Saturday, 12 November 2011

Saturday Sewing

I sometimes knit, but I'm very slow and knit only the most basic of patterns, purl 1 knit 1 sort of thing. So to speed up the process I've been thinking about sewing jumpers rather than knitting them, but cannot find reasonably priced sweater knits. Oh there are some out there, but at £30 a metre, just a bit pricey. Especially when I want to make an oversized sweater based on this Vogue pattern V8748. You need 2.2m.

Suzy has been doing some research on sweater knits and you should all take a look at what she has uncovered.

As you can see, this pattern is not for a sweater, but a shirt. I've come to realise that I rarely make up a pattern as seen on the envelope but alter it in some way or other. This time I cut the front against the fold in the fabric eliminating the folds and facings for buttons and button holes.

The fabric is a fine sweater knit from My Fabrics. I'm not sure of the composition but definitely man-made, which means I can machine wash the sweater. I choose a lime green and bought both the fine knit and 1 metre of matching rib.

Cutting out was easy: the front and back cut from the plain knit and the sleeves, lower front and lower back cut from the rib. I haven't decided on a neck line yet but this will be made from the rib too - just like a real sweater.

I don't own a serger (overlocker) and so I'm always on the look out for innovative ways to finish seams. On this sweater I reckoned there'd be a lot of strain on the shoulder seams, especially pulling the sweater off and on, so I reinforced these with cotton tape. First sewn with the seam, then the seam allowanced was trimmed close to the sewing and the cotton tape folded over and zig-zagged in place. The shoulder seams are totally encased - providing strength and reducing fraying.

The sweater was sewn up in no time. After shoulder seams, I added the lower front & back and this time I top stitched the seam allowance, again for added strength and to reduce fraying.

The sleeves were inserted as in traditional shirt making - with the side seams open and the garment flat. This is so easy as there is no easing to be done at the sleeve cap and really speeds up the construction process.

And there you have it!
A sweater sewn in a day, not knit in a fortnight.

I still have to hem and put a collar or some sort of finish at the neck, but I'm taking time out to consider what style I should do.

One possible variation is the traditional turtle neck (see below), but I'd like something a little different.
All suggestions gratefully received. And if any of you have a source for sweater knits that I can afford please let me know. Many thanks, Ruth.

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