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Friday, November 9, 2007

Sewing with Knits, Part 3 - Trials, Tribulations, and Triumph

I sewed the sleeve seams and hemmed them, no problems. Then I went to put the sleeves on, and in the instructions, either they don't expect that you will need to sew gathering stitches across the top of the sleeve cap, or they just left that part out. So I tried it without gathering stitches, and just stretched the knit to fit. It worked okay, but the sleeves are a little funky. I'm not sure if it was sewing them up that way, or the fact that the material is not cut on the grain.

When I went to try the shirt on, the neck hole is very small. I can barely get it over my head.

As I was sewing the hem, over halfway through with it, I ran over one of the pins. I've done this before, and bent pins and broke needles, but never quite so spectacularly. The pin was jammed way down in the plate of the machine. When I pulled it out, it left a big hole in the fabric. Well, big is a relative term. I could probably fit my pinky through it. I put a little patch over it and called it good, though. If it had been on a project that had gone perfectly up until that point, I would have been more upset, but this shirt has so many other issues that it is low on my scale of concern.

Basically, as the shirt turned out, I will wear it, but if I am going to make the pattern again there will have to be some major changes. For one, the neck hole is too small and needs enlarged. For two, although I cut the pattern to my size given my measurements according to the chart on the back, the shoulders are about a half inch too narrow on each side, making the shirt pull and stretch oddly around the shoulders and neck. And people, my shoulders are not that broad. This is not a normal problem for me. I have had fit issues with New Look patterns in the past, only in the other direction - the pattern was way too huge for me, even on the smallest size.

I like the idea of making my own tee shirts. Tee shirts are truly a wardrobe staple for me, and I love this sort of long sleeved close fitting tee in the winter for layering. So I'm disappointed that this pattern will take so much tweaking to work (since I cut on the smallest size and can't now cut out the next size up, which might fit better). I know, I could just go out and buy a pattern from a more reliable pattern company, and eventually I might, but I will probably first try to tweak this one to work, since I'm (A) cheap and (B) get a perverse enjoyment out of making patterns work that originally did not work for me.

In case anyone is wondering, I am going along quite well with my writing, keeping up my daily page counts. :)


littlegreen said...

wow, that needle and pin photo truly is spectacular!!! Way to go, that's crazy, I guess I have never seen those get bent like that, they usually just break, sweet!!

Donna Hodgson said...

Your shirt looks fine. Not bad for a buck a yard. I've done that, too. I also do a few gathering stitches in the sleeves to get them to fit real well and just cut your neckline a tad larger next time. Try again in a nicer knit and you'll be amazed at the difference.