Before I started my shawl project, I decided to practice on a thrift store sweater and make matching beanies for me and the forthcoming wee one. This helped me get a feel for cutting and sewing sweater knits, and it took the pressure off making a mistake with my pretty fabric. I wrote a tutorial that you can find here at Miss Maggie Makes. I highly recommend experimenting with an old sweater if you are new to sewing with sweater knits. It will give you a feel for your machine and sweater knit fabric, and if you make a fatal mistake you're only out a few dollars.
My next step was to pick a pattern. I decided to start with a lovely shawl pattern Simplicity 1098 [affiliate link], option C, that Olgalyn suggested as a good starter project. The pattern was written for fleece, but was very simple (just 3 pieces) and easy to modify for a sweater knit. I also happen to be about 6 months pregnant, and my body seems to change daily. I have literally worn a shirt one day, put in in the wash and when I put it back on it no longer fits over my belly. While this is something my husband and I get a huge kick out of, it also makes it hard to plan my wardrobe. So, making something that will accommodate my body over the next few months, keep me warm and help me layer my outfits (third trimester hot flashes are no joke!) was right on target. An added bonus is that I used the Westerly wool rib in natural white and it is so soft and gorgeous. Just the kind of thing I need to feel pretty and cuddly to get me through the cold, gray winter months. And for when the little one is here, it will be lovely to drape over us while she is in her carrier. I already see a few more of these shawls in our future.
Before I started cutting my fabric, I decided I needed to do some research. I knew I needed information on handling my fabric and what the best stitches and finishes to use would be. In the process I also discovered that I would need to use an interfacing for my seams to keep my fabric from stretching and moving as I sewed.
To start, I read through the Crafting Fashion pages Quick Tips and Sewing a Sweater. I also found these blog posts very helpful:
- The Sweater Knit Fabric -- A nice overview of knit fabrics and terms.
- Sewing Sweater Seams with a Sewing Machine -- A good overview of sewing seams with a sewing machine.
- Working with Paper Patterns and Sweater Knit Fabrics -- This was very helpful in figuring out how to lay my pattern pieces and cut my fabric.
- Oh Baby! with Fabric.com: Sewing with Knits by Sew4Home (off site) -- The sections on "Sewing Steps" and "Other Supplies" are excellent. This is one of the best overviews of sewing with knits that I found. Especially if you have never sewn with knits before, it covers all the steps and gives some great pointers.
[To be continued...]
|Maggie is a sewer and blogger living in North Carolina. She has known how to sew for as long as she can remember but admits to not being very good at it until just a few years ago. Maggie continues to learn something new every time she sits at her machine. Owner of UpSeam by Maggie, where she make handbags and wallets from upcycled fabrics and notions, Maggie also loves to share her knowledge and projects with others on her blog Miss Maggie Makes.|
Affiliate link in this article was inserted by the owner of this site.
Last update 22Apr2016