I just read a post from another blogger wondering how to get through the February doldrums. Apparently, my strategy is to make some clothes for winter! Even though I am feeling some signs that the sun is moving higher and the days are longer and a little warmer, I decided to do some winter sewing. At least I will have something different to wear while there is still snow on the ground.I had this really nice men's sweater that I have been wearing all winter because I love the rich teal color--plus it's cashmere. But, the fit was pretty awful with a high V-neck, a big body, and tight ribbing on the bottom that was too little to go around my butt. It was pretty simple to fix the shape by re-cutting the sides, then I slashed the bottom ribbing in several places to expand it as I hemmed the bottom with a blind stitch.
I have been sewing with sweater knits for awhile, but I just discovered the rolling presser foot, and actually shocked me how well it works. The fabric doesn't get all bunched up as it goes under the foot, but just smoothly feeds under. I also figured out how to use my blind hem foot. I don't know what has happened to me, getting all excited about presser feet, but there you go, life is strange that way. If you are feeling a need for excitement, look to your attachments.
I cut the sweater front down the center, put on the sweater and redrew the neckline where I wanted it to be with chalk. I have done this before and it might be the best way to get the neckline right for your body. I use this great chalk wheel. The great thing about it is that you don't need to apply any pressure so for it to dispense the chalk so there is little fabric distortion. I originally got this for a sewing project where I had to mark a lot of lines, and it has become one of my favorite sewing tools. Whenever I have a sewing dilemma, I go to my local quilt shop because those ladies love sewing notions way more than I even like presser feet and will gladly sell me every tool invented for every possible sewing issue. But, I digress.
I wanted a simple edging so I bought some Hanah hand-dyed bias-cut silk ribbon and sewed it on by hand. (I actually got it at Paper Source.) This stuff is amazing too: the colors are gorgeous and there are variations in the dying so it mixes really well with other fabrics. And it is really reasonably priced--especially if you don't buy it at Paper Source like I did. Between the flexibility of the knit and the stretch of the bias silk, I decided this would be easier than fighting with it on the sewing machine. Anyway, I am enjoying hand sewing more.
Which is a good thing, because then I felt the sweater looked a bit plain so I decided to cut out a bunch of flowers and hand sew those on. And once a person gets started, it's a bit fun to just keep going.
Of course there was no way I could put machine buttonholes on this since I still have a buttonhole phobia, so I used leftover cord from the old seam allowances, to make a simple tie.I love it. I do wish however, that I had given it a good washing BEFORE I did all that work, because this baby won't be going in the machine on delicate cycle anymore.
I photographed this on Madame of the aqua-skin-toned dress form (see above), but then realized that I had refashioned my skirt (from the late 70's ?) and made my shirt from a Burda download so I decided to take a photo of the whole outfit.