Saturday, March 8, 2014

Last Winter Item Completed

I finished the very last winter item for this season. There is still snow outside so it's still needed in the wardrobe. There were a couple of firsts with this garment. It was the first time that I had sewn with a sweater knit. It will not be the last time. It was the first time that I have sewn with a Silhouette pattern. Again, it will not be the last time. The pattern I chose was Terri’s Shawl Collar V-Neck #313 plus the line drawing:

I made a 6w with the  D cup. I was actually guessing on the size. I didn't exactly follow the directions on how to choose a size. I will measure an existing knit top tomorrow and see what the difference is in the sizing. I think I’m happy with the outcome. The top feels a little bit big but it fits as well as anything that I could have purchased except there isn't a wad of fabric above my bust and the top isn't a couple of inches shorter in the front.

Here’s what I liked about the pattern:

    1. The pattern is well drafted. Every piece matched perfectly where it should have.
    2. It was fairly quick. I’m a very slow sewer and the actually sewing time took me about 3 hours.
    3. I like the V-neck.
    4. It looked pretty good straight out of the package with one small alteration.
    5. I liked the fit of the arms. Maybe I found the armhole I need.

Here’s what I didn't like about the pattern:

  1. The facing is too short. With a D cup, I don’t need anything going right across the bust line and that is exactly where the facing ended. I feel like it should fall below the bust curve. 
  2. It felt a little bit short. I know this pattern is drafted for 5’8” and I’m 5’5”. I will add a inch to the length next time. 
  3. The back collar didn't seem to stay close to my neck. This could be a posture issue but I will need to figure that out for the next top. 


Yes, I made one alteration. When I measured the hip area, I really didn't think that it would go around my hips. The hip measurement isn't mentioned on the package. I added 2” in the width using the pivot method. This could be part of the reason the top feels a bit big.

Sewing the sweater knit:

I am out of practice sewing with knits. This is the first knit top that I have completed in a very long time. I spent one evening just playing with machine settings on both my sewing machine and my serger. The serger was pretty much good to go with the default setting. Unfortunately this style of top isn't a good choice to do all the stitching on the serger, so the sewing machine had to be used but what stitch. I played with the straight stitch and slightly stretched the fabric as I stitched. This might have worked but I thought it looked funny. I played a little bit with a slight zigzag. I wasn't happy with the way it looked. I gave up at this point and decided to do an internet search to see if anyone actually talked about the machine setting they used. I didn't find anything. Then, I found the Nancy Zieman had done 2 shows on sewing with knits so I watched them. She did provide a little bit of information. Here is what I ended up doing for the seams that couldn't be serged and the hems. I discovered too late that I didn't have a stretch double-needle for the hems. I used a stitch that I had never considered using before. I was truly desperate because I wanted to finish this top. I used the lightning stitch on my machine. There was no way that I was going to use the default settings of 2.5mm stitch length with 1.0 mm width. I changed them to 4.0mm stitch length and a .5mm width. I was amazed. It stretched and looked good. Will I use this stitch again in the future? Absolutely! Yes, I used this for my hems. It looked fine.

Here’s the end result:

I would love to hear what stitches you use on sewing machine when sewing knits? Do you use a different stitch on the seams and the hems? Until today, I always used either a double-needle or ribbing to finish knits.

I'm ready for spring.  The next garment will be spring/summer related.

Happy Sewing!

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