Conquering Sheer Fabrics

Archive for the ‘Knit Lace’ Category

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.

 

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Knit Lace

This is a lovely cardigan completed in 2013 and first shared HERE. It’s the most recently completed garment that qualifies as sheer because of the knitted, cotton lace.  I used the selvage for the sleeve and bottom hems. The neckline and front lapel, are fused with SAS, turned and stitched. It was an extremely fast garment made so because of these finishes. While  polyester crepe plus SAS created a stiff hem, this knit plus SAS has the perfect weight. SAS was a really good choice.

Amazingly soil-resistant,  I’ve not laundered it once and it is one of the most worn garments in my wardrobe. The knitted lace fabric works well all 4 seasons.  Unlike the previous garments, this one does not scrunch down into nothing. If I take it with me,  it needs a little room in the suitcase or often is tied around my bag’s straps IF not worn.
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That completes the roll-call of sheer garments currently in my wardrobe (excluding lingerie which I did not sew). I am pleased to see that I have been working with sheer fabrics and have developed some experience. Although not all good, I know it’s important to know what not to do as well as to celebrate my successes.

Outstanding in my mind, is that these garments are all 3rd layers. No blouses, skirts, tops, why?  I have had some of all those in the past. They passed out of my wardrobe for modesty reasons. I don’t mind showing a little shoulder. Don’t mind a hint of bra or camisole. But do not want to disclose my other underwear or exhibit unclothed most of my body.  Also, I associate sheers with summer wear because on their on they are light weight and cooling rather than heat retaining.  From here on out, my challenge will be sewing sheer tops, that will preserve my modesty while exploring more sewing techniques that create fine, strong seams on these thin fabrics.  I’ll also be contemplating mult-seasonal use of sheer fabrics.

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