28 June 2007

Learning All the Time

I decided to give Ottobre 2/2007 #4 another try, this time in the Sweet Geese rib knit from Sewzanne's.

(Pic got fuzzy when I cropped it to remove the bathroom towels and the smudges on the mirror, but you get the general idea. Plus now you can't see how poorly it's hemmed.)

This is a 100% cotton from Baby Nay, and you would not believe how soft it is. It would be perfect for baby jammies (so, like, if you're expecting a new babe -- AND YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE I'M TALKING TO -- you might want to consider getting some of this and sewing up some jammies after you get that pocketbook done for your toddler and I'd highly recommend checking out Ottobre patterns since they have some adorable baby things that even I can sew; just saying). It's quite stretchy. Actually, it tends to stretch out and stay stretched, unlike the cotton/bamboo/spandex blend I worked with last time; that spandex stuff sproings right back into its original shape. This knit really needed the stay tape I put in at the shoulder seams. Sometimes you can skip the stay tape; I'm glad I didn't with this t-shirt.

The stretchiness made it harder for me to work with, because I tended to stretch out the neck while sewing, and then the neck stayed stretched out (this will not be a problem with baby clothes, as you'll want to stretch around a diaper anyway). As I noted before, I think the neck of this pattern is a bit low for me. We finally figured out why: I'm a petite, so regular size patterns are proportionately too large vertically; plus I am extremely short-waisted, and so I have proportionately less room between shoulders and waist for necklines to droop in.

This time I used the sleeves from design #3 in this same Ottobre issue, as Teri recommended. Yes, I do like these much better. Plus I think putting elastic in this fabric would've been a nightmare. Heck, I had a tough enough time doing the hems -- I kept sewing off the fabric with my blindstitching. I finally got out my disappearing ink pen (that is, the ink disappears, not the pen itself) and put a purple line along the edge of the fabric so I could SEE the needle poling into the correct layer. Yeesh.

So, still not an expert at sewing knits, but now I know a bit more than I did before.

And in spite of the faults -- too-low neckline, wonky hems -- I get compliments on the t-shirt because the fabric is so darned cute.

(Speaking of learning about knits, I also learned last night that I had dropped a stitch way back at the cuff of this second sock. I was poised to start the heel when I made this discovery. You know what? I'm not going back and re-knitting it. It doesn't hurt the design, and I doubt it will make a huge difference in the fit.)


Weaver said...

I'm impressed with your ability to sew with knit fabric. I've never done it and am a bit nervous to even try (which is strange, cause I usually just jump in feet first into any sort of fiber thing, but this one scares me).

The shirt looks great!! congrats!

GailV said...

That's so funny, because that's what I wanted a serger for, and it was your serger that put me over the edge ... in other words, you were my inspiration, since if you wouldn't have bought a serger I wouldn't have bought one, and if I didn't have a serger I would've thought I couldn't do so much with knits (which isn't true, by the way -- you can sew knits without a serger, but I was timid).

mermaids said...

the new top looks fab! there is a learning curve to sewing with knits, but so worth it. a little fusible web or some temporary adhesive spray can make hemming a little easier on knits that want to stretch out as you sew. if something does get stretched out, a few blasts of steam will often coax it back into shape.


GailV said...

Yes, I did figure out how to get the stretched-out fabric back in shape. I found myself looking at it, thinking, "okay, if this were a hand-knit item I would block it back in shape ... so why can't I block this machine-knit fabric?" It's great how fabric crafts can help each other along like that.

Weaver said...

Now, I totally have to go buy some knit fabric to play with :)

Nicole said...

You know, Gail, it almost seems as though you want me to sew some baby clothes. Perhaps I'm reading too much into your post, though. heehee *goes to look at patterns*

GailV said...

Gee, I thought I was being so subtle.