Well the dust is off the machine now.
I’ve found a new enthusiasm for my old hobby of sewing clothes and I’ve been working through projects like crazy lately, finding every free moment I can to sew. As the weather starts to change and get cold and snowy, I have been planning out my new winter wardrobe and cutting into sweater knits and over heavy-ish fabrics. I’m like a phoenix rising…okay maybe that’s taking it a bit too far. But I have felt revitalized in getting back to the fiber arts.
I had this great sweater knit fabric that I bought a while back and couldn’t find the right pattern in my collection to go with what I wanted. I was picturing something casual, but that could be dressed up for work. I did some research and found this Toaster Sweater pattern from Sew House Seven. This is the first time I’ve tried a pattern from this company and I have to say I’m very impressed. The pattern directions were so well written and the simplicity of the pattern itself made this top a breeze. I cannot recommend it enough. I sewed up version 2, however I can definitely see me trying out version 1 at some point.
Making the cut
My only real mistake with this one was when I cut out the main body of the sweater. I thought I had folded my pattern correctly, but when I went to sew the pieces together, something wasn’t quite right with the neckline. For one thing, it was telling me to fold some piece down that didn’t seem to be there. Hmmm, one more look at the pattern and I realized I had cut where the fold line of the neck was supposed to be. D’oh!
Luckily I had enough fabric to cut out a whole other sweater. At first I thought I was doomed, because I seemed to be a little short when trying to fit this extra neck piece as well as the body. But then I remembered this fold trick (shown above) which worked in this case because the fabric was so wide. Thank god for knits!
The mitered touch
With only the front and back and the two sleeves, there was not much to cut out. Everything else fell into place using my serger and zig-zag stitching. I also liked how the pattern explained how to stitch if you didn’t have a serger, which you don’t often see – what a great pattern for beginners!
Another technique the pattern explained well was the mitered corners on the hem of the sweater. It was clear how to line up the edges and sew the seam – and they all came out perfectly on the first try.
I really like the way the hem came out:
The only other issue I ended up having was also my fault in that I didn’t finish the edges on the neck early enough – before I started stitching. It even mentioned it in the directions, but I kind of skipped ahead, not realizing it would have been easier to do this first. I ended up being able to do a decent enough job of it, but something to note for next time. I also added a small stitch in the middle of the neck (front & back) where it folds over – just a small tack stitch so it stayed in place better. Not sure if it was the way I sewed it to the shoulders or just the thickness of the material, but it didn’t stay put very easily without it.
It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see ~ Henry David Thoreau
I tested the sweater out in downtown Concord, MA – right down the street from me. It was a perfect New England day – warm enough to walk around and since it had snowed the day before, it was like a perfect Christmas scene. I even got to visit the Louisa May Alcott “Little Women” house with my family, which was really nice. This picture (taken by my sister) even looks like a Christmas card…
I can tell I’m going to get a lot of use out of this sweater this season. I was afraid it was going to be a little too boxy, so I did adjust the body of it a bit so it was less baggy. I think the fit is pretty much perfect. And such a fun neckline!
Have I mentioned I love this pattern?
Well anyways, Happy Holidays everyone. I’m hoping to have a few more posts before the year is done, since I have a few completed projects I haven’t written about yet. What about you – what have you been planning for the upcoming season (whether it be winter or summer)?