Conquering Sheer Fabrics

Tulip Sweater

Long time since I worked with sheers, almost a year.  I’m back because I still have a few sweater knits that should have been sold as sheer or tissue-knits.  I don’t understand why these fabrics were even considered “sweater”.  Including today’s project, I think I have 3 left.

I was lucky enough to find a 1+yard remnant on the fabric site where I bought the original. I hoped it would be enough to make a self-lining. I’m using my dartless block created in November 2016. I love the darted knit block but I always think of sweaters being slightly shapeless or boxy.

I cut the fabric as I was using it. I cut 2 fronts, shaped the tulip hem. Took both fronts to the serger and serged all the raw edges. Serging was the only way to control the curling. I did try spray starch. A starch dipping would have been necessary. I had cut the two front necklines at different depths. I finished them now with clear elastic and the 3-step zig zag. It’s a nice finish. I turned the hems up and fused them in place. I top stitched the hem at 1″ and 1-1/4″ — almost looking like a cover stitch. Then edge stitched along the hem fold. It creates a firm edge. Not really crisp. It’s still a fold rather than a sharp crease. But it looks really nice and has some body. I stacked the two fronts one on top of the other and stitched the shoulders together.

necklinefront_resize

My only criticism of the front neckline is that it doesn’t really show all that well. I mean you look at it and then look a 2nd time to see that the necklines are stacked.  I think this design feature would show better on a solid color or if I had trimmed the necklines with a contrast. Maybe white FOE?

I used a Burda procedure for the backs. Oh I serged all the edges first. It was just too big of a hassle to leave the edges unfinished even at this early stage. I laid one back down on the cutting table face up. Placed the tops face down on the first back i.e back and both fronts are now RST. Placed the 2nd back on top also face down. Then I basted the shoulders together. Stopped and checked that the all the pieces were firmly enclosed in the shoulder seam before serging from one shoulder, across the back necklines and all the way across the other shoulder. Didn’t quite do that right. The back and front shoulders didn’t meet exactly at the neckline. At the SM, I stitched and then trimmed until the shoulder line and back neckline looked nice. Except that back neckline was wimpy. The front with its turn and stitch, clear elastic application was really nice. I decided to press the back neckline towards the piece that would be on the inside and then stitch clear elastic along the seam allowance. That did it. Both back and front necklines were firm but stretchy; shoulders meeting perfectly. I turned the back over and pressed along the shoulders and necklines, then basted the back’s side seams and armscyes. From this point on I can treat the back and fronts and 2 pieces instead of 4.  I hemmed the back and set the unit aside.

back_resize

Did not have enough fabric to make 4 sleeves i.e. self-lined sleeves. I dug through the stash and found a white tricot that I’ve used for lining fabrics before.  I think it was manufactured to be slip/underwear type garments but works wonderfully as knit lining too.  I cut the sleeves with hem . Cut their linings without. I thought I would be able to turn up the hem and create a nice crisp edging. Jumping forward– this idea didn’t work. To my surprise when I stitched the linings to the sleeves, the linings were not exactly 1-1/4″ shorter than the sleeves. I didn’t fight the issue or cut new linings.  (I have little hope that this fabric will survive more than one winter. It just doesn’t look durable.)  I inserted the sleeves. Then stitched that long seam from hem, to underarm to cuff.  Finally I top stitched the cuff similarly to the body i.e. 1 row looks like cover stitch with edge stitch along the fold. It looks nice.

I thought that the knit block still needed some tweaking even before I converted it to a dartless block. This soft knit really displays the fitting issues.

side_resize side2_resize

The sides have those big drapes I’m always struggling with and thought I had nearly fixed. Those big U’s result from a combination of my shoulder slope and rounding back.  I’ll probably wear a vest with this ‘sweater’ because a vest covers the worst of the drapes and drag lines.  Interesting note, I’ve purchased 2 sweaters from WM this year. Both are worsted weight sweaters. So medium weight. One is a stocking knit stitch the other, deeply cabled. Neither show the big drag lines.  Note to self:  soft, light weight, draping fabrics reveal all. DO NOT BUY any more.

