My Jalie top is finished! I decided not to go nuts as I contemplated in my last post, and decided to cheat instead (just a little). While I’m generally against cheating, it turned out well and this might become my m.o. for knit tops.
Jalie Scarf Collar Top
What I learned:
1. 3, not 4: I’m no serger whiz. Actually, I’m kind of terrified of the thing. This is silly of course, and I’ve been slowly building up my courage to deal with that. In the past I’ve had really awful problems with this kind of fabric (rayon with lots of lyrca–10%!) in my serger. The stitching has never locked on the edge. From the info in the knits class I just finished at Patternreview, I took out my right needle and thread. A 3 thread configuration has more built-in stretch than a 4, so it makes sense that 3 would work better with stretchier fabric. You can see the difference here:
See how the bottom one is all distorted, uneven and how the threads don’t lock at the edge? Actually, I was so impressed with the difference that I just serged off my hems and let them be exposed.
2. Fit where the fullness is: I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out how to fit a knit top without using a dart. I won’t do it every time, I’m sure, but I’ve desperately just wanted to have the option in my fitting arsenal. Someone else reviewed this top on PR and transistioned down from the armscye out to another cutting line along the fullest part of the bust and curved back in at the waist. This seemed too good to be true, but I had to give it a go. I’d seen this technique in the Threads fitting series too, so I knew it had to work. So I traced the armscye I needed to, and studied the sizing chart on the pattern to figure out which line I needed to go out to. On my muslin, I marked my full bust and the bottom of it on the side seam so I would know where to move my lines. About an inch down from the armscye on the front only, I drew a transition line out to another line with my French curve and curved the line back in at the bottom of my bust. The resulting change looks a bit like a bulge on the side seam on the pattern piece (like a dart would be if you didn’t sew it). I thought there would be all this extra length that would make sewing the side seams kind of lumpy, but not so. The curves still fit together well (probably because it’s a knit) and the fit is comfortable and inconspicuous.
3. Hem markers are the jiffiest notion ever: I’ve always just marked hems by whatever the pattern said, but in my never-ending quest for nice looking hems, I’ve been wondering if first marking a hem that is truly parallel to the floor really will make a difference. Though it involves further investigation, my preliminary fiddling around with this gadget tell me that it does produce a nice result, but more than that, it’s plain fun to use. I was a bit shocked by the $35 price tag at JoAnn for this gadget, so I bought a vintage one from Ebay for $8 plus $4 for shipping which seemed reasonable (especially given the way funny box).
Mine attaches to the door and you screw the bottle of chalk into it and turn around while you squeeze the bulb to release the chalk into the marker. Pretty nifty indeed. I may get a little marking crazy I like this thing so much.
Coming soon…I’ve entered Patternreview’s Mini-Wardrobe contest that starts today. I need to sew 4 garments in the next month, which seems to be about my pace. Nathan is a week away from finishing his dissertation, working long hours and I’m trying to nurse a pulled muscle in my neck whilst I try to sew and take care of the baby. Things might be a bit interesting around here…