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Forum > Fabrics and more... > Merino wool knit ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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Merino wool knit
How stable is it?
addicted2fabric
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addicted2fabric
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Date: 3/14/14 2:32 AM

I have a knitted jersey that I really like the style and fit of. Its a pretty basic style and I know I could easily take a pattern from it. The most difficult part will be finding a fabric that would give the same end result.
I have heaps of 100% merino wool knit, but its quite thin. I was thinking of maybe using 2 layers of the merino but I'm not sure if that would work? I am worried how 2 layers would hang together, especially at the cuffs and at the hem.
The pattern is very basic. I have traced off Kwik Sew 2496 and made a few small adjustments to get a pattern almost identical to my ready-made jersey.
I have never tried sewing a double layered jersey before, but here is what I was thinking of doing.
I will cut the entire pattern out twice, once in red and once in black.
Then I will take the two front layers and with right sides together I will sew around the neck (the pattern doesnt have a band, its just folded under and topstitched) and sew the side splits and across the bottom hem. Then I will turn it right side out at the open side seams. I will do the same to the 2 back layers.
This will mean there are no raw edges showing at the neck, side seams or hem.
Then I will join the front and back with french seams at the shoulders, to make them nice and neat and to add stability to the seam.
Then I will sew the seam down each sleeve, put one inside the other and sew around the cuff end, then turn them right sides out again, which will mean all seams will be on the inside and I'll be able to fold back the cuff if I want to and not have ugly seams showing.
I will probably overlock the side seams and around the top of each sleeve, just to keep all the layers together.
Then I'll simply sew in the sleeves and down the side seams as usual. Lastly I will topstitch around the neck, cuffs and hem.
It all sounds right in my head. I hope it works out as easily.
However, I am concerned that over time the layers will sag unevenly and will end up drooping over the bottom hem and cuffs.
Does anyone know how stable merino knit is? Is it likely to sag? Has anyone tried anything similar with merino before?
Does it sound like my idea will even work?
-- Edited on 3/14/14 2:34 AM --
-- Edited on 3/14/14 2:34 AM --

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m/m

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Date: 3/14/14 9:39 AM

Another approach would be to only join the inner and outer layers at the neck or do only the body in two layers joined at the neck with both layers treated as one at the armhole with the two layers treated as one in the armhole seam. If you use the second method use a single layer of fabric for the sleeve. This way everything else hangs free and different stretch rates or sagging won't be so much of an issue.

Also check out some of Marcy Tilton's suggestions for making tee shirts out of sheer fabrics. She eliminates the stitched hem and cuts the front and back double with a fold in the fabric where the hem would have been. Her much clearer instructions are at http://marcytilton.com/index.php?cid=760&cp=7

Another possibility is to run your wool knit through the washer and dryer so that it thickens up a bit before you cut it out. It won't be as stretchy but it will be warmer and more stable

Elona
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In reply to m/m <<


Date: 1/10/15 4:35 AM

Not to be an enabler or anything, but the Los Angeles branch of The Fabric Store on La Brea is having a merino special until January 18. Most merino knits (and they have some beauties) will be on sale for $15.00.

Restart06
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Date: 1/10/15 11:37 AM

...good thing I am fabric fasting....

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Aixoise
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In reply to Elona <<


Date: 1/10/15 2:20 PM

Enabling is good! I've been bemoaning the disappearance of merino knits from the RTW market and in fabric stores. And now you've given me a source.

Thank you! The Fabric Store will be my next click.

HelenM01
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Date: 1/10/15 3:05 PM

Oh I am drooling over that blue stripe merino, but, I am in Ohio and they don't have an online store..

Doris W. in TN
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In reply to addicted2fabric <<


Date: 1/10/15 3:45 PM

I have a few thin merino sweaters (called jumpers in the UK) that I bought in Ireland, Scotland and Sweden. None are the same brand. All are thin, lightweight, and quite stable. If I had these as knit yardage I think they would be fine for the pattern you linked.

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treefrog
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In reply to addicted2fabric <<
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Date: 1/10/15 6:45 PM

I've found the merino knits quite stable. They shrink a little after the first wash but hold their shape well. Probably best to wash them a couple of times first in case they shrink at different rates.

I don't think you'll have trouble with sagging, but being wool, the two layers will stick to each other. My first though was that this may work in your favour - working as one layer. But they won't slide back into place if they don't end up in the right place and may bunch up. If you put the two layers together, hold them up and give them a light shake -- do they fall back into place?

I'd be curious to here how you go.

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duncanave.
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Date: 1/12/15 9:23 AM

To HelenM01:

The Fabric Store that Elona linked to earlier does not have an online store, but they are happy to sell it to you over the phone.

I am signed up for their emails and got notification of this sale last week. I sent an inquiry to their email and they called me back within a few hours. I told the salesperson what I was interested in (neutrals, blues, stripes) she described a few things that fell in those categories (Well, we have a gray and brown heathered 1 inch stripe, etc.) and I told her how much I wanted. She told me what the charges would be, took my credit card number, and rang it up. I have not yet received the package, so I can't report on the actual feel and weight of the fabric.

I could have asked for samples and then ordered from that, but I figured with the sale the fabrics I wanted might be sold by the time I did that. Also, I don't mind a little surprise. I know basically what color and weight I ordered, so even if it turns out a little different than what I had pictured in my mind, I can still use it for something. But isn't that always the risk you run ordering fabrics over the internet?

PS, They have the thin merino, but they also have heavier, sweat shirt weight.

Nancy K
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In reply to addicted2fabric <<


Date: 1/12/15 6:37 PM

I recently made a top from The Fabric Stores merino wool. There is little stretch in the length which determines how stable it is. It was easy to sew and wears beautifully. It is thin, but opaque. It also feels wonderful against my skin not being at all scratchy. I ordered 5 more yards in the sale. I would agree that you should look at Marcy Tiltons site for her tutorials.
You can certainly make the body double the way she suggests. But two layers with different lengths only attached at the neck and armholes might also be a nice way to go. Or, how about her Vogue pattern with two separate pieces layered over each other. There are several ways to go. Or you could just make a sweater set out of it

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