Maggie's Sweater Knit Shawl - Part 1

I'm happy to introduce Maggie, a contributor to the Crafting Fashion blog. Though she's an experienced sewer, Maggie is very new to sweater knits. Maggie takes us from her initial thoughts and research on this project (below) to her step-by-step modifications for sewing her shawl in Westerly sweater knit (next post).

Going into writing this blog post I had not ever worked with a sweater knit and my experience working with lighter weight jersey knit was limited. I had made a few small projects here and there with old t-shirts and discount knits, and never even considered sewing with a sweater knit. So, for this first project I was very excited to learn something new and get to sew with some of the gorgeous fabric in the O! Jolly! Shop. I’ll admit I was a little intimidated and learning to work with my fabric was challenging, but it was also fun and I found lots of resources on this blog to help me work through it. Ultimately I walked away with a new found confidence for sewing with sweater knits and can’t wait to tackle my next project.

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:

[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

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