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Sweater knits
How do I finish edges?
PatW
PatW  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/4/12 6:18 AM

I've never sewed with sweater knits, so I chose M6461 for it's simple design. I have it laid out, but I'm afraid to cut it in case the knit unravels. Am I being overly cautious? Can anyone offer tips? Thanks! Pat

AdaH
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AdaH  Friend of PR
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In reply to PatW <<


Date: 9/4/12 9:45 AM

Try cutting a small section to see what the knit does. I read something on a blog where the gal was recycling old sweaters and she took strips of fusible interfacing to the edges to keep things from unraveling.

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Ada

Kelly D.
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Kelly D.  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/5/12 11:16 AM

I found as long as I went straight to the sewing machine with the pieces after cutting they were fine. No cutting and then folding and storing for later sewing as I sometimes do. I did fitting with a muslin to make sure I didn't have to make adjustments later and could confidently go straight to serging from teh cutting table.

You may want to support the shoulder seam with clear elastic. I usually prefer woven tape for that, but on most loose sweater knits, white or black would show through so the elastic is a better option.

HawkeMorningStar7
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Date: 9/5/12 11:43 AM

I would like to know how to finish necklines and hems. I mean in the bulky thick sweater knits. Just folding over hem is way too thick and lumpy. Facings in neck etc ditto a lumpy bumpy mess. So far I have made only cowl neckline tops .To resolve neckline problem. And a VERY wide hem to disguise ridge in away .Loose like a band.
I would love to make cardies with these nice thick cable knits I have and a very thick boucle type. But how on earth to make a button band stumps me.
You see when one KNITS hem is cast off....no folding over. Same with button band, a one layer thick strip
-- Edited on 9/5/12 4:14 PM --

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.....Behold, a wonder did appear;
Amazement was my bliss.......

Elona
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In reply to HawkeMorningStar7 <<


Date: 9/5/12 3:33 PM

This is a problem, both cosmetic and structural.

I have simply done a neatly serged bottom edge on several sweater knits (got the idea from a J Jill sweater and an Eileen Fisher in my closet). This hem treatment is virtually invisible, but of course, it only works if your fabric doesn't curl.

Loes Hinse's cardigans have turned-under front edges, but I think even her heavy-appearing sweaters are actually quite lightweight, so it's not the same thing as working with a truly heavy fabric.

Some cable knit cardigans (both RTW and handknit) just put the buttonholes right into the pattern. I think it looks clunky, and it usually distorts the design, too. If I were dealing with the buttonhole strip in cable knit or bouclé fabric, I think I'd try two different approaches.

One would be to buy a much lighter knit in the right color, sew on a facing, turn it under--after applying ovals of lightweight fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the facing to reinforce the buttonhole. Then, I absolutely would use SpaceTape on the top surface to make it possible to do a machine buttonhole.

Since I am comfortable with knitting and crochet, I would also consider picking up stitches and creating my own button band or hem with self- or coordinating yarn. I have actually done this with yarn I painstaking unraveled from a too-long cashmere sweater. Since that yarn was exceedingly fine, the process took a while, but the result was a turned-under, hand linked hem that is lightweight and completely invisible.

-- Edited on 9/5/12 3:35 PM --

HawkeMorningStar7
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In reply to Elona <<


Date: 9/5/12 4:17 PM

Thanks Elona, wonderful tips.
I should try hand knitting the hems too. Or go with the loose no buttons cardy look.

------
.....Behold, a wonder did appear;
Amazement was my bliss.......

wendyrb
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In reply to HawkeMorningStar7 <<


Date: 9/6/12 3:22 AM

I'm interested in this too. Lots of good ideas here. If you make up a cardi, please review and put some detail shots of how you managed the edges of a chunky knit.

This may be to clunky for you, I'm kinda thinking aloud here. I hand knitted a lot as a child. I remember a hooded cardi I made. The front opening was stabilized with grosgrain ribbon and instead of buttons, there were big snaps.

A variation for a v-neck cardi, would be to use Petersham instead and steam it to form the neckline shape. Then I'd try edge stitching it to the knit front edge. Maybe it could be stitched on the 2nd side of the Petersham, or it might be ok with just 1 run of stitching. As you say, the cardi could be left loose, no closures for that loose no-button styling.

For a chunky sweater, another look is to use a toggle or horn oblong button and a finger knitted loop or an elastic loop- something.

Some cardis have no buttons, but are held closed and draped with a leather belt.

I've seen sweaters with over the top embellished edges- ruffles of lace alternating with chiffon and then more lace. Or, the total opposite, very low key with a fine jersey binding, say wool jersey.

For a sweatery knit, but not really heavy, Fold-Over Elastic is useful.

Fun to think about.

------
Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them. Andy Rooney

Pfonzie- my honey Pfaff Creative Performance, Bernina 930 and 830, Evolution serger.

PatW
PatW  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/6/12 6:31 AM

Wonderful tips everyone! Thanks so much! I still have it sitting on my cutting table, uncut, but a clearer plan is starting to form.... This particular fabric is very lightweight and stretchy, but I also have another heavier piece waiting in the wings.

Regarding the question about buttonholes, I think petersham on both front edges would probably provide the support you need for both the buttonholes and the buttons, but hey, what do I know??? Lol....

jannw
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Date: 9/6/12 7:22 AM

Some interesting answers and things to think about. I've got a piece of a mohair knit that is fairly heavy and looks like a handknit. I don't knit, so the only thing I could think of was sewing a grosgrain ribbon to the hem and turning that up. I've seen the grosgrain used in rtw sweaters, but that wouldn't really address the thickness issue.

The edges do seem to curl..I haven't gotten the nerve to cut it out yet, but maybe slip stitching the curl for a hem?

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2009-113.25 yds
2010-115.5
2011-80.25+30+donated
2012 86.3 yds..
2013 21.0
Everyone who sews seriously has a stockpile of fabrics, because it is natural to purchase more than can be sewn in any one season" Singer, Timesaving Sewing, 1987

PatW
PatW  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/7/12 6:42 AM

Well, I did it! I cut it and took it directly to the serger. The whole project took less than an hour, and I only have a little trim work to do (need to take care of the serger tails). I haven't taken a pic yet because I can't decide whether to leave the edges serged or turn them under. Nevertheless, this may be the easiest pattern I've ever used!!

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