I’d also say this particular tulip hem is not all that slimming:

front_resize

I was thinking that the diagonal of the tulip hem which was cut to end just above my waist would totally disguise my tummy and make me look slimmer. I don’t look like Santa, exactly, but ….

 

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I think the biggest issue I have with these sheer sweater knits, is I want to use them as sweaters.  I want a light-weight sweater top. The fabrics won’t do that without help and then they become less sweater like.  I think when these fabrics were manufactured, the designers were using them in wraps, cocoons, shrugs, ponchos i.e. garments I don’t wear or make a lot of.  I’m stuck in a mind-set of wanting to use the fabrics in one way.  If I could get past that mind-set, I might make something really creative. Sigh….

Overlays/Underlays

I was first introduced to overlays back in about 1994 as decorative elements in Make It Your Own authored by Lori Bottom and  Rhonda Chaney. As I recall, we were just coming out of strict ‘power wear’.  Power Wear was the idea that you dressed like the men you wanted to equal so you would be accepted as equals in the work place. The men all dressed as penguins i.e. black coat,pants, shoes, socks with  white shirt.  We were just beginning to exit the power suit phase by exchanging black for navy and dark brown with pastel or cream-colored blouses. Not shirts, real blouses with feminine touches. I remember adopting softer shoulders too.  That would have been 1/2″ shoulder pads instead of 1 or 2″.  But the idea of decorative overlays didn’t even appeal to me. It was too feminine for my work place. I still had to compete with men. I still had to convince both my superiors and subordinates that I was capable; as capable as any man. That I was the person for the job…and the pay.  As with all fashion trends, overlays faded with time.  I’m seeing them again; and again as decorative elements. I had been contemplating adding at least one garment with an overlay to my wardrobe when it occurred to me that overlays might help solve my modesty problem with sheers.

This meant defining exactly what  I felt was uncomfortable exposure.  I decided I wanted my front covered, opaque, from just above cleavage to just below my waist. Maybe high hip even.  My back needed to coverage starting just above  the wide horizontal bra strap and down to about my waist. Roughly these areas:

……….Back —————————- Front……….

I have more issues with my semi-opaque sweater knits than just their inherent sheerness. Yes more than my rant about the advertised suggestion they are opaque when they really are sheer and should be handled and described as sheers.  I bought these thinking I would make quick winter sweaters. Winter=cold. Not the best temperature for sheers.  Every year there is 2-4 weeks that I absolutely want to wear sweaters even indoors. Even though there much total sweater time, in my area it usually occurs in 1 week spans. So I need/want 4-5 pullover sweaters in my wardrobe.  They are the garments that I pull on in the morning to stay toasty warm all day long. Issue is, that I purchased these cuts of fabrics thinking of quick easy T-shirt type tops which need 1.5 yards of fabric; and that’s all I bought.  1.5 yards doesn’t give me enough fabric  to make long sleeves AND experiment or create embellishments, or, as in this case, create duplicate layers.  But it might give me enough to create shortened layers. Layers that would cover the above designated modesty areas.

My fabric is a burn-out knit. I have it in with my sweater knits. So it must have been labeled ‘semi-opaque sweater knit’ but I can assure you this is a jersey knit treated to the burn-out process.  When it arrived, I had no idea how to make a wearable garment from this transparent if lovely fabric.

For the overlays, I took inspiration from Lori Anne’s Layer Top

This pattern has front overlays only. I like the asymmetry of the overlays. In fact, i just sort of like this garment period. But I didn’t want to wait for an order to arrive and besides then I would have to fit. ATM, I’m opposed to any serious fitting that’s why I chose to start with  Loes Hinse Rochelle Top.

