Quantcast
skip to Main Content

My Favorite Places to Buy Knit Fabric + a Bimaa Pattern Review

Knit fabric for boys

If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me where to buy knit fabric for boys, I could sew exclusively in Euro imports! I have had several friends get into sewing recently and ask about knits – I’ve hunted around and I think this post from One Little Minute does a great job of covering a bunch of different kinds and their usages. I find that interlocks and heavier jerseys are easier to sew with – in the above picture you can see ribbed knit on the cuffs, and thicker jerseys in the hoodie’s lining & main fabric, and then a thinner, drapier jersey for the harem pants.

Common problems with knits are that they are too thin, too flimsy, or they pill up and look faded after a few washes. This is a list of my favorite shops for knits and several that I have heard recommended time and time again. I also have a pattern review for LouBee Clothing’s Bimaa pattern – it’s super popular online and for good reason!

There will most likely be lots of Black Friday sales from these shops, so be sure to bookmark & click over to stock up this weekend!

{This post contains affiliate links, indicated by an asterisk*. Please refer to β€˜legal stuff’ in the top menu for more info.}

I sew mostly with upcycled knits from Goodwill (tips for upcycling in this post!) and friends’ closets (and sheets! check out this post) but if I am going to buy something new, I want it to wear well. If something is really pricey, I’ll often buy a smaller amount and just use it on a shirt front with upcycled sleeves. There are lots of Facebook “destash” groups where people sell remnants, yardage, and scrap packs – this is one of my favorites, Knit Destash. Obviously it’s buyer beware since you’re buying directly from someone without a customer service reputation (but Paypal protects you too!).

There are a few lines that are sold multiple places that I love and can attest to their quality. You can find them on Etsy and lots of fabric shops via Google, and several of the specific shops below I list sell them! Art Gallery Knits, Birch Organic Knits, Monaluna Organic Knits, Lillestoff Knits, & Stenzo Knits. Please be forewarned, they are NOT cheap. They are nice quality though, which means they sew and wear nicely.

Where I love to buy knit fabric for boys & women:

  • Fabric.com (don’t forget to use Ebates* for cash back!)
    • I love their organic interlocks! Such nice quality and they press so well. You can see a Julia cardigan in this post in the fuchsia interlock.
  • Fabric Fairy
    • Lots of new prints added frequently, great customer service. You can see a few Greenstyle outfits in this post where I used an ikat print from them.
  • Hawthorne Threads (just use the search box with ‘knits’)
    • Super fast shipping and great customer service, they seem to be adding more knits recently.
  • Mabel Madison
    • A newer shop with unique prints, I’m watching their new arrivals closely! The Bimaa below is made with fabric from their shop.
  • Fabric Mart
    • They stock designer overstocks and have really helpful descriptions to get a feel for the weight of fabrics. Merchandise changes frequently with lots of sales, so it’s more of a browsing shop than being able to find something specific.
  • L’Oiseau Fabrics
  • Fabricworm
    • Best spot to order Birch knits in my opinion, they have a small selection of other designer knits.
  • imagine gnats*
    • Awesome Art Gallery selection! rachael is fabulous to work with, and I can attest to the nice weight/feel of the laguna & Art Gallery knits. Double gauze is so soft, I haven’t decided on a project for it yet but it’s dreamy.
  • Jumping June Textiles
    • Euros! She is super fast shipping, prices are cheaper if you preorder in her Facebook group

I haven’t ordered from the next few shops but have good things from people that I trust!

  • Emma One Sock
    • More designer overstocks.
  • Wanderlust Fabric
    • Very trendy prints, she was quick to respond to my question and I know lots of folks I follow on Instagram have raved about the selection.
  • Banberry Place
    • Wow, huge selection! A few designers I’ve never heard of and some of my favorites (like Lillestoff!)
  • Kitschy Coo
    • Such fun, bright prints! She has awesome knit tips for sewing and the Lady Skater is a super popular pattern.

You’ll notice one glaring store missing – Girl Charlee. I have ordered from them before, but I find their fabric weights to be iffy and often run thin. Customer service reports are also spotty, although I haven’t had any personal issues. So I DO order from them, but only with caution and wouldn’t recommend them to anyone who would find thin knits challenging or isn’t comfortable reading fabric descriptions closely. *You can see Girl Charlee customer service’s comments on this at the bottom of the thread, as of 9/18!

I also can’t recommend Spoonflower – I haven’t pulled the trigger on any of the knits (but have had good luck with the quilting cottons) but I know the organic line had fading problems when it first came out. I’d love to hear if you have any recent experience with them! Sara added this helpful link in the comments talking about two of their knit offerings! Kate mentioned in the comments that they have a swatch book to order samples of the fabric types too, sounds like a great tool.

Bimaa Pattern Review

Bimaa Pattern Review

A shot from the front!

Bimaa Pattern Review

I love the “scuba” style hood, it’s nice and big for my 97% percentile headed son.

