Sewing with Polyester Quilted Knit

Jalie Raglan in quilted poly double knit

After blogging about my experience sewing scuba, I’m back with yet another polyester fabric that has suddenly become popular this year!

This fabric is from my local Fabricland, and they have it in a variety of colours and quilted designs. It’s basically a double knit, and feels like a similar weight to ponte. It’s fairly soft on the good side, but has a slightly scratchy mesh texture on the inside. Maybe that’s the stabiliser for the quilting? This piece was a remnant, which was a happy excuse to try out the fabric. It’s usually about $25/m (though it’s been on sale 40% off for a while).

Jalie Raglan in quilted poly double knit

As you can see, I made my trusty raglan top… which wasn’t really a good idea! The fabric has moderate 2-way stretch (maybe 10 or 15%?), which makes for quite a slim fit. That’s ok, but since it’s not stretchy enough to do a folded band neckline, I just turned and coverstitched instead. Bad move, because suddenly this neckline flashes everything I don’t want it too!

Jalie Raglan in quilted poly double knit

Hello, bra strap! And not just a little sneak peak… I’m pretty sure that if I wore this while sitting, leaning, etc, everything would be on show. I’m so annoyed! I definitely can’t wear it to work as is, so is it doomed to be just loungewear at home? (Snug loungewear with a drafty neck?) Curses!

There is, of course, the option of a cosy scarf…

Jalie Raglan in quilted poly double knit

…but I think I probably just need to suck it up and do some alterations.

Which solution should I try? 

  1. Debbie’s fix-it solution of using elastic thread. I’d have to buy the elastic thread, but it sounds quick and easy after that.
  2. Unpick the coverstitched neck adjust the raglan seams to dart out some excess, then coverstitch again.
  3. Unpick neck and find some contrast grey/black/something fabric to do a folded band, which would help bring in the neckline but make the shirt more casual. I’d probably have to add bands to the sleeves for balance too.

Jalie Raglan in quilted poly double knit (I’m starting to feel like Ariana Grande with my posing – if my head is turned, it’s always turned to the one side! But that’s where the light is, dammit! If I start being carried like a baby, then I’ll worry…) 

So what’s the deal with this fabric? The one other time I’ve used quilted knit , I also ended up with a gaping neckline. Grrrr!

What is quilted knit best for? (Assuming that all quilted knits are similar to mine, which is a big assumption!) 

  • Katy from Katy and Laney just made a Rigel bomber in quilted knit…
  • Lucinda from Sew Wrong made a Linden from quilted knit, so maybe a boxy shape is better than my more fitted design?
  • I think it would make a good pencil skirt or a fabulous full skirt with lots of body.
  • I don’t think it would be ideal for a tight dress like a Moneta or Lady Skater. The sleeves would be whack.
  • Likewise, not enough stretch for leggings. Maybe ok for a cigarette pant?

If I do get lured in by quilted fabrics again, I definitely try to pair it with a contrast stretch cotton for sleeves and neckbands, or a ribbing if I could find nice colours!

So how should I fix this shirt? I’d also love if you’d link in the comments to other projects made with quilted knits. I feel like more people have worked with it, but I can’t remember who! I’d love to learn from their experiences.


52 thoughts on “Sewing with Polyester Quilted Knit

    1. Wow, what a fascinating Threads article! All kinds of things I’ve never heard anywhere else. Love it! I’m not sure it would work for this neckband, but I’m glad to have read it anyway. Thanks!

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  1. I think Debbie’s fix is the best option. But, the challenge with this fabric is that it has relatively little stretch AND little drape. I just skimmed Debbie’s post so I’d just suggest that you consider whether the elastic method will work with a thicker fabric. I agree that this fabric would be awesome for a slim skirt.

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  2. I haven’t sewn with anything like it so I don’t have any suggestions, though I think it looks great. I wouldn’t have been aware of any problems till you pointed them out – I’d go the scarf option, its such a pretty colour and interesting texture.

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    1. Thank you! The scarf option is a cosy and easy one. I actually ended up wearing the shirt today, and with a scarf, didn’t feel too worried about the wide neck. Yay!

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  3. It’s a cute top, but I also hate accidental giant neck holes… I vote for option 3, actually, I think it’d be cute with contrast neck band and sleeve bands!
    I’ve been recently obsessed with this kind of fabric. Ever since Tasia made this skirt (http://sewaholic.net/grey-quilted-hollyburn-skirt/) it’s worked itself into my head like a mindworm. I found a remnant that was similar to hers but it was too small for a circle skirt (bummer!), so I literally just yesterday ordered some quilted knit from fabric.com to try again. I’m thinking winter skirt with tights and boots!

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    1. YES! That skirt was gorgeous. I think I’ve actually seen that exact fabric she used in store here too, but it was a year ago and I’d never seen a quilted knit before, so I didn’t dare spend $25/m on it! Can’t wait to see what you sew with your quilted knit when it arrives!

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    1. Thank you! I bought that necklace when I lived in Japan, and I don’t wear it enough. I’m happy to have a top it works with!🙂

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  4. I’m so glad to find your post on this fabric. I had my hands all over every pattern & colour during last week’s trip to Fabricland. I left without any (even at the 40% off) because I couldn’t decide how it would work up. Now that I know,,I’m thinking the Linden would work for me. (Thanks for Debby’s elastic thread tip–there may be hope for my Lane Raglan!)