I love this pattern. I’ve used it several times.  I’ve altered it so I can use short, 3/4 or long sleeves. I freely recut the neckline this time opting to a scoop the neck 1″ in front and 1/2″ at the shoulder. This pattern saved me last winter when my original Anniversary Dress turned out to be ugly.  I added an extension making  a knee-length dress.  Now with this alteration, I’ve decided LH1011 deserves a multi-page folder of its own.  I keep the new pieces I draft in separate pages so they can be referenced or used again.  I mean the knee-length dress, can become a summer maxi by adding a few inches to the extension. For now though, I wanted to make overlays which would cover my modesty areas front and back. Doing my utmost to save every square inch, I laid out my pattern pieces with long sleeves on my fabric. Cut and then set aside.

I copied the front and back pieces of LH1011 and started drawing lines that would approximate the look of LA’s Layer top

When I was satisfied, I trimmed away the unneeded tissue

Although I like the asymmetrical lines of LA Layered top, I decided for symmetry. Just so I wouldn’t have to make 4 pattern pieces.  I scooped the neck much lower both front and back. In front I cut away to a lower V point just below the waist (I thought). In back I cut a shallow curve so the sides would meet the front sides but would be slightly longer in the center back. Both pieces have considerably fewer square inches than my base pattern.

I had a couple of large pieces of fabric left over from cutting out LH1011 and hoped my overlays were small enough to fit. Not a chance. So abandon the overlay idea? Change from matching to contrasting overlays?  I like the second idea better than the first excep I had managed to save a lot of fabric.  I thought if it were all one piece, I’d be able to cut the overlays and still have some left over. All one piece?  I cut away and discarded the strips and strings that were less than 2″ wide.  Slashed the bigger pieces into smaller pieces and threaded my serger for 3-thread wide overlock with Maxilock Stretch in the upper looper.  I serge finished all the edges keeping the Stretch thread on top.  I took a moment to lay out on my cutting table all the pieces creating a rough rectangle and began stitching them together. I used My Dream Machine’s Stitch 2-09 (at defaults)

and overlapped the pieces creating a crazy quilt of sorts.  The pieces didn’t overlap perfectly and I had excess underneath. I know that adds insulation and weight desirable for a quilt but I want overlays for a garment and I want to see if these overlays will assure my modesty.  So as I joined pieces, I trimmed away any excess from the underside

I kept adding and trimming trying to build width at the same time as length

It was a puzzle of sorts. I enjoy puzzles and didn’t realize how much time I spent to reach the point of having my base layer cut, my overlays designed and my  overlay fabric created:

PSST-took about 2 hours to reach this point.

Once I had the ‘fabric’ assembled, I cut each front and each back overlay separately.  It’s a time-consuming way to cut because I’m also looking and saying ‘better this way or better that’.  Kind of like when you’re at the optometrist. And yes, I had a small pile of fabric left over:

I stitched the back pieces of the overlay together along the center back seam but left the other pieces free. I decided I wanted the overlays to be distinctive from the base garment and bound the neckline and hems with a very light black knit that I bought for lining.  Purchased last Dec it was perfect for the application which made me feel better about the price.  I know I paid close to $8 per yard and at the time I wondered if I was throwing good money after bad. I mean, I think I paid $4 for the sweater knits which were turning out not to be a bargain.  I wonder if I had searched for Sweater Knits in the $15 to $20/yard, would I be facing this problem creative challenge now. Well it is what it is and this knit lining turned out to be the perfect light weight binding for these sheer semi-opaque knits.

When necklines and hems were bound. I basted the overlays to the base garment at the shoulders, armscyes and side seams. I have to tell you that I carefully marked and placed the overlays so that back would meet front at the shoulders and side seams, and the center front would meet.

Although carefully measured and pinned, while I was stitching the garment with overlays together, I had to ease to make them meet.  Even then, the center front, under that button, is slightly off.

Once I had the back together, I decided that I didn’t like how  the center back of the overlay looked.  I did something I haven’t done in a long time, faux piping. I made a tube using the knit lining and attached to the center back seam using one of the joining stitches. Don’t remember which one but do remember why I don’t use this very much. My pics don’t show it but the joining stitch tended to flatten the faux piping and be visible. For a successful faux piping, the joining stitches should be invisible. The viewer either shouldn’t be able to find the joining stitches or should really hunt to find them.  It looks like I’ve piped that seam until you’re about 6″ away.  Either I need to practice this technique more often or abandon it completely.  (I’ve ordered the edge joining foot. Maybe that will help.)

