Designing with Knits

If you have ever taken the time to visit the knit section at your local fabric store, you know that not all knits are created equal.  Not only do knit fabrics vary in weight and appearance, but most importantly, knit fabrics vary in terms of stretch.  This week, for your pattern making purposes, we bring you Knit Stretch Reductions: Torso Slopers which will teach you how to modify your torso sloper for use with moderate, 2-way, super stretch and ribbed knit fabrics.

This week is also a great time to share the process by which you can learn to design with knits at the University of Fashion.  We pride ourselves on our self-paced/choice-based learning model, however, with back-to-school mania in full swing, we can’t help but give you a step by step lesson plan for creating a perfectly fit top in the knit fabric of your choice.

 How to Design a Perfectly Fit Knit Top

Step 1:  Start by draping a basic torso sloper in muslin.  Learn dress form and measurement basics in this introductory video.

Step 2:  Transfer your drape to oak tag for future use.

Step 3:  Familiarize yourself with the properties of knit fabrics.

Step 4:  Convert your oak tag torso sloper into a knit torso sloper pattern.

Step 5:  Take a trip to the fabric store and choose your knit based on your new found knit fabric knowledge.

Step 6:  Use our newest video Knit Stretch Reductions: Torso Slopers to tailor your torso sloper to fit your fabric choice.

You are now prepared to cut and sew your knit top – stay tuned for the remainder of our knit series in which we will teach you how to adjust your sleeve, pant and skirt slopers for use with knit fabric.  Here’s to a year full of inspired learning at the University of Fashion!

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Kara Laricks is a regular contributor to the University of Fashion. She’s also a New York based women's wear and accessories designer. As the first winner of NBC's Fashion Star, Kara has designed collections for H&M, Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue. Her masculine meets feminine line, Kara Laricks, debuted at New York Fashion Week in 2012 and her S/S 2013 collection sold exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue. Kara's designs have been featured on the Today Show and HBO's True Blood as well as covered in Women's Wear Daily and on Style.com. Kara holds Master's degrees in both Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Kansas and in Fashion Design from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. An educator turned designer, Kara is dedicated to supporting emerging designers and inspiring others to follow where dreams lead.