New to sewing? New to knits? New to Shear? If you’ve answered yes to any of those, this post is for you.... And even if you didn’t, you’ll find it helpful anyway! Today, we are talking about Shear’s Solid lines!! Shear Perfection Fabric has 5 in stock solid lines in the most amazing colours. There is Absolute Athletics, Shear Comfort, Shear Solids CL Jersey, Shear Solid French Terry and Foundations Brushed French Terry. Let’s chat about them!
Shear’s Absolute Athletic line is a polyester based knit that is designed to be breathable and moisture wicking. It is brushed which gives it a really soft, slightly textured feel, not too slippery or slick like some other athletic knits. The stretch is about 60-70% both ways, with great recovery. It does have a matte finish, but in the light there is still a slight “sheen”. It can be stretched a lot and remain opaque. The AK makes great form fitting clothing and athletic wear - Leggings, Tights, Leotards, Dancewear, Tees, Tanks, Bralettes, Shorts, etc! These navy leggings are basically my new "Momiform". They are soft, comfortable and have just enough compression for everyday athleisure wear. Bonus on top of all the other great things about this Athletic knit, it has a 50+ UV rating!
FAVOURITE THING TO MAKE WITH AK: Leggings, Leos and Bralettes
OK! I don’t even know where to start with this stuff. I could say it’s INCREDIBLY A.M.A.Z.I.N.G., SERIOUSLY! and leave it at that, but you would have to trust me! When have I ever steered you wrong?! This line is light weight, drapey and so, so soft! It has a silkiness to it, while still being really breathable. It makes the best tees, flowy tops, peplums, ruffles, flounces, pj’s and summer dresses! The fabric has a bit of “slink” to it, has amazing stretch (~ 90%/60% ) and great recovery. I always worry about how my machines will handle lightweight or silky feeling materials, but all 3 machines sewed it so easily! A great fabric for all seasons - I made this super comfy, oversized tee in the asphalt colour, which I plan to wear all summer and winter with a cardigan!
FAVOURITE THING TO MAKE WITH BAMBOO: Tees and PJs
V-Neck Tee Pattern - Mica T-shirt by Laela Jayne Patterns (Free!)
SHEAR SOLIDS CL JERSEY
If you’ve never worked with knits before, Cotton Lycra (CL) is a great place to start. It’s a stable knit with excellent 4-way stretch (50-60%) and recovery. It’s also incredibly versatile and sews really easily. Just make sure you are using a stretch stitch and a ballpoint, jersey or stretch needle. You can use it for almost anything - leggings, tights, shorts, tops, sweaters, dresses, pj’s, cardigans, etc. It has plenty of stretch so it works great for cuffs, neckbands and waistbands. I love Shear's CL because it's a little "silky" feeling and holds up amazingly with wear and wash. I don’t know how many times I’ve tossed it in the laundry and the colour comes out vibrant and the fabric still looks brand new. CL is my go-to fabric for my kids clothing. The one thing to keep in mind is that it doesn’t have a lot of drape. So if you are going for something flowy or looser fitting, choose a different fabric like Bamboo Spandex! Here is the Navy, Shell Creek and Del Monte in action.
FAVOURITE THING TO MAKE WITH CL: Hoodies, Tees, Kids Leggings
SHEAR SOLIDS FRENCH TERRY
The French Terry (FT) is another great beginner knit fabric. It’s easy to sew, structured (but not much drape) and has great recovery. When testing out the stretch with the Nature colour - I get about 30% stretch both ways. FT is thicker than CL, with a “looped” back side, but doesn’t have as great a stretch. It’s perfect for sweaters, hoodies, cardigans, tops and tunics. It makes great joggers and shorts. Depending on the width of the neck and tightness of the cuffs, I’d suggest using a matching ribbing for neckbands, waistbands and cuffs. If you are in a pinch, and can’t find matching ribbing, try cutting the neckband on the bias (45 degree angle from the grainline). This provides you with a little more stretch!
FAVOURITE THING TO MAKE WITH FT: Sweaters, Hoodies and Joggers
FOUNDATIONS BRUSHED FRENCH TERRY
The Brushed French Terry is very similar to the Shear Solids French Terry with one distinct difference. It does not have the typical “looped” back you see on regular FT. Instead, the back or “wrong side” of the fabric is like a soft and fuzzy fleece. Here’s a comparison to show you the difference. On the left is the wrong side of the Nature FT and one the right, the wrong side of Cherry Blossom Brushed FT.
It’s a bit thinner than the regular FT, but you can use it for all the same things since the stretch, recovery and drape are very similar. They make the coziest joggers! Depending on the pattern, I would add the same warning about the stretch for bands/cuffs. I made my littlest guy a raglan using the Ocean Abyss Brushed FT for everything and it was a struggle to get it over his head! For my older guy, I grabbed some of the matching ribbing and, as you can see below, it worked out better. A little tip - you can use the "wrong side" of the fabric to add some texture to your make! The "triangle" on the neckline of the top and the binding + band on the shorts are using the "wrong side" of the fabric.
FAVOURITE THING TO MAKE WITH Brushed FT: Sweaters, Hoodies and Joggers
COLOUR RINGS AND FEELER PACKS
If you are lucky, you can snag a Colour Ring with a small sample of each colour so you have it on hand to coordinate with other fabrics and find the perfect match for your project. As new colours come in, you can get a sample of it to add to your ring (an option will appear on the website for this). The rings are currently available in the BL and FT bases, but will also be available in the others as we use up the current stock of colour cards to transition to colour rings.
Also, there are Feeler Packs on the website now for 10$. A Feeler Pack gives you a sample swatch of all the custom bases (all 9 of them!) and the most popular solid lines - CL, Brushed FT, FT and Bamboo (when available). You can check them out HERE.
You can also check out the Facebook live HERE for more details!
Solids are perfect for adding basics to your wardrobe! They are also great for colour blocking or co-ordinating with a print. So grab some and happy sewing friends!
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