At the last moment, like when all the pieces were together and I was ready to hem, I decided I wanted bind the sleeves and lower hem.  Took only a second to slash off the fabric allowed for a turned-up hem.  Um a little longer to bind.  Normally, I refrain from doing anything that would bring attention to my hips. However, I had noticed that when the hem blended with the pants, I don’t really notice the hem. It’s not glaring line saying “Look at my hips. Yeah I’ve got ’em”.

IRL, it looks like I’m wearing a vest. In the pics, it’s hard to tell that I have over layers.

My over layers turned out to be longer than I expected ie I covered more of my body than planned but that’s OK.  They are very effective. Up close, the sleeves look semi-sheer and the bodice both front and back are modest enough for me.  Overlays WORK. It is an excellent technique for sheers that I will use again.

Total Cop Out

I admit it a camisole is a total cop-out although a perfectly reasonable option when dealing with sheer fabrics.   On top of being a cop-out sheer fabric wise, mine is purchased from Walmart of all places and fits terribly:

 

It did however give me my first opportunity to use one of the built-in decorative stitches of my new Dream Machine which unfortunately does not show well in the pics. But I have this lovely little flower design repeated along the rehemmed edge. Yep, rehemmed. In addition to fitting poorly, it was also 4″ too long. I almost passed it by. I knew I could make a cami at home but I didn’t have the fabric. I would have to go shopping for fabric; and then I know me, I’d fool around trying to remember the details so I could  adapt my pattern.  Sometimes, especially when no one will see the garment, it’s just best to have it done.

The cami has an incredible effect on garment. Yes it makes them opaque vs see-through or grin-through but also helps the hang of the final garment.  This is dolman, sweater knit without cami:

In addition to grin-through, the top of my buttocks are prominent, the bust drag lines pronounced and the waistband bulges. Slip the cami on first:

The back is smooth; bust drag lines reduced and waistband invisible. Even if this cami lasts only this winter season, it’s worth the cost.  I can now copy its details as well as improving the appearance of my sweater knit garment.

 

Sheer Sweater Knits

I’m not sure if this is finished or not. I’ll explain that in a minute.  It is a muslin. A trial garment. I’ve been fussing for several weeks over the sheer knits I purchased on-line that were described as “semi-opaque sweater knits”. I’ve discovered that semi-opaque means the same as ‘burn out’ which means there are sheer portions which should you choose to sew with this fabric, will mostly likely fall on the worst possible places.   I fuss because ‘sweater knit’ , for me, invokes a cushy knit fabric that will keep you warm. As a matter of fact will make you sweat because it is so heat retaining. In my mind a ‘sweater knit’ may have a small gauge that drapes close to the body (think 50’s sweater girls and twin sets) but is not transparent. Anywhere. E-v-e-r.  So I groused about these.  Made excuses for not immediately returning.  Until it hit me that my whining was rather embarrassing.   I’d just declared myself a Sheers Expert.  Not more than 2 months ago, even as I’m complaining about my sweater knits, I had insisted that I was the master of sheer fabrics because I had made and followed through on my goal to find techniques that control sheer fabrics.

So I’m not complaining anymore. This shouldn’t be hard. The easiest thing to do with sheers to is to make 3rd layers. Except, I really wanted pull over sweaters to wear in the house or outside under 3rd layers. I selected my first fabric, a teal knit with alternating opaque and sheer strips.  The easy solution, to turn this into a pull over that can be worn alone, is lining. I didn’t want to use a polyester or other woven lining fabric.  I don’t want to lose the stretch of the fabric only the transparency.  I have Knit Tricot but in white. I didn’t really want the white to grin through. I found a very thin, rayon knit ribbing in a close shade.  It’s a sister fabric to another which disappointed me greatly.  It is too drapey.  Ribbings will not hold their own but flop around in a disgusting manner. But would it be thin enough to act as a lining?  Don’t know. So this very first semi-opaque, sweater knit garment becomes a test of what I can use for lining the same type fabrics.

