Londas Hints for Sewing Slinky Knit

Londa’s Hints for Sewing Slinky Knit

My friend, Emma Seabrooke also does ALOT with Slinky Knit - and has lots of patterns.  Find them at her website Here.

Fiber Content and Care

1. The well-known, original Slinky knit is Acetate or Triacetate and Lycra. This blend is:

· More expensive than the Polyester & Lycra

· Fiber confirmed as acetate if it disintegrates in Acetone – normal, (cheap) finger polish remover.

· Embosses using acrylic or rubber stamps, metal household items, etc. (see Threads #106 pg 39

· Usually not as wide as the Poly/Lycra version

· Tends to stretch and grow more than the Polyester/Lycra version

· Technically a rib knit – stretch it and see.

· Trademarked by Horizon fabrics, but now more a generic term for this type and weight of knit fabric

· Some say cooler to wear than Poly/Lycra version

2. Another blend becoming common is Polyester & Lycra.. I (Londa) like it just as much, if not more with the only exception that it doesn’t emboss.

· Usually wider goods

· Holds it shape better

· Technically a rib knit – stretch it and see

Slightly distressed, and shaded – the deeper coloring is the right side of the fabric; the ribs are more distinct on the right side too.

Machine wash cool/delicate. Lay out to dry – DO NOT HANG to dry. Also – test, but I’ve bad no problem just drying in the drier on delicate. J

Recommended Silhouettes/Styles

· Full, drapey styles are wonderful – even for the not-so-slim among us, just allow for at least 6-8” of ease beyond your body measurements. People will think you lost weight! What occurs is the vertical folds hang beautifully and camouflage the ‘you’ underneath!

· The fewer the seams, the better.

· Avoid zippers, buttonholes, complicated closures.

· Fabric ties are too bulky – stay away from them.

· Best to skip pockets – get too bulky and heavy, inside or outside

· Cowl Necklines are wonderful!!!


· Use With Nap layout – all tops at the same end of fabric, and don’t let the excel hang off the cutting table; support with a chair

· Weights of some type are useful – rather than pins. In a pinch, use tomato paste cans!

· A good, SHARP rotary cutter blade is a treat.  I find that the Roll the Gold Titanium blade holds up longer to Slinky Knit - and all man-made fibers.  Of course, use rotary cutters only on a mat - I like and use this mat:  click HERE

· Eliminate seams were possible: if straight grain , just place seam line on a fold!

· Consider bias – going down at centers for wonderful play of light and figure flattery.

· I rarely say to trim a pattern excess tissue, but on Slinky (and Polar Fleece), it is necessary –or the pattern will be shredded at the edges, due to the depth of the Slinky texture.

Seaming/Construction Hints

· Teeniest zig zag stitch of normal length: Stitch width .5 (that’s ½, less than 1!)

Stitch length 3.0

· Top quality polyester thread – Metrosene is BEST

· A Stretch 75 needle will eliminate piercing fibers, and skipped stitches due to configuration of the scarf of the needle.  This needle, and others for sewing on knits can be found in my Knit Needle Combo.

· Serger: 4 thread safety stitch (that’s 2 needles!) with Differential Feed placed at 1.5 . No serger?? Don’t despair – Slinky is a knit and won’t ravel.

· Steam lightly after stitched to embed thread into fabric fibers .

· Favorite seam finish other than serger: press both seams one direction, grade seam so shorter seam closest to garment, then top stitch from right side with same tiny zigzag stitch – OR twin needle stitch with 4.0/75 twin stretch needle - as found in my Knit Needle Combo.

· Avoid conventional facings whenever possible! – too bulky!!!

· Necklines, armscyes, etc. – slightly stretch and zig zag (longer, wider zz stitch) 3/8” Lastin Clear Elastic to wrong side. Serge to finish, right side up. Turn to wrong side (securing with 505 Spray or Steam A Seam 2 strips, and topstitch with the 4.0/75 Twin Stretch Needle as found in my Knit Needle Combo. This is my personal favorite finish. Don’t judge the results until you have steamed lightly! J

· Self fabric as ‘ribbing’ fabric. Cut cross grain strip and use folded in half, wrong sides together. Round neckline: 2:3 ratio of rib to neckline. Oval neckline: 3”4 ratio of rib to opening.

· Stitch Lastin Clear Elastic into shoulder seams – un-stretched, 1:1 to stabilize. Flip seam allowances over and top stitch to cover.

· Bind Edges: 1. Stitch along neck seam line and center front line 2. Trim close to stitching. 3. Use a cross grain strip – cut 5 x wider than finished desired bound edge. 4. Stitch right side to right side of garment, the distance of finished bond edge from the cut edge. 5. Flip binding over seam allowance, around to the back and pin. 6. Stitch in ditch. 7. Trim excess very close to stitching with an Applique Scissors.. If on a front opening, hem garment before applying binding. Always stretch binding a bit around round necklines and on angled areas (V neck). Allow for extra length at lower edges. Trim to 1” or less longer than front edge. Turn up, then turn binding back and stitch in the ditch.

Favorite Interfacing: SofKnit or Textured Weft Fusible Interfacing.

Buttonholes: interface fabric and cord the buttonholes – consult your machine manual for how-to’s. Use double strand of your polyester fabric for ‘cording’.


Must be stabilized in some way, or will wiggle and look VERY home-made!

Londa's Favorite Method:

Knit Fusible Tape  serged to wrong side of hem edge, with sticky side up at serger. Press up hem. Stitch with Twin Stretch 4.0/80 needle.Strips of SofKnit interfacing can be used in the same manner .

Stretch Blind Hem also works quite well – set it up so that the zig zag side stitch actually stitches OFF the fabric, and left hop of needle just barely catches the fold – which is so far to the right almost over the cut edge, that you can’t see the cut edge. Loosen upper tension a tad to put more thread in the stitch.


To Emboss Acetate Slinky

Place template face up, fabric right side down on template, mist it thoroughly with water and place Teflon Pressing Sheet on top. Press firmly and evenly (silk setting around 300 degrees, no steam) with two hands for balanced pressure. Spot check results without moving fabric..

The Following Patterns are ones I suggested highly for Slinky Knit from the period approx 2005-2008, these may still be available. 

Sewing Workshop : WontonBlouse, 8th Avenue Skirt, Plaza Jacket, Thai Coat, TeaGarden T, Origamai Blouse, Japonesque Top, Mission Jacket & Tank, Kinenbi Top

LaFred : Phoebe T, Thalia Pant

Revisions : Dragonfly, Skye Lines (B), Vest Collection 101 C), Taos Skirt, Rio Jacket & Vest

Design & Sew: Layers & Layers, Japonais Shirt & Vest. First Class Shirt & Pants,

Paw Prints:: Tai Pei Top, Layers

LJ Designs:: Wow Tunic, Asymmetrical Top, Skirt (not vest though) , Freedom Wrap,

Textile Studio: Barcelona Dress, Santa Monica Tee, Skirt Wardrobe, Basic Pant, Basic Top, Provence dress, Florence Jacket , Tank Top Shell, Shawl Collar Jacket, Brussels Skirt, Basic Dress, , Monaco Shell,

Loes Hinse: Swing Skirt, Venetian Vest, European Pant, Cowl Top, Portofino Dress, Kimono Jacket, New York Dress, Piazza Jacket, Bolero Jacket, Bistro Jacket, Basic Pleat Pant, Boat Net Top, Wrap Skirt, Gore Skirt, French Country dress (eliminate pocket), Cruise pant, Sweater Set, City Dress, Tunic Blouse, Wrap Skirt.

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