Conquering Sheer Fabrics

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.



Comments on: "Yellow Knit-Lace" (1)

  1. The vest will look lovely in the spring and summer or on a cruise, too. The vest might look good if the pants and top were the same color and the vest the accent color. As here:

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