Battle of the Cotton Knits

Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit VS Cotton Spandex Knit

Hey Stashbusters!  Today we are talking about knit fabrics!  Inspired by Melissa at Mahlica Designs and her fantastic Versus series, I thought I would write up my own version of this.  I wanted to compare how the exact same pattern would sew up in two different knits.  Cotton Spandex Knit and Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit to be exact.

Let’s start with a little background on the pattern first.  The pattern I picked is M6559 in view D.  This is a pretty basic pattern as it only has two pieces.  It is a quick make, which is good for me.  These are the 3rd and 4th versions I have made using this pattern. Surprisingly, this is the first time I am really blogging about this pattern.  I kind of reviewed it here but not very much. For both versions I made a size 22 with no fitting alterations.  For both versions I did add a contrasting trim to the neckline and armholes and a simple rolled hem finish.  I love the contrasting trim I added as a different way to finish my openings.  I haven’t posted it yet, but I do have a pattern hack tutorial written for a different pattern that includes how to add this trim, so I am not going to post it here.  I really do love this pattern for its simplicity.  It makes a great summer dress for me that I am going to make over and over again.

Let’s get down to the main event though.  I compared each fabric in the following areas: sewing experience, all day wearability, first laundry cycle.


Musings of a Seamstress - M6559
Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit


First up is a Kumquat Teal Navajo Modal Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit Fabric from Girl Charlee.  I used 1.75 yards of this fabric that I purchased back in 2014 during their Black Friday sale.  The total cost of this one is $4.38.  I also used scraps of an Orange Rayon Spandex.  It wasn’t enough to count for anything though.  This is a very soft drapey knit, that clings in all the right places. It is typically used for sleep wear, making this kinda like secret pajamas.

Musings of a Seamstress - M6559
Cotton Spandex Knit


The second fabric is Pink and Black Ethnic Cotton Spandex Knit.  This one also came from Girl Charlee and was in the August 2015 Knitfix I purchased last year. I used 2 yards which was a cost of $11.50.  For the contrast I used some scraps of Black Ponte De Roma that I had laying around. For this version I added 3″ to the bottom hem since I did not pre-wash the fabric because I wanted to do a laundry test.  This fabric is a little thicker than the other, but it feels more like a comfy t-shirt.


Musings of a Seamstress - M6559  The Rayon Spandex print can go either direction, so I had no problems being able to match up the print at the side seams.  It is darn near perfect! Rayon Spandex does present it’s own set of sewing challenges though.  This fabric has a lot of stretch to it, so it was very important that I not stretch the fabric as I was sewing. Having a pattern to match at the side seams helped immensely with that. For all knits I make sure I use bulky nylon as my bobbin thread on my straight stitch machine and looper threads on serger.  I also make sure I use a jersey needle.


The cotton spandex, Musings of a Seamstress - M6559unfortunately, is a one way print.  With only having two yards the front and back panels go different directions, so there was no way I was able to match prints at the side seam.  This one has a good amount of stretch to it, but not as much as the rayon spandex,  making it a bit easier to sew with.  It would be a great knit to sew if you are new to knits.  The only downside to sewing this fabric was hemming.  The cotton spandex tends to curl up and my rolled hem is not visible now and I have a narrow band of the underside of the fabric showing.


Musings of a Seamstress - M6559Musings of a Seamstress - M6559I love wearing this rayon spandex dress.  I said earlier that it is like secret pajamas, making it a super comfortable fabric to wear.  The stretch and drape in this fabric makes it flattering in that it shows off my curves!  The fabric does tend to stretch out during the course of the day, but after letting it sit over night it recovered pretty darn well.






Since the cotton spandex doesn’t have the drape as the rayon spandex, it does show off my curves as well.  It is a little baggier looking in the waist creating more of a column look from the chest down. On the plus side, this one does stretch out a bit while wearing, but does not recover as well as the rayon spandex did. Since I didn’t wash it before wearing, the extra inches I added were slightly problematic.  Good thing that isn’t going to be permanent.






