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Do I cut knit on the bias?

Ritzy's picture

I have a Sandra Betzina pattern for a skirt which is cut on the bias. Just love the pattern.  I have several yards of poly,rayon,spandex knit fabric purchased from Hancock fabric- it is the softer drapier weight- and am wondering if a bias cut would work on a knit fabric.  When looking thru my stash of patterns I keep going back to that particular  bias cut skirt.  Any advice

maggiecoops's picture

(post #25146, reply #1 of 3)

Knit fabrics are not as stable as woven fabrics, their bias is dependant on the the type of knit technique. It doesn't follow that the bias will be on a 45 degree angle either. Pull a piece of woven on the straight grain and it hardly stretches ,same on the cross grain. Now try that on a knit,some knits have a very pronounced "straight grain stretch" some have it on the "cross grain" they all have the diagonal stretch as well. So to answer your question, no a knit fabric isn't a good choice for a bias cut skirt.

See if you can find some patterns for  knit fabrics only, you'll see they have a stretch guide for how much or how little stretch the fabric must have to make the design. It will show two markings on the measure guide, the first for the relaxed fabric, the second for the amount of stretch the pattern needs. If I tell you some knits can stretch by 30% of their relaxed width or length, you can see why it's crucial to know the stretchability of a knit fabric before using it for a garment.

Ritzy's picture

(post #25146, reply #2 of 3)

Thank you. I will look through my kwik sew patterns.



Teaf5's picture

(post #25146, reply #3 of 3)

Since cutting wovens on the bias gives a kind of stretch that knits have built in, it's not usually necessary to cut knits on the bias.  However, a pattern that calls for a woven on the bias is probably cut at least 2-4" bigger than it would be for a woven fabric cut on the straight grain, and might be really big if made in a stretchy knit cut either way.

You can check the different effects by holding up the uncut fabric around your waist, pinning where the side seams would need to be, and then measuring the fabric when it is laid flat again.  While you have it draped, also check the way it falls and moves; you might find you like one way better than the other.

Knit skirts can be exceptionally comfortable, but they can also get droopy all around the hem and baggy in the back if the knit doesn't have excellent recovery, so you should try sitting and moving with the uncut fabric before deciding on whether to use it for that purpose.