Monday, January 12, 2015
Sewaholic Renfrew in chunky sweater knit
I love the giant collar!!
I made the Sewaholic Renfrew 3x before, in thin sweater knit here and here, and a fabric that I refer to as Muppets here, but this was my first time sewing the Renfrew in a chunky acrylic sweater knit.
I purchased this fabric at Haberman's in Royal Oak, MI, before the ASE in Sept 2014. Fabric.com has what appears to be the same fabric right now if you search on "sweater knit".
This is how I make sure I don't use a cut out piece as a "scrap" during my sewing process--I pin the pieces to my dress form also so they don't get lost
I swore I had bought enough to make a sweater dress but it wasn't enough. I had to get creative to cut out the collar (which is two pieces of fabric). I should note that I don't actually cut anything on the floor anymore, this was just to get the layout. I rough cut the fabric and then cut the piece out on my cutting table with my rotary cutter and cutting mat. I cut it out at the end of 2014 and sewed it up but it was too big at first....
All the deets on how Sunny Gal helped me fit the Renfrew in early 2014 are here. After making all those adjustments to make the sleeve fit and to make it larger in the bust for fabric with 25-50% stretch (Muppets: 25%; Stone Mtn knit: 50%), it meant it turned out to be quite large in the bust with this fabric which is almost 75% stretch, and I couldn't fill out the extra space without some socks, ha ha.
I had learned that point in the PR "More Knits" class while doing the homework for a half-scale t-shirt (if you sew the exact same size pattern in a less stretchy knit and a more stretchy knit, the less stretchy knit will be smaller and the more stretchy kit will be much much larger) but this was my first practical application and it totally made sense. I wound up not including the extra length for bust, and sewed with 1" seam allowance in the arms and side seams, and then taking it in a bit more from the bust to the armpit.
Dressform pix (after fitting)
I understitched the collar so that the undercollar doesn't peek out.
I blind stitched the hems.
Blind hem is blind
After sewing this and with all this cold weather I want to make the Renfrew like 5 more times in various chunky sweater knits, but I have no more chunky sweater knits in stash, just thin ones. I'm contemplating taking one of my thin sweater knits in stash and just lenghtening the Renfrew into a dress, or frankenpatterning the Renfrew top onto the V1351 skirt.
It like to baste each seam by machine first, fit, serge, repeat.
Out of the scraps, I made this hat (McCalls 4664) which looks sort of ridiculous when worn together with the sweater. It is not the right fabric to wear as a hat in super cold weather, but I have made this hat before from fleece and wear the fleece one all the time.
In my post about my new serger, someone asked about Differential Feed, or DF, and what it does. I always run a test through my serger before serging the real deal to make sure everything's ok. DF can correct issues with knit fabric being stretched or compressed.
Here this shows that with DF set to N, the fabric is stretched and convexes outward.
But with DF set to 2, the fabric is straight across.
Also note that this sample was 3" wide to start, so the finished serged seam should also be 3" afterward. Sometimes serging stretches the fabric but not in such a crazy convex shape so it is not as obvious that it is stretched out, but if you measured it before serging, you know if it stretched (or shrank) or not.
You should test stitching horizontally and vertically, as you might need to change the DF for one direction and not the other, or slightly different settings for both. You may even need yet a different DF setting if you are stitching on the diagonal (like an A-line skirt).
After all that winter white, here's some random color for your January! It's green dianthus purchased at Whole Foods. I take two bunches and arrange them like they're one giant pom-pom, then rubber band them together. People love to touch them! Very soft.