How to Sew with Knit Fabric Panels

I love sewing with knit fabric panels! It’s a great way to get a store-bought yet completely custom look.

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So what exactly is a knit fabric panel???

Panels come in lots of different sizes so make sure you read the dimensions carefully before purchasing. You can view all of the panels I carry here. Panels generally have a larger graphic designed to be the focal point of your project.

A fairly standard size panel is 14″ wide and 18″ tall. Here’s an example:
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I also offer a lot of double-wide panels which are my personal favorite :) These give you enough room for the front AND back of your project. This panel is 20″ tall and 28″ wide.
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A panel is used just like any other piece of fabric. If you’re worried about getting the graphic centered, trace out your full pattern piece on freezer paper or tracing paper.
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Then lay it over your fabric so it’s centered and cut. I don’t generally take the time to do this but if the graphic just barely fits  it’s a great idea to take the extra time and get it perfect.
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This is the newborn size Lullaby Line Bodysuit
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What can I use a panel for?

Anything you want :) This is your chance to be creative! The most basic option is to use it for a t-shirt, pj top, dress bodice, etc.

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What if my panel is too small?

You can find great tips for making it work here and here

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Another great option is to start with a pattern that already includes color blocking.

The Boardwalk, Maui Muscle Tee and Twist & Shout already include color blocking and work great with panels! My kids are small enough that I don’t need to color block panels to make them work but I like to anyway just to mix things up a bit

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Need some more ideas? Make sure you join the Peek-a-Boo Fabric Shop Facebook Group 

Here’s a few inspirational photos to get you started on thinking outside the box with panels!

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Amy is the founder and owner of Peek-a-Boo Pattern shop. She is a wife and mother to 3 children. Amy loves to sew, read and spend time outdoors.

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  1. 1

    says

    Thanks for the tips! My kids want some variation in the clothes that I make for them, but I’m used to using plain fabrics to make their clothes. I like your suggestion to start sewing with a pattern that includes color blocking. That will make sewing fabrics with block panels much easier.

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