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Mixed Knit Tops

Sewing up a mixed knit tee or tunic using the Tabula Rasa Knits pattern is a snap! Today we will give you a few tips on successfully mixing knits. It’s even easier if you buy one of Fit for Art’s knit bundles. We have done the work to find three knits that coordinate in weight and color so your top will be fun and distinctive. These knit bundles are not in our online store because we choose each bundle with care and only make a few of each group. Contact us directly at if you are interested in purchasing one for yourself or as a gift for a sewing friend.

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Tee from blue floral and blue ikat bundle

If you already have knits in your stash to mix and match, you will need no more than 30″ of 56”-wide knit for each section. The 2X Tabula Rasa Tee above was created from our navy floral bundle with blue ikat. With 30″ of each knit in the bundle, there was plenty of fabric to cut the sleeves from one piece, the sides and trims from another piece, and the fronts and backs from the third piece. When I am mixing knits, I often us the darkest or quietest of the coordinating knits for the sleeves. In this top I used the heathered navy for the sleeves, placed the boldest print on the front and back, and used the ikat in the sides. I isolated the green stripe from the floral print to edge the neck and the sleeves, but the blue ikat would have made great trimming too.

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Blue/black/ brown bundle tunic.
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Swing sides with flat piping pinned in place.

The Tabula Rasa Tunic above was made from our brown geometric bundle. As you can see, I put the brown/black animal print in the sleeves and as flat piping between the body and the swing side panels. To achieve this effect, I attached folded strips of knit to each side of the swing side before construction. With two such bold prints, a little separation is helpful. Follow the directions on pages 14-15 of the Tabula Rasa Jacket Instruction booklet if you are unsure how to make flat piping. Flat piping in knits can be cut on the straight of grain, cross grain, or bias.

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Strip of trim ready to be placed on tunic front.
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Knit trim attached to the front before construction.

The strip of circles down the center of the tunic’s front is also edged with the brown/black animal print and was placed on the front to break up the geometry in the block print. I created the strip of trim by carefully cutting a strip of the circle fabric with the least amount of white. I stitched the strips of brown to each side, folded them under and topstitched the assembled strip to the front piece before constructing the tunic. I centered it, but you could place the strip off center if that is more visually pleasing to you. I am always looking for ways to include a vertical visual in my printed garments. This little strip of trim created a visual center on the high contrast print. I was wearing this top in a Facebook post from October.

Do you like the effect? Dig out your knit stash and begin assembling a group of your own coordinates. It is best if all the pieces you choose are a similar weight and drape. Be inspired by more photos of mixed fabric knits in our Photo Gallery. Share with our readers your tips for mixing knits. Send us photos of the knit groups you put together, or better yet, of the tees and tunics you make. We would love to share them with all our sewing friends on Facebook!

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