I’m using See And Sew 5803 again because it’s already fit. I don’t want to struggle with fit.  I wanted the asymmetrical hem but alas there was not enough fabric to both match stripes, cut long sleeves and keep the asymmetrical hem.  I folded up the hem so the back (and front( would be 26″ from shoulder to raw edge.    Because of the sheer stripes I didn’t need full size pattern pieces.  I was able to fold the fabric in half and line up the strips.  I carefully place the pattern side notches for matching stripes.  The times this doesn’t work has been because the fabric shifted and became unaligned.   I did not shape the hem but cut straight across.  Kind of a mini shark-bite hem. My ‘lining’ lacked enough yardage for the sleeves.  So this will be a great garment for restaurants and in-house but not for snowball fights.

I opted to treat the lining and fashion fabric as one piece.  Started by serging the neckline edges of front and back and then carefully pinning while adding the sleeves.  Immediately it became apparent this was going to be heavy. I measured the pattern; cut clear elastic to that length; reinforced the armscyes with clear elastic.  On the front  I serged the armscyes and then zig zagged the clear elastic on top.   I tried serging all layers (back fashion fabric, back lining, sleeve, elastic) at once. It worked but was pretty miserable to control.  It was a good test and lets me know that I prefer to reinforce with elastic, after the  layers are sewn together.  I also reinforced the neckline. I measured the neckline and subtracted seam allowances. Cut the elastic to that measurement so it was a 1:1 application.  The neckline shape, formed by itself.  I like it but didn’t expect the squared front corners.  The neckline is perfect for showcasing necklaces but probably not practical for snowball fights.

I finished the sleeves with 3/4″ elastic inserted in a casing formed by serging the raw edge and then turning it up 1″.  I used the same length as for the Rayon Challis blouse, 10″.

I had an issue with the elastic. My usual elastic is white and showed through horribly.  In my stash of FOE was a matching teal/turquoise or at least seems to disappear behind the fabric. But it is FOE.  Hope it’s durable enough for this type application.  I did the same for the hem:

however I was able to use my normal white elastic because of the lining.

So why may this not be finished? I mean I was successful.  This is a garment I can wear most places (snowball fights excepted).  You can see from above that it is pretty.  My issue is with the hem.  The hem is 68″ wide and flares further just because it’s a soft, loosely knit fabric.  I used  58″ of 3/4″ elastic which snugs the hem to me just slightly:

I like the front view but not so sure about the side and back.  The hems.  I like everything  else; neckline sleeves body of the garment.. I’m concerned about the look at the hem.  I’ve seen a number of RTW sweaters which flare this much and more.  I’m just not sure I care for it.

Without any elastic the hem appears like this:

I’ve seen RTW like this but again, not sure I like it.  I cut my elastic the same width as my hips thinking that the garment would hang straight down but it cups:

and I really don’t like that.   I haven’t decided yet.  I may leave it alone as in the first pics.  Sometimes I have to get used to style changes.  Alternatively   I could trim some ease at the hem or adjust the elastic length a few more inches.  As always, would love for you to look at the 3 sets of pics and offer your opinion.

Yellow Knit Lace: FINISHED!

I moved all the posts for this project here, The Sheers Workbook blog, because despite being thick and hefty knit lace is see-through. Largely, transparent. Finishes used for this project will be useful to know for other sheers projects. 

 

I managed a trip to the fabric store 90 miles away. Searched their shelves and unexpectedly found a fabric I thought coordinated for edge binding.  When I got home I realized it did not meet my desired ‘keep it neutral’ criteria.  The fabric background matched my yellow knit but the print was brown and olive-green.  I would not have worn the resulting garment with my navy and black collections. This garment will be worn so seldom that I want to expand its usefulness by keeping it neutral. So out with recently purchased fabric and return to one already in the stash and tested. The cotton crinkle:

I was satisfied to stitch everything at the sewing machine while testing, but for the final application I wanted a fast and reliable method. I purchased another binder for my cover stitch machine.  I wanted a B-type which folds the binding on both sides of the garment. I purchased from the guy on Ebay and received my binder in less than a week. The binder worked wonderfully with every fabric except the knit lace. I could never feed the knit lace evenly into the binder. After a frustrating hour I decided the cover stitch wasn’t going to work I would have to bind the edges at the SM.

