Two knit projects

My last Jasika jacket was huge and extremely successful project! I am so glad that Closet core patterns noticed my Jasika on Instagram and shared my post on their grid. It resulted in a deluge of positive comments, congratulations messages and accolades! I was so humbled and beyond happy to receive all this positive feedback. I am deeply grateful to everyone who were interested and had good words to say about my project – thank you from the bottom of my heart! ā¤ļø

This huge amount of support absolutely encourages me to create more nice garments! Am pretty sure that soon the time will come for one more Jasika. And meanwhile I decided to take on two simple, easy and quick projects – to just take a bit of a break before starting my next complex and serious project. So here they are – my two knit projects šŸ™‚

Long cardigan

It was a funny story that happened here. While still working on my previous jacket, I got inspired by a post on Instagram in which the rib-knit black dress was styled in all sorts of ways. I liked all those styles so much that decided to make the same dress right after I finish the jacket (btw, am sure this dress would look great with my new jacket!). Of course I had to purchase the fabric right away – to be prepared for my new project! šŸ™‚ So there I was standing in the middle of knits section at my local fabric store and having little clue how to shop for knits. There were many rib-knits in stock, but they appeared somehow very thin and fragile in my view. I checked other black fabrics and finally settled on this decent viscose blend that I ended up purchasing. After returning home with it I suddenly realized that this new fabric was weighing like a ton! After thinking intensely for a while, I had to conclude that it was far too heavy, far too thick for the intended purpose, and that the dress out of it would most likely be a really really awkward dress. The plan had to change.

I clearly had acquired cardigan fabric, so a cardigan had to be made! After reviewing many pattern resources I finally settled on a long cardigan pattern with shawl type neckline from Burda Homewear 2020 magazine.

This cardigan has only three pattern pieces – front, back and sleeve. So it appeared to be a walk in the park. But interestingly enough it was not. First of all this fabric was actually quite strange. It was nice to touch and feel but terribly heavy, thick and sinking. Cutting pattern pieces out of it was tricky, sewing – even more so. Luckily my sewing machine mostly coped, however overlocker was working seemingly at the top of its limit. I used stretch needle on my regular sewing machine and had to increase presser foot pressure up to the maximum to be able to cope with the weight and stretch of the garment.

To make sure that the neckline was as stable as possible around shoulders I used a bit of interfacing tape, and for shoulders I used mobilon tape. Since the cardigan is unlined, interfacing pieces, even though dark and discreet, were still a bit visible. To cover them and to also cover not too neat overlock seam at the back of the neck I stitched on a piece of ribbon – the technique that was also used in my pajama project that goes next on this post. That ribbon improved the inside view considerably.

When sleeves got in, I realized that the shoulders were too wide for me – garment shoulders were hanging down my shoulders and all of that was making me look tired. Since I was stitching all the main seams with overlocker, it was impossible to unpick seams if something was not working well. So instead I just made another seam inside the shoulder seam thus narrowing the shoulders but also using a bit of sleeve head too. Not ideal, however there was not much else that was possible to be done in that situation.

All this wide shawl that is falling down the neckline was perhaps meant to be hemmed. However since the fabric was really stretching and sinking I figured that hemming the shawl edge might result in stretched and wavy hem which would not have looked nice. So instead I decided to just carefully overlock the edge of the shawl and leave it at that. Black fabric is concealing enough and overlocked edge finish does not stand out too much, so all is good there.

Finally I had to hem the cardigan and sleeves. In order to avoid the same waving problem that I was fearing for the shawl edge, I decided to apply interfacing tape to the hem and thus stabilize it a bit. It worked quite well. Even though finished hem was a bit stretched, ironing helped and now it looks just fine. Original sleeves were badly too long for me. After shortening them by 7 cm, I just made a narrow hem and now the sleeves look neat and tidy too. What was not great at all was the fact that for some reason this fabric stained my newly made light pink nails so badly that I was reluctant to even look at them. It was probably the first time ever that I’ve encountered this kind of issue. Granted, I did not pre-wash the fabric. But even so, this level of staining was really unexpected. As for my poor nails, next day I ran straight to the salon, and they were able to salvage them by filing and adding new coat, so I guess – yay! šŸ™‚

For this cardigan I needed 2 meters of black viscose blend knit. Pattern used came from Burda Homewear 2020 magazine, it was pattern #9. I cut it in size 34, however had to narrow down the shoulders and shorten the sleeves. Other notions used were: a bit of interfacing tape, mobilon tape, ribbon, and black thread. This cardigan cost me 34 Eur. It was made in November, 2021.

