' or 'Lycra' can be either of the two previous types.

  • But remember, reference to tricot might be a fabric rather than fabric type.

  • Thing Number 2: Notions
    (Synthetic) Thread, scrap piece of cotton knit for crotch lining. For decoration: Lace Motif or ... lace ...
    For Waist use ... lingerie elastic or ... stretch lace. For Legs use ... lingerie elastic or ... stretch lace.

    Lingerie elastic? You can see them at Sew Sassy. Boils down to, picot edge elastic (like regular elastic only with decorative loops down one side), scalloped edge elastic, clear elastic, as well as a few other types. Looking at the contents of my underwear drawer it seems Ready-To-Wear uses anything that works, and if the elastic will be inside a casing then appearance doesn't matter and any kind of thin elastic will do you. For a slightly fancier look, finishing with stretch lace trims is actually less work.

    Thing Number 3: How much stretch?
    I can't find anything that indicates how much the fabric or elastic should stretch. I guess it's left up to personal preference? I know most stretch fabrics tend to have 5% stretch, for instance I found some print jersey, 95% polyester and 5% elastane. It's expensive too. €10/metre in half-price sale. And forget about trying to find cotton jersey. I am still trying to find some nice elastics that I don't have to hide in casings. When I do, it's straight on to the cutting!
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