I created 10 yards of bias tape 1.5″ wide:

I did it the old-fashioned way of cutting strips from yardage and joining them at right angles on the SM.  I know lots of people like to fold and offset and fuss in all kinds of ways. They  claim making bias is so much easier but I find I spend more time trying to figure out this new easy way then it takes me to just do it.  I serge finished both edges and then realized I only needed to finish one edge. The other would be serged to the raw edge of the knit lace and wrapped up and over.  Oh well, the serge roll hem takes no time.

I did use New Look 6249 for my pattern

I made a change to the pattern.  I decided not to use the shawl collar/band.  Instead I added a front overlap.

I taped the  front and back neckline and shoulders. Up close the taping can be seen in the finished garment, but I felt it important to reinforce the shoulder seams before serging.

On second thought I rounded the front, hem edge

so I wouldn’t have to work with mitering.

I bound the armscyes first then serged the side seam closed before binding the long, long, long outer edge of the garment which includes neckline and hem.  I was done in much less time than I took testing.

Fit is about as expected. I already knew from previous use of this pattern, that it would be very loosely fitting. It’s rather like a Ruana with the side lower-edges serged together. It has one other fit advantage in that the shoulders are shaped. The shoulders of the garment cup the wearer’s shoulders instead of standing up right like Ghangis Khan’s uniform.  I do think the previous version looked a little better. It was a black wool. Black really does tend to visually diminish the size but also knit lace has a tendency to stretch.

My knit-lace vest is a nice comfortable, shawl type garment and will serve me well every winter for several years. Maybe summers too.

 

Note about the fabric:  The worst issue with the knit lace is the same feature which makes it so lovely: the holes. No matter how it is cut ( it will at least need to be cut to length,) there will be little strips of fabric sticking up that won’t cooperate with any stitching. A serger rolled hem was not possible. I didn’t like how the serging looked when crossing air (the holes). Long time ago I worked at using ‘Seams Great’ which is a transparent, knit strip usually 1/2″ or so wide. I could never control the strip and create an even application.  I’d rather not use something, particularly when it is a struggle to do so, if the end result is clumsy. Binding with the up-and-over method finished by stitching-in-the ditch proved to be the best option for me with this fabric at this time. I’m not ruling out the possibility I could get smarter or something new might be invented in the future.

 

‘Fraid I need a break, even though I’ve hardly started with the knit-lace vest.  I favor two, but none of my bindings make me happy.  Binding the edges is going to take a lot of time and even more testing. I’m reluctant to start when I’m not the least bit enthused about possible results.

I did want to thank all those who made suggestions and make a few replies.

I don’t believe a rolled hem, or satin stitch (tight zig-zag) edge finish would work well due to the nature of the fabric.  There is no place that I can cut without gaps appearing. It’s just the nature of the lace fabric.  Instead of finishing nicely, there would be gaps and even stitches falling apart.

Dying my own fabric for edging is out simply because in recent years I’ve decided I want nothing to do with dyeing.  It’s the whole chemical issue I disagree with.  I abhor ‘gowning up’ ie. adding personal protective layers like a mask and gloves for my creative work.  I know others do it, but I don’t want to and it’s my sewing.

I could however go all Jason Pollack for the project. I love working acrylic paints which need only a drop sheet beneath the work and apron to protect my own clothes. So while I reject dying, I find the suggestion inspiring and may do a bit of painting; and am happy to thank you for the dyeing suggestion.  It will take some time and planning. I’ll need to locate a fabric that can be used and time to paint the various layers (and allow them to dry).

But, I  think I will be heading for Sioux Falls or Rapid City in the next few months.I’m not happy about the medical necessities. I am happy about destinations which support good quality dressmaking stores.

