A little over a year ago, I was defeated by a slippery, white bamboo knit not at all unlike the fabric I used for this version of the Hey June Santa Fe top. When the pattern first launched and I saw one tester’s beautiful version in knit and lace, I thought it was time to try and redeem myself.
I used this Winter White Bamboo Stretch Jersey Knit and White Embroidered Eyelash Lace. The knit is smooth like butter and drapes nicely while the lace is pretty and delicate. I was pretty hyped as the knit didn’t curl much when I cut the larger pieces and sewed well with a slow zig-zag stitch.
The problem came when it was time for the neck and arm bindings. (The binding was also the issue for my first bamboo knit make.) They curled so much they ended up looking like pieces of string. I had looked up ways to tame fabrics online and considered at first creating my own starch spray mixture. However, I read somewhere that insects are attracted to corn starch, so I held off… Thankfully, a fellow Cali & Co blogger suggested using Best Press as a spray starch alternative. While Best Press works, one thing I learned the hard way is that you should let it dry for a few minutes before ironing or else it leaves sticky residue on your iron. Also, press quickly – don’t let your iron stay in one place for too long!
When I made the first version of the Santa Fe top, I used a thicker knit for both the insets and the body. That made the bindings very thick, so I opted to trim the neck and arm openings, and use bands instead. For this thin lace and bamboo knit, I decided to stick with the bindings for a cleaner finish instead. I found that it works best to spray the bindings with Best Press, iron, pin to the openings, and iron again before sewing very very slowly. The bindings are not perfect here, but they are much better than my first attempt.
I made this top to go with the chambray shorts I blogged earlier, but found that I love it even more with this Lindy Petal Skirt. It’s a simple top but makes me feel put together!
How do you feel about bamboo knits, and how do you conquer them?