It is a really nice and comfortable garment. Not too warm though, despite its thickness – viscose is probably not that warm fiber after all. If it had not stained my nails, I would be absolutely happy with my new winter garment. Now, I have this doubt whether or not it will stain other clothes. Truly hope that it won’t be the case and I will be able to enjoy it and wear it often!

Everyday PJ’s

Another project that I have completed on the same weekend was in a way salvage operation. From time to time I take an inventory of my fabrics, and recently I had found this pajama set that was cut a year (!) ago and that I could not convince myself to complete. It was already written down and even crossed off the fabric list as basically discarded. The reason for this treatment of this poor project was the fact that both – the top and shorts – were so badly wide to me that at that moment I had simple given up on it not wanting to spend time to make them fit me well. But… fabric pieces were still sitting on the shelf, so this time around I took that pile of pattern pieces and decided to complete the set instead of just throwing it away. And here we go – I have a nice and really enjoyable pajama set!

This fabric was bought long time ago, more than a year ago – when I still had an idea that I am capable and also have enough time to sew everything to myself, so that visits to clothing shops would eventually become unnecessary. Well, apparently, even if I’m capable, I don’t have that much time as to sew myself complete wardrobe.

Back when this pajama set was cut, it was the first knit project I was supposed to work on. Just as then, knits are still my least favorite fabric type to work with. Every knit fabric I’ve worked with so far was tricky and not too enjoyable. With them each time there is this lingering anxiety – will sewing machine work properly, will I be able to manage the stretch of the fabric. So hey, even though I might not become the queen of knits, from time to time it’s ok to work on a knit project.

For this project I chose a very basic pajama pattern. I cut it in size S, the smallest size available, however, everything ended up being huge for me. That’s why initially this project had been shelved. This time I basically decided to take in seams from all sides possible and hope that it will help.

But before sorting that puzzle I had to install the neckband for the top. It was only the second time I got to do that. This cotton knit fabric does not stretch much, so I had doubts whether the neckband would lay flat. But well, it had to get tackled anyway. The pattern asked to use the facing, which I found not too clever an idea. Therefore the good old youtube was asked for an advice šŸ™‚ And luckily, the advice worked!

First of all I measured the circumference of the neck opening, then multiplied it by the factor of 0.85 and thus got the length of the neckband. I cut 4 cm wide strip of fabric, stitched its ends and ironed it folded. Then it was important to make notches at quarters of that circle, and accordingly mark the neck opening in quarters. The only mistake I made was that I pinned the neckband only at those four notches, this resulted in the tension being applied unequally between the notches, which accordingly meant that the width of the neckband varies a little bit. But as for only the second time I installed knit neckband, the result is satisfactory enough. To conceal the overlapping overlocker seam at the back, which is usually not too neat, I stitched a narrow ribbon on top – it stabilizes the neckline and is a nice small inside detail.

The top had to be narrowed down only at side seams – seam allowances were increased to 2 cm (instead of regular 1.5 cm). Situation with shorts was more tricky. I had to shorten them by some 10 cm, and all seam allowances had to get increased. What’s more, I decided to install a separate waistband instead of just folding the top of shorts and thus creating a channel for elastic. Therefore, the top of shorts had to get cut shorter. So shorts were trimmed from all possible sides, but now they are fitting me well and are very comfy.

For this pajama set I needed some 1.5 meters of knit cotton, the pattern used here was McCall’s M2476, I cut the set in size S, however had to reduce it substantially. Other notions used were: 1 meter of lace, a short piece of ribbon for neckband stabilization, 3 cm elastic for the waistband, a bit of mobilon tape, and coordinating thread. This set cost me 23 Eur. It was made in November, 2021.

It is a nice little homewear set, and I am sure I will gladly be wearing it. It took me only few good hours to complete this set, and I’m happy how it turned out. It also fits very well with my Floor length duster I’ve made back in spring. It’s great that this project avoided being thrown away a year ago, and instead got successfully finished!

I truly hope I will manage to find black fabric for a knit midi dress I still want to make! And now am planning to work on more sophisticated garments again!

Thanks for checking out this post! Let’s catch up next time!

~Giedre~

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: