I had the opportunity to sew strike off fabric from K’s Closet, based in Hillsborough, NC. K’s Closet provided me with just enough cotton spandex fabric to sew a tanktop for myself, and I am in love with it! The fabric quality, stretch, and weight all fall into the excellent category. It was easy to work with, and the colors are vivid. The shop sells both fabric and completed custom apparel.
What I love most about K’s Closet is that the prints can be used on adult or childrens’ clothing – they have a sophisticated side that a lot of custom knit groups do not. I’m going to have to start budgeting for splurges to K’s Closet because I know I want more of this. You can view the fabric selections available here. This pre-order closes on April 14th, which is coming up soon. Here is the listing for the fireworks fabric that I tested in cotton lycra.
I’m really excited about the print I received because every patriotic holiday (Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, etc.) I’m scrambling to find something patriotic to wear. Now I have a go-to for the whole summer! I sewed up my finally perfected fitted tee, which is based on the Patterns for Pirates Layer Me Up top. I’ve made a lot of changes from the original, including blending sizes, a broad back adjustment, a big booty adjustment, changes to the neckline and armsyces based on fit, and a seamless swayback adjustment. The seamless swayback adjustment was new this time, and I didn’t realize a top could fit so well on me! Here’s the tutorial I used for that.
Now, for some fabric review specifics based on my experience:
- Fiber content: the fabric is listed as cotton Lycra. Lycra is a brand name for spandex. I asked the owner and found out that the breakdown is 95% cotton, 5% Lycra (spandex).
- Stretch and recovery: this fabric has great crosswise and vertical stretch. By my very unscientific estimation, it stretches approximately 50% in both directions, maybe slightly more across (as is typical of stretch knits). This is great for fitted items, like tanktops or leggings, that require negative ease, but it’s also totally appropriate for items that do not require negative ease.
- Shrinkage: I was really worried about shrinkage since K’s Closet sent me almost exactly enough for my planned project, but it hardly shrunk at all! I washed and dried on hot, and it only shrunk 3% vertically (1″ on my 31″ long cut) and not at all across (41″ across stayed 41″ across after washing).
- Weight: the weight is definitely on the medium to heavy side for knits, which again is great for items requiring negative ease. I measured the fabric weight as 285GSM (285 grams per square meter). For comparison, the weight is listed as 260GSM, so you’re getting even more than you’re paying for! Most cotton spandex I’ve worked with is in the 200-220 gsm range, and this extra weight makes a big difference. Even stretched to the fullest, this fabric is not the least bit see through, and the thickness is good for shaping maintaining shape without showing panty lines or bra lines or highlighting lumps and bumps in your figure.
- Color fade: this fabric didn’t fade noticeably! The first thing that struck me about the fabric when it arrived was how vivid the colors were. After washing with detergent and drying on hot, the colors didn’t change at all that I could tell.
- Color when stretched: This fabric, like most custom knit fabric, is printed on a white background. If you stretch it to the fullest, you will see the white background. However, when stretched as you’d normally wear the fabric, I don’t think it is a problem at all. The tanktop I made has negative ease, and the colors are still very vivid. The neckband and armbands are stretched much more than the rest of the fabric, so they do look slightly lighter, but not in a way that is undesirable.
- Ease of cutting and sewing: as a heavier weight knit, this fabric was super easy to cut and a sew. It didn’t slip or slide around at all. I had no trouble sewing it up on my serger and topstitching and hemming with a twin needle on my sewing machine. I used woolly nylon thread in my loopers and bobbin just because I like the feeling against my skin in tight fitted garments.