What it boils down to, is I’ve decided to set this project aside and see if I can find a good binding fabric either pre-printed, dyed or ready to paint.

I’ll let you know when/if I make progress.

Yellow Knit-Lace

I put away my last and less-than-satisfactory projects and pulled out the knit laces I’ve been eyeing for several months now.

I purchased 3 (I think) Knit-Lace yardages which the vendor insisted were “Crochet Lace”.  These are not crotchet.  Crotchet is a one needle technique which produces distinctively different stitches and texture.  These are Knit Lace which is lovely and very holey, even to the point of suggesting crotchet patterns. But, crotch it is not. Nonetheless I purchased these last spring and have been wondering ever since what I was going to do with them.  They’re actually heavier than the sweater knits I bought at about the same time .  But their holey and thereby revealing nature prevents me from seriously considering sewing them into the pull-over shapes I love to wear in the winter. I felt they were too heavy for summer shawls and wraps which I rarely wear.  I’m considering the sweater/pullover shape, anyway, but with the understanding I would always wear a blouse beneath said sweater. Another option would be lining.  A nice knit- tricot lining that would spare my modesty and elevate the garment from pullover to knit top. For this first garment though I’ve settled upon a cardigan and then further refined it to be a sleeveless cardigan or vest shape. Because, my typical winter uniform is pants, with blouse or knit top and a vest.  Jackets and cardigans are worn much less often.  A vest suits my need for just a bit more warmth when inside.

I’ve chosen my pattern, NL 6249 View C or D

This pattern appeals to me for several reasons.  The shape is still current. If the garment lasts long enough, it’s big enough to be reshaped should I so desire.  I’ve made it before (scroll down to first post) which means I’ve solved my fitting issues. More importantly, I have a fair idea of how this looks on me and how it works in my life.  It is neither my best nor worst look i.e. I’m not suddenly 2′ taller nor a little blob. It is however wonderfully useful.  I”m likely to keep making copies even as it becomes less stylish just because I really do like the garment.  Using a known pattern eliminates some of the problems that could be encountered when using a novel or difficult fabric. Why is all this so important?  Because at this point I can consider the sewing techniques and finishes needed for:

  • Pockets — hem edges finished, turned down 1″ and top stitched. The 3 unfinished edges are caught in the side seam, hem and center front seam.
  • Center front is finished with a long, wide band which is folded in half length-wise and then stitched to the center front, around the neckline and down the other center front.This is fine for most fabrics. 
  • The side seams are finished (serged, bound, etc) then folded 5/8 to the inside and pressed. The side seams are then stitched from the bottom up to the dot which marks the underarm.  Side seams are pressed again and  the ‘armscye’ is top-stitched catching and holding the previously finished  seam edges.
  • The hem is  finished, turned up and stitched into place.

Actually, it is a well thought out sewing procedure.  As I recall, several finishing methods were suggested, but I serged everything on my first garment.  I’m not sure that is the best option for my knit-lace.  The seams will show at least a little. Plus whatever I do,  seams  will be thick.  Serging the center front will involve 3 and sometimes 5 layers of spongy, thick fabric.

So the next step in my mind is considering possible finishes.

I can still serge everything and ignore the seams peaking through.

I don’t think french seams are an option.  I would have to find another finish for the neckline and hem and the armscyes would present some difficulties.

Over lap seams?  I’m not sure lapped seams are a good idea.  Wherever I cut there will be little pieces sticking up.  Trying to catch those may not be easy and catching all may not be possible.

Same thing with felled seams. All those little pieces sticking out are going to be hard to control plus I’ll need another finishing method for neckline, armscyes and hems.

I could bind with bias tape. I don’t like making bias tape so I hunted through my stash of commercial bias tape.My application, not shared, was rather mangled. But I would have worked at it more except  I didn’t like the look  of the commercial tape up against the knit lace. It looked “home-made”.

I considered ribbon to edge and cover the edges but I have no matching ribbon.

At this point I’m thinking either serge and top stitch or bind edges.  Either way, I need to do a little testing.

 

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