Musings of a Seamstress - M6559Part of the reason I wanted to wait to wash them until after wearing them was I knew how the rayon spandex would turn out and it performed as expected.  This is the biggest let down of rayon spandex for me.  In the picture the fabric on the left is unwashed and the one on the right is the finished garment.  You can see that the finished garment has white fuzzies all over it, causing it to have a faded look.  This is because of the rayon fibers.  I hate that this dress now looks super worn after only one wash.  Musings of a Seamstress - M6559The cotton spandex, by contrast, washed up wonderfully!  If you can see the dividing line down the center, the one on the left is the unwashed fabric and the one on the right is the washed garment.  They are identical in look!  No fading at all!  The fabric did become a bit softer though, which is a plus.  It did shrink up a bit in the hem, but not as much as I added to the hem, so I will re-hem this one.


So, which fabric does it come down to as being the winner…

Musings of a Seamstress - M6559

The cotton spandex knit!  I think the washability of the fabric was the deal breaker for the cotton rayon spandex knit.  I want my garments to be of great quality and how they wash and wear is a huge part of that.  The downsides of this cotton spandex can be looked passed because this fabric still looks great after washing and I expect it will hold up for quite a some time.  I do have another cotton rayon spandex knit that is mostly white and navy that I am curious to sew up and see if it washes the same as this mostly black version.

Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit VS Cotton Spandex Knit

Have you sewn up either of these fabrics before?  What are your thoughts on them?

Me Made May Days 25-31

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 25: Monday

Ahhh…Memorial day, a day off of work.  I wore my newest version of McCall’s 6559, which was made way back in March.  This version used exactly 1 yard of a teal ponte that has been in my stash since 2012. It is a little short than I would normally wear though, so next time I will add about 3″ to the hem.  I believe the fabric was from a mystery bundle from Fabric Mart, so I am estimating the cost to be around $1.50.  I will for sure take that cost for a new dress.  I also wore it with my Butterick 5789 vest.  This is the third time I wore this vest this month and I cannot seem to get enough of it.  I originally made it specifically to be worn with this dress though.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 26: Tuesday

This is one of my favorite makes from last year, McCall’s 5974!  This fabric is so bright and fun.  It stands completely on it’s own in my wardrobe.  Nothing I own or have made comes anywhere close to the intensity of these colors.  I did also wear the original wearable muslin version of this dress later in the day as well.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 27: Wednesday

This was an incredibly hard day.  The Thursday before I learned that my oldest and dearest friends’ mom had passed away after a battle with cancer and Wednesday was her funeral.   I have been friends with this person for 24 years now and know her family pretty well.  Her mom was an amazing women who taught me a lot.  The one that I will always remember from when we were younger was when I asked her why she was wearing sunglasses in the winter because I had always associated sunglasses with being for summer only (I don’t know what to say other than I was a weird kid).  She looked at me and laughed and said “Well the sun is still out now, isn’t it”.  She was like a second mom to me often and I will never forget her.  In preparing to go home for the funeral I grieved by stressing about what to wear and decided I had  to make a new dress and cardigan.  I decided to go with my standard McCall’s 5974 from 1.75 yards of black ponte and Butterick 5789 from 2 yards black baby hacci sweater knit.  Both are newly purchased fabrics this month from Jo-Ann’s.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 28: Thursday

Big surprise, I wore another version of McCall’s 5974!  I think maybe I need to lay off of this pattern for awhile since I have made 8 versions of it.  I don’t know if that will happen though.  It is just such a well fitting and comfortable pattern that it is my go to summer dress.  We’ll see what I make this summer, as I do have a few other patterns picked out.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 29: Friday

For fear only ever wearing M5974 all week, I choose to wear one of the self drafted skirts I made back during the Adoption Dress project.  This skirt has pockets and a slightly gathered contrast ruffle.  I paired it with a white tank top and wide black belt.  Similar to the McCall’s dress I have about 7 different versions of this skirt as well.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 30: Saturday

Oldies but goodies for today.   Both the top and the shorts are me made pieces from ages ago.  The top is possibly from 2009 and the shorts are from 2012. The shorts  were way too big in 2012 and not so much anymore, so that kind of sucks.  You know all those awesome “You should be sewing” meme’s Leila keeps making, yeah well, I think I need on that says “You should be running”.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day  31: Sunday

