Yay! My mom’s serger is out of the shop and ready to go. So, time to sew some knits!
For those of you that don’t know what a serger is, it looks like this:
A lot of the clothes that you buy are made with a serger, which makes a certain type of stitch that finishes the edge while it sews. It was perfect for this cotton stretch knit material I bought and used to make this cute little top with kimono sleeves.
At first this looked like a top I could complete in a few hours, but I don’t have a ton of experience with knits and there were a few unforeseen challenges.
The first thing I realized was that I was going to have to match up the stripes. The back was two separate pieces so it needed to line up, which was accomplished by making sure the folded fabric was lined up. Matching the stripes on the side was slightly more difficult. There happened to be a line marking the waistline on both front and back pattern pieces. I used that line as a guide to set up the pattern pieces onto the same spot on one of the lines. Then I crossed my fingers and hoped it would all come out okay. Luckily it worked and if anything, this garment has stripes that are all lined up at the seams, side and back!
I would definitely make this pattern again. The top is extremely flattering and works really well with stretch knit material. The only real difficult part was the collar. Cutting a small, long strip out of this material is not easy, because it immediately rolls at the ends. Folding it in half was a real pain in the rear; even pressing it didn’t hold the shape well. I also needed to stretch the collar around neck opening, being careful to match up the back seam, shoulder seams, and center front with the markings on the pattern. This took up the most time, but I think it had a good result.
Since you can’t use pins with the serger (or at least not easily), I decided to stitch the pieces together first, then serge the seam afterward. I was really impressed at how neat and professional the edges looked and I’m relieved I don’t have to worry about the material unraveling. It also makes hemming easier, as you can serge the raw edge and then fold the material up once for the hem. I did this for the sleeves which definitely made my life easier, since they were already pretty short.
Hmmm….I just realized the pattern says it should take 2 hours to complete. Well, I definitely need to get better at making straighter hems with knit fabric in order to make that happen. I’m not sure why, I always think I’m sewing straight, but it ends up looking like an EKG reading. More practice I guess. Or maybe I need to start experimenting with that walking foot.
Definitely love the look of this. The collar seems like it could be adjusted to be a little smaller. I have very small shoulders and so the neckline lays pretty far off of them. But I absolutely love the sleeves and it came out pretty much as I envisioned.