Refashion Sweater Knit

This is actually the last sewing I did Dec 30, 2015.  After that I was busy with New Year’s Eve activities and taking down the Christmas Tree.

Some time during the fall of 2014,  I made this sweater

I purposely made the deep turtle neck which was fashionable at the time.  I made it as wide as I could but only having one seam (in the back) it really wasn’t loose around the neck. This is a machine knit, probably acrylic; maybe polyester.  The fiber  is warm and comfortable to wear and survives a gentle wash and cool dry. The fiber is not the problem. It is that deep turtle neck.  It makes the sweater too warm for me to wear in the house.  Hence the sweater has not been worn often. Even though I often pick it from the line up,  I always put it back acknowledging that today I will be in the house or only outside for a brief time and it will be too warm for wear.   This year I had  narrow selection of sweater knit fabrics to purchase  that would also be suitable for my typical wear.  (If you follow this blog, you’ve already seen posts of my attempts to make very light weight sweater fabrics wearable.)  So when I put my hands on this sweater instead of returning it to the line up, I decided to refashion and create something I would wear in the house.

That meant taking off the collar. Which turned out not to be a big deal.  Generally, a sweater knit that has been worn and washed a few times (not to mention pressing) will not get long runs. But I can’t be positively 100% sure, so I reinforced with the triple zig zag stitch around the collar-to-body seam.  Took my Gingher 7″ shears and trimmed the collar  off above the zig zag line.  I carefully folded the sweater in half and measured the neckline using my Curve Runner.  24″ and that’s the length I cut my 1″ wide FOE.  I joined the ends using the Quilter’s Bias Join and the laser light on my Dream Machine:

I cannot tell you how much I love the laser light.

I quartered both the FOE and the garment neckline and pinned quarter-to-quarter.  Standard stuff if you work with knits.  At the SM,  I rarely sew peddle-to-the-metal.  My speed is usually medium or as in this case slow to medium.  That allows me to easily stop and correct if the neckline creeps away from the FOE or if my stitching… wanders a little.  I tell you this because this application of FOE is The BEST I’ve ever done.  I have lots of FOE in the stash but don’t use it often because I won’t rip if things go wrong and my application has never been something of which I was terribly proud. Not this time.  I took several pics, but the black stitching on black FOE doesn’t show up.  I’d so love to show and tell (brag) about my FOE application.  I used the lightening stitch (1-06) set 5mm long and .5 wide; stitched from the front with the well at the edge of the elastic lined up between the legs of foot J.  No question in my mind,  I will be using FOE much more often now that I have a machine that helps me.

(I hasten to add, I think most of my FOE issues have been my own fault.  It’s entirely possible I’ve finally gotten enough experience to produce a good application. But I really felt like this time it was my Dream Machine which made the stitching easy.)

I did not add shoulder pads at the time I made the garment and didn’t add shoulder pads now because the armscye is cut for a bare shoulder.  But I think the Blue Embroidered Sweater knit with its 1/4″ shoulder pads is much more flattering .

I don’t know if there is something missing with the way I use the Curve Runner or if it is the Quilter’s Bias Join that gives me length issues.   Previously to getting the Curve Runner, I’d quit measuring and calculating neckband lengths because I always ended up cutting a second and even third.  Instead, I’d cut a band too long; baste with WST; and adjust. I think the length needed is affected by the stretch of the fabric and if used the elastic.  I do know that I need a longer neckband when using the Quilter’s Join (usually twice the width of the FOE).  Whatever went wrong, the FOE is just slightly shorter than needed and it gathered my neckline but not badly noticeable .  The pics were taken immediately after I finished the refashion.  I wonder if with time and maybe a washing or two, the FOE and sweater knit will balance themselves together.   I won’t operate on the garment again. It’s hard, almost impossible to rip. Not only is that a tiny zig zag but the black stitches are hard to see. So this is what it is.  I just wish I was a little better at choosing a band length by measuring the neckline.