Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wrapped up in Blue

How difficult can it be to learn to knit? Just something simple, maybe a scarf. As it turns out,  impossible in my case. I have tried a few times, with some very patient knitters showing me the basics, with no success. My sample squares are comic, they get tighter with each row and some random dropped stitches. Every time I try to cast on I need to look at a video.  But I did make a sweater!
NL6150 Sweater t-shirt front
Or a T-shirt. Or a sweater type of shirt. But not a sweatshirt. Whatever it is, I am crazy about it. Here is how it started out, as big giant knitted thing.  I don't know much about knitting (obviously) but it seemed handmade, perhaps on a knitting machine. On left, the "fabric" about 40" wide and 2 yards long. On right, close up of the edge. And where did I get this knitty thing? At my magical mystery thrift  store, where my secret sewing alter ego is slowly donating fabulous fabrics, as always in blue. (To read about my other fab finds here is the post.)

                  Sweater knit fabricSweater knit fabric close up

A few details: I did think the fabric would unravel when cut but it behaved well if I handled it carefully.  I used New Look 6150 view D, the plain top. ( I have finished the wrap front version as well, a great pattern and I will post soon).  On the right is the top neckline without the band. I did zigzag all the edges once cut out. I tried the serger but it seemed to chew up the edges. The yellow thread across the front is my error-prevention system. With a top like this the front and back don't look very different once you remove the paper pattern so I put some type of indicator on one piece, in this case a thread trace. Usually I just mark with chalk on the inside but this was easier for the sweatery knit.

  Pattern New Look 6150NL6150 front piece indicator

A closeup of the neckline. I used the same technique as on my previous t-shirts.  To see this technique done here is a link to the Threads video. I did a couple of practice versions on scraps to get the hang of it and now I use it on everything t-shirt related.

NL 6160 T-shirt sweater neckline

One last little tip for sleeves on knits. It is much quicker to put sleeves in knits with the garment "flat" i.e. before the side seams are sewn up. However, I don't like what this does to the underarm intersection, creating a seam ridge where there should not be one. It is an issue of the "dominant seam" as discussed by Kathleen on her Fashion Incubator website in this post A better way to sew lining and facings.  She explains it perfectly and this is something I think I knew intuitively but her photos make so much sense.  In order to avoid the dominant seam issue on the sleeve+side seam, I sewed the sleeves while the garment was flat, just stopping at the last inch on each end. Here you can see the sleeve is attached (and tossed over the shoulder - kind of a weird image but hopefully you can see the area where I have left it unsewn. Then I sewed the side seams, and finally finished that last couple of inches of the sleeve as if it was a set in sleeve.  A tiny extra step but I like the result. Then the entire sleeve seam can be trimmed down and finished. 
NL6150 sweater t-shirt, sleeve construction
There is just one more of these sapphire blue items to show you, my finished Style Arc Audrey jacket which used the remaining pieces of the blue coat fabric. And then we are done with blue for a while. Ha ha until the next find.
With the remaining sweater knit I made a scarf, so here is my top shown with my refashion project: Coat into Skirt. Oh yeah, I am very please with my rhapsody in blue.
Sweater with scarf

Tomorrow morning is all about Pie baking, my assignment this year is one apple and one pecan. Then Friday will be a sewing day, with plenty of lovely turkey sandwiches, etc for fuel.  (the best part, yum:)
Today's SunnyGal garden photo, a new pink Salvia. Things are looking a bit bedraggled in the garden, as to be expected this time of year. Lots of leaves and newly sprouted weeds after the rain. 
Happy Thanksgiving to all, Beth
Salvia Pink


  1. What a great find! I really love this sweater, it is beautiful. It is even better with the scarf, too!

  2. That is a great find and it made a beautiful sweater. I especially love the bound neckline. I once considered buying a knitting machine just to make fabric. :)

  3. I hope your alter ego secretly reads your blog and loves seeing what you do with their fabric. I've also bookmarked that Threads video. I've been having so much trouble getting a good neckline on my Drape Drape dresses. Hopefully the video will help! Love all the blue, by the way!

  4. Lovely sweater, love the color.

  5. What a gorgeous outfit you put together there. Excellent!
    And how neat about all your great finds!

  6. Lucky you! I saw knits like this at mood two months ago. I'm so glad you've done what I was thinking. I've tried and tried knitting and finally gave up. This is beautiful.

  7. So, there is still hope for me, who can´t learn to knit or crochet either! What a great find!

  8. You're so clever! I can't believe you adjusted a knitted jumper like this. Great info on dominant seams, also. Thank you.

  9. This is really beautiful and what a find your "knitted thingy "was. I love the coloue too.

  10. Happy Thanksgiving to you too! I hope you enjoyed you day! I love this sweater and how it matches you refashioned skirt perfectly!

  11. Absolutely gorgeous! Can you explain how you finished off the interior seams? You commented that the first you zigzagged but for the sleeve seams, you then trimmed them down to avoid bulk. What will prevent them from unravelling? Thanks, Dagmar

  12. Hi Dagmar, for the seams after the top was sewn together I did serge the side seams and the armhole. After the were stitched (regular stitching) and then pressed they went through the serger well.

  13. What a great idea for us non knitters! Thanks for illustrating the almost flat sleeve sewing method too, great solution.


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