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    1. I’ve felt up the quilted knits so many times without buying! I think a Linden would be great, especially if you can find something that works as a coordinating knit for the neckline. I’m debating going back from some more quilted knit to add to my stash…

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  5. I’ve used exactly the same fabric for a boxy top but i did have similar problem with the neckline! I didn’t particularly like the finished top so i never blogged it, the fabric is a bit too stiff for my liking but agree would make a great full skirt, mega volume! I tried to fix mine by adding a scalloped collar which sort of worked but it will add bulk so maybe not a good idea for that fabric😉 love the colour on you, mine was pink maybe that’s why i hated it haha!

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    1. I would love to see how yours turned out! I’m trying to figure out what the fabric can and cannot do, so i can be more successful next time…
      When i was sewing up a full circle-skirt Anna for my sister in the fall, I thought about how awesome it would be in this quilted knit. So much drama, and flattering structure in the bodice!

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  6. That fabric is so pretty. The colour looks great on you, and I think the top looks lovely with the scarf. I’d try Debbie’s fix first – it sounds great – and if that doesn’t work, try your option 2.

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  7. I think I’d go for Debbie’s fix since it looks relatively easy. I hate when this little things make a garment unwearable. I hope you can fix it because the fabric and color are beautiful.

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  8. Ooh thanks for bringing this up, because I got some quilted fabric for my birthday and was planning on turning it into a lady skater. I’ll go for something a bit looser now!

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    1. I think a Coco dress could be lovely, or something like a BHL Anna bodice with cut-on sleeves. A Lady Skater could totally work though, if you maybe added some ease to the sleeves and had a rib knit to do the neckline? Good luck!

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  9. I bought a sample of fabric like this I want to make a skirt out of, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet because it’s really expensive.

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  10. A drafty neck sounds terrible! I have to be honest, they few shirts I have that leave me with a cold neck are always paired with a scarf. The no-sew solution! I’ve had both good and not so good experiences with quilted knit – here’s the good: http://buttonandneedle.blogspot.ca/2014/12/fourteen-and-half.html, the not so good will be blogged later this month. Basically, I treated it as a woven. Great colour on you, though, and great necklace, too!

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    1. Thank you so much for reminding me of your beautiful dress!!! It turned out so well. What was it that you made that didn’t turn out? What went wrong?

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  11. Yep, you could try Debbie’s fix … ahem … me/mine. Haha. It’s definitely the fastest fix. I wish we were neighbors (in FLORIDA because … snow) cuz I’d run right over with my new spool. Then maybe even run two lengths of elastic through the underside if you think more strength against the heavy fabric is needed. I also like the contrast neck/wrist bands idea too. And I just LOVE that necklace!

    (Talk about yer disjointed paragraph. I think I’ve just got Friday silly brain.)

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    1. That Debbie seems like she knows what she’s talking about!😉
      I had to laugh when this comment popped up this morning, because I totally had Friday brain too… except I was writing report cards that some parent was going to obsess over! “Kid … do math…good.”

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  12. Oh my cats! What an amazing fabric–my BIL is in San Diego–if he wasn’t totally clueless with fabric, I’d totally send him on an errand to Fabricland.
    I’d unpick it and go with a contrast stretchier knit to bind it like a rib, but I think the elastic option is probably better since the neckline is probably already stretched out a little bit. But even still, this is a great top. What kind of fabric is the scarf?

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    1. Hehe – there must be Fabriclands everywhere! But all different, I’m assuming. Someone else mentioned one in England… in Canada, Fabricland is our one big chain fabric store.
      The scarf is some odd synthetic, I think, that sheds like mad! But not on this top – maybe the polyester repels it?😉

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  13. First of all, can you read my mind…? I was just looking at quilted knits this week!! There was the scuba, and now this…

    It’s a really great top, and I’m sorry to hear about the neckline. I would vote for the band idea, but as someone who’s very new to sewing with knits, I would also vote for taking what I say with a pinch of salt!

    P.S. I used to live and work pretty close to Fabricland (in Reading), and since moving away, that is one of the things that I really miss! Having seen this lovely fabric I do wish I had a Fabricland nearby – very envious!

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    1. I’m so glad we are thinking alike with projects! I hope you give the scuba and quilted knits a try – I think it’s so exciting when there is a “new” fabric to play with!
      Fabricland in Reading… like, Reading, England? My Fabric land is a chain store in Canada… but someone else mentioned an American Fbaricland, so there must be Fabriclands everywhere!🙂

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  14. Definitely dig the quilted knit. May have to try something similar for another Linden! I’ve had this happen when trying to use a poly ponte for a self neck band and wasn’t too thrilled. I guess you could try a bias binding finish to help snug it up. But I think your idea of using another knit or ribbing like on a sweatshirt along with contrast cuffs would be very nice!

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  15. Ugh, that’s too bad because the color is fantastic. I don’t have any good suggestions for the neckline. I do think this type of knit may be better for boxier styles. I am sewing with a textured knit right now, however it is really stretchy. I’m hoping it will work out🙂

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    1. I’m looking forward to seeing what you make, and how your fabric behaves differently with more stretch! (The fabric nerd in my just loves exploring new kinds of fabric… but only if that fabric is a knit, of course! :P)

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  16. I saw this fabric at Fabricland too, and wondered the same thing. What would I make out of it. I think it would make a nice jacket or something like that. I do like your top though, so I hope you find a fix for it.

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    1. A jacket would be nice! It’s a shame it’s not more stretchy, and that it’s SO poly-feeling! I wonder if there is some reason it works better in polyester, or could then add some cotton to make it nicer to wear?

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