Bimaa Pattern Review

Β From the back and side!

Pattern: LouBee Clothing’s Bimaa pattern

Price & Sizing: $7.95 – 6/12m-12 years (though I bought it from a Sew Fab bundle a while ago)

Fabric I used: Adorable Animals in Green by Verhees via Mabel Madison for the main fabric & upcycled fuchsia knit from a skirt for the lining (thanks Mom!)

Changes I made: This is a 4T with about 2 inches cut off the sleeve length. I skipped topstitching on the hood – in another Bimaa I made the understitching seemed to make the “brim” piece a little wavy. I pressed the seam firmly and am happy with how it looks sans top or under stitching.

What I might do if I make it again: If I was going to make him another one right now, I might use a smaller seam allowance on the body or cut a 5t body. It is very slim fitting, and he is very stout.

Overall thoughts on the garment: I love it! This is my favorite thing I’ve sewn recently. It lays so nicely, the print is super fun, and I love that the hood fits his big noggin.

Overall thoughts on the pattern: It’s very popular, and for good reason. I haven’t sewn the cowl or collar neck version, but I love how the cowl looks. It definitely fits very slim and long, so I would highly recommend a quick muslin to check fit before you use nice fabric.

Other versions I found online:

Β Cowl Neck from Very ShannonHoodie from Made with MoxieShawl from Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy

There are also a ton of “hacks” with the Bimaa made into dresses, costumes, dress-up – just Google! Check out this easy way to use woven fabric as a hood lining from Skirt Fixation, too.

Save

This Post Has 22 Comments
  1. Great list! I have similar experience with Girl Charlee. I think you really have to understand the descriptions to know what you’re ordering. When I have been disappointed with an order and gone back to look at the listing, it’s almost always my fault for missing something in the description. If you can wade through the fabric weights, fiber content, and different types…you should be able to shop and know what you’re getting.

    As for Spoonflower, I haven’t ordered enough of the knit to say. But you can browse the forums to see what the other designers are saying. Many of them order and test fabrics in hot water washes and such, and report back their experience. As far as I can see, the color fastness is getting much better. Last time I visited their office ( a few months ago) they were beta testing some new machines that producing much “thicker” color…if that makes sense.

    One of the spoonflower discussion that seemed relevant is this one discussing the modern jersey (polyester) vs. the organic interlock knit. https://www.flickr.com/groups/spoonflower/discuss/72157642843284414/?search=jersey

    1. Yeah, I agree, you have to feel comfortable deciphering their listings! I wish they’d do descriptions like Fabric Mart does, they’re much more helpful. I also know I read a few comments about fabrics running or the color constantly rubbing off but I can’t find the blog post now! Thanks for the link on Spoonflower, I added it to the post πŸ™‚

      1. I haven’t use FabricMart before, but it looks like they have a good selection. Glad you added the Spoonflower link! If people are really interested, there’s a treasure trove of info in the flickr discussions…

  2. I knew most of those places, but I have a couple of new sites to check for good knits now. Thanks! Your Bimaa is adorable. I didn’t have a problem with it being slim, but my kids are a little older and tend to run slim too, so I guess I just got lucky!
    I just ordered some stuff from Spoonflower, and so far so good. I try not to order things that I want to be true black, and have been pretty satisfied with what I got, but I haven’t done more than pre-wash yet. The one thing I would recommend from them is to order the swatch booklet first! I find it was $1 well spent to be able to check out the weight and feel of the fabrics before ordering any yardage.

  3. There are a few places that I hadn’t heard of. I will have to check them out as I am always looking for a good knit place. I have ordered from Wanderlust several times and love it. She is also fantastic with customer service.

  4. Great list! Love European knits. Have you tried Hilco knits, they are the best! Not cheap. πŸ™‚ I also ordered from banberryplace before, they have a great selection of knits as well. πŸ™‚ Love the shirt

  5. Great List. Thank you for sharing.
    I just wanted to chime in that my last order in November from Girl Charlee was a hot mess. The knits weighed much lighter than advertised on the site, and the customer service wasn’t much help. I have been searching for new places to buy knits, and found your blog. Thanks again!!

    1. Thanks for reading & commenting Laura! I’m sorry to hear that about Girl Charlee, definitely not the first time I’ve read as much. I hope you have a better experience with some of these other options – let me know what you find!!

  6. Girl Charlee customer service is always available to help you understand any fabric weights or questions on picking the perfect fabrics for your projects. We offer a free sample service so you can see and feel the fabrics in person before you buy too! We have a wide range of fabrics in many different weights and content types and add more each week. If you did not have a great first experience please come on back and let us change your mind πŸ˜‰

    Thank you for the mention Stephanie!

  7. I know a great fabric shop online called stash builder box, it gives you 3 yards of fabric every month along with materials. I would definitely recommend it to you. If you have any fabric websites that i should know about, please reply and let me know.
    http://stashbuilderbox.com/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top