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Our Top 10 Sewing Patterns For Rib Knit Fabric

by Polina K
rib knit fabrics in brown, sienna and dune

If you’re on the hunt for cosy autumn/winter fabrics, your head probably turns to brushed cotton, thick wool, and maybe even a dash of fleece. But, have you ever thought of a stylish rib knit fabric? In our opinion, this is the unsung hero of winter materials and needs a whole lot more attention! So, we decided to find ten amazing sewing patterns for rib knit fabric. Let’s dive into it.

What is a 2×1 Rib Knit Fabric?

We like to refer to a 2×1 rib as two ribs and a valley. This follows the raised and lowered vertical edges that give texture to the material, creating an – almost – subtle stripe. Unlike tubular ribbing, which is waistband and cuff fabric that’s more taut, 2×1 ribbing fabric can be used to create an entire garment. It’s super stretchy and comfortable to wear, with the added perk of making any outfit a little more interesting due to the textured surface. 

At Good Fabric, we have a wide range of Mind the Maker Rib Knit Fabric with about 80% stretch. As with all materials we source, it’s designed with the planet in mind: 100% organic, GOTS certified – woohoo! 

mind the maker 2x1 organic cotton fabric in dune colour

The most common uses for our sustainable rib knit fabric include:

  • Finishing necklines, waistbands, and cuffs on your autumn/winter outfits
  • Loungewear
  • Hoodies
  • Jumpers
  • Jumper dresses

Now, it’s time to see the materials action. Here are our top 10 sewing patterns that a beautiful rib knit fabric would suit down to a T.

1. Nikko Turtleneck Dress by True Bias

nikko turtleneck dress by true bias in grey knit

The first pattern is a no-brainer: the Nikko Turtleneck Dress from True Bias, which lets the stretch of your ribbing fabric shine. Because the dress has a gorgeous turtleneck to keep you warm and cosy on chilly days, you need a fabric with at least 70% stretch. A 2×1 rib knit material gives you plenty of wriggle room (literally!) with 80%, allowing you to move the dress over your head without ruining the shape of the neck. 

If you’re sewing this True Bias pattern, our top tip would be to sew the neck first. Test it out, make sure it goes over your head, and only once it’s perfect, attach it to the body of the dress.

2. Eva Top by Cool Stitches

cool stiches eva top in sage green

Now here’s a totally cool top that’s bang on trend right now. The Eva Top by Cool Stitches is one of our favourites for layering and can be dressed up or down for the perfect transition between day to night. The tight fit and mock neck make stretchy fabric a must, and we think the rib will add to the out-there textures of this top perfectly. The bustier detailing is uber-trendy, and we love that it’s named after the anime character Evangelion!

Check out this blog to turn it into a cheeky tank top, and be sure to scroll through the tags on Instagram for plenty of inspiration.

3. McCalls 8194 Bodycon Dress

two tone rib knit jersey dress

Okay, so we know we usually stick to indie sewing patterns, and McCalls certainly isn’t indie, but we just couldn’t resist their M8194 Dress. This is a pattern that’s worthy of our attention, even if it does come from one of the Big 4. A button-up bodycon, you can alter the length to be short, midi, or maxi, with half or full sleeves for a totally customisable look. But the real showstopper is the colour block, half-and-half design, which we’re obsessed with! If you’re not sure what colour 2×1 rib fabric you’d choose, check out Insta for inspo.

4. Saybrook Tank by Cashmerette

4 versions of saybrook tank top

We love size inclusivity at Good Fabric, and for our girls with bigger busts, we’ve found the perfect tank top. Specifically designed for larger sizes, the gorgeous Saybrook Tank is super comfy without compromising on style and is an amazing layering piece for autumn/winter. Opt for a high scoop neck, high back, and knotted hem, or a low neck and back or cropped style for all of your tank top needs. 

5. Zoey Dress by True Bias

zoey dress in rib knit

This Zoey tank and dress pattern has already been featured in our 10 Stylish Sewing Projects Under 1 Meter blog, so it’s safe to say we love it! This boho chic dress is the epitome of laid-back style, making it effortlessly easy to get ready in the morning. With a soft V-neck and low scooped back, it oozes chilled vibes but can easily be dressed up with a pair of heels and some jewellery. Or, in a stretchy rib knit, wear it around the house as an item of elevated loungewear.

6. Belen Bodysuit by Maisin

belen bodysuit by maisin

We love a rib knit material for bodysuits, making these staple pieces feel super comfy and look effortlessly cool. The Belen Bodysuit is incredibly flattering for all body types, letting your curves steal the limelight. A boat neckline on the front contrasts with a low cut back, and the entire top is lined for extra support and warmth on chilly days. Choose from a range of sleeve lengths and crotch fastenings for a bodysuit that’s made for your body.

7. Rowan Knit Bodysuit by Megan Nielsen

rowan bodysuit by megan nielsen

Another bodysuit? Not quite! This incredibly versatile Rowan sewing pattern can be made into a fitted top, a t-shirt, a long-sleeve top, and a bodysuit, giving you an entire wardrobe from one design. With different neckline options and sleeve lengths, too, this pretty much covers all of your top needs. We love this pattern in an eco-friendly ribbing fabric: it allows for a close fit that retains plenty of movement for the perfect balance between style and comfort.

8. Alek Rib Top by Just Patterns

just patterns alek rib top in white

This pattern is literally designed for a 2×1 rib knit fabric, making it a match-made-in-heaven. The Alek Top is warm and comfortable with a sexy twist for a day-to-night top that works for all occasion. Because who said cold weather dressing had to be boring? A fitted top with a wide, sweetheart neckline, you can show off your bust whilst the long sleeves and thick fabric keeps you cosy. 

9. Lowland Kids PJ Pants

good fabric blog lowland

With wriggly kids and bedtime accidents, one of the essentials for children’s pyjamas is stretch! That’s why ribbing fabric has become a bit of a go-to for parents in recent years. The organic cotton is gentle on sensitive skin, whilst the stretch and comfort make it ideal for bedtime. Take a peek at this great PJ Pants pattern from Lowland Kids, which is both cosy and cool at the same time.

10. Rauha Top and Dress by Named Clothing

good fabric named rauha tee pattern

This is a little cheeky extra to finish the blog on. Whilst the whole dress isn’t suitable for a rib-knit material, it does incorporate more than just a trim, so we think we get away with it! The Rauha Pattern by Named Clothing comes with two options: either a midi-length t-shirt dress or a high-hip length top, both in a boxy, oversized fit. This one gives us a sporty, “cool mum” kind of vibe which we’re down with, and we love the futuristic aesthetic of the high ribbed turtleneck.

Give the Unsung Hero of Autumn/Winter a Try

mind the maker rib knit fabrics in 3 colours

We don’t really know why ribbing fabric isn’t used more frequently, but hopefully, these sewing patterns for rib knit fabric have inspired you to give it a try! Once you do, we doubt you’ll turn back. Remember to take a peek at our collection of Rib Knit Fabrics to see which inspires you, and be sure to let us know if you make any of the patterns we’ve mentioned here. We’d love to see them brought to life!

by Polina K

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2x1 rib knit fabric

Mind the Maker Organic Cotton 2×1 Rib Knit Fabric in Black

£22.00 per metre
mind the maker organic cotton 2x1 ribbing fabric in indigo

Mind the Maker Organic Cotton 2×1 Rib Knit Fabric in Indigo

£22.00 per metre
mind the maker rib knit fabric in old rose scrunched up

Mind the Maker Organic Cotton 2×1 Rib Knit Fabric in Old Rose

£22.00 per metre

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