And now we have reached the end of another Me Made May.  Today I wore the self drafted skirt I made back in January/February.  I don’t know what it is about this skirt but I just cannot seem to style it.  I feel like I want to wear one of my wide belts with it but I can’t since I made the waistband wide and ruched.  Also, I just have not liked any of the tops I own with it.  None of the colors go well, except black, and no matter which I choose I feel pretty column like in this look.  I appear to have no shape whatsoever.  I really think it needs a belt.  I don’t know if I will wear this again without changing the waistband.  On a side note, I promise that the hem of this skirt is not angled like the picture makes it look.  I was just standing at an awkward angle, which you can’t even tell because I look like a column.  Ughhh!

Me Made May Days 11-17

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 11: Monday   I wore my latest crinkle chiffon top, Simplicity 2365, from March.  Musings of a Seamstress

Day 12: Tuesday I wore another chiffon top, OOP Butterick 5355, that I made so long ago I don’t remember when. Musings of a Seamstress

Day 13: Wednesday  I wore my leopard/floral cardigan, OOP McCall’s 5978.

Musings of a Seamstress


Day 14: Thursday  I wore another chiffon top, McCall’s 5436.  Somehow, I managed to wear 3 different chiffon tops this past week.  I may have an obsession.Musings of a Seamstress

Day 15: Friday I wore my version of Simplicity 1317.  This was a poor decision for the warm temps as it is so think. Definitely a fall top, not a summer top.


Musings of a Seamstress


Day 16: Saturday I wore my McCall’s 6559 maxi.  I really need to hem off about 10″ to make this shorter and fix the current shrinking lining issues at the hem.

Day 17: Sunday  I wore the same Summer Concert Tee I wore the first day of this month because I have reluctantly spent the day cleaning instead of sewing and I am a mess.  Nobody wants to see it!  I am currently working on some pattern testing projects that I can’t wait to share but I had to set them aside for the day.  My house has reached a critical point of messy and I have to take care of it now!

Now that we are over halfway through Me Made May 2015, I have once again noticed a few gaps in my wardrobe that I need to fill.  As always, pants!  I just need to make more/any.  I consistently buy the same pair in the same two washes all the freaking time.  Ugh…I am so bored with that.  I successfully copied a pair of Express jeans  out of red stretch denim for the Fabric Mart Fabricista challenge that I have never made again.  Mostly because I just cannot seem to pull the trigger to buy denim, but also it is just easier to buy a new pair of jeans.

Another need is more casual stay at home tops.  On days like today I want to throw on a loose top and capri leggings.  I do not intend on leaving the house and, in fact, I am going to get my hands dirty by cleaning or doing lawn work or even just sewing all day.  These days are all about comfort and not caring if I get a stain on my shirt.  I definitely need to make some more super basic tees out of some of the stash fabrics that I am not so in love with just to get them out of there.

Have you noticed any gaps in your me made wardrobe so far?

Day 196: Lessons on pre-treating

Musings of a Seamtress

This is the dress I wore to my brothers graduation.  The one I made and never blogged about.  Well here it is in all it’s stripey floral goodness.  For this I used McCall’s 6559.  I will not  be posting a full review here  or on Pattern Review because there are plenty of them out there for this pattern.  I will, however, tell you that this is super quick and simple.  If you haven’t tried it yet, do it tonight!  With some resourceful fabric folding I used only one and half yards of a new stripey floral and a stashed white cotton knit .  That is way less than the pattern envelope called for and now I have a yard and a half left.

Musings of a Seamstress

Do you know what happens when you are so excited to make a pattern and decide not  to wash either  of your fabrics beforehand?  You end up with shrinkage in opposite directions.  The top still looks and fits great.  The bottom, however, has some bagging going on around the hem from both the wrong and right sides.  Alas, lesson learned.  Always pre-treat your fabrics even when you don’t think you need to.  I was thinking about cutting this off to around knee length to fix the bagging, but I really like this as a maxi.  Thoughts?