Monday, December 28, 2015

Tips for Sewing the Jalie 3246 Shrug

Hope everyone had a great holiday!  I am off all this week, which is such a delight.  Highlights include cooking a healthy Christmas lunch for Dad (and enjoying all the leftovers every day), purging some parts of the house (still not done), taking care of neglected things, reading, writing, and napping.  

I did a quick redesign of my blog header; what do you think?  (Top font is Habaneros, bottom font is Gingerbuck).

Yesterday marks the 8th and 9th Jalie 3246 shrugs I've sewn.  It's a really simple sew but there are a few tips that I want to share with you and document for myself!
  1. Cut out the two shrug bodices single layer.  Even if I'm not doing stripe matching, I always cut single layer.  This helps ensure accuracy.  Here I've already cut out one side of the shrug, then flipped it over and used the cut piece as my pattern piece because it makes it easier for me to match up the stripes (instead of using the real pattern piece again).20151227_154930  
  2. The Jalie sleeves are quite long for me, so I removed some length in the sleeve on my traced pattern.  However, it also depends on your knit.  If your knit has vertical stretch (meaning it stretches not just crosswise like usual but also lengthