A couple of weeks ago I went on a great course at the Yorkshire School of Sewing to learn to use my overlocker, it inspired me to conquer my fear of sewing knits and jerseys! A few days after I wandered into B&M Fabrics shop to buy some quilt wadding, and there, propped up together in a corner were two bolts of fabric, a lovely dark red knitted fabric and a co-ordinating green and red tartan. Well, I was putty in their fingers! By the time I left Leeds market I had two lengths of knitted fabric, a skirt length of the tartan and two lengths of jersey for tops…as well as the wadding I went in for!
I decided to sew the red knitted fabric first. I found a Butterick pattern (6258) which was just what I wanted, a cardigan style jacket, top, and skirt. I shortened the cardigan as the pattern is knee length which is not a length that does anything for me, I cut out the medium size which correlated to a size 12-14. I particularly liked the cardigan as it has a folded front band which gives a nice edge to the cardigan.
Have you ever wondered why you avoided something for years? I am now wondering why I haven’t sewn knitwear before, it went together beautifully, so easy to sew! I haven’t got a big range of overlocking threads so I used black for the loopy threads and red for the seam line, it seemed to work well, I managed to get the tension ok so I was happy with the stitch.
I even used a twin needle for the first time! It took me a while to find my spare thread holder though. Luckily I sussed out on a scrap first that the twin line of stitching is only on the top, not underneath, there’s just a single line there…it may be obvious when you think about it, but I hadn’t thought about it before!!
It does mean that you have to sew things like hems from the right side, whereas usually I would stitch from the wrong side to make sure everything was ok with the hem. On the sleeves I found that I had too big a hem so there was about 3/4″ above the twin stitch, I thought about risking the overlocker to reduce it, but I decided to just turn it under and add an extra line of stitching, it actually makes a nice finish as it means if I turn my cuffs up, I’ve got a neat finish inside.
I’m really pleased with my cardigan, it is so comfortable and cosy, I’ve worn it twice already! I persuaded my photographic assistant to do the honours in the garden, unfortunately I was photobombed by Jasmine, Evangeline and Ivy, three of our chickens, they’ve got free range of the garden now for the winter and as they are trained to corn, every time they see me they think “Oooh, corn!!” We managed to get the photos taken before the other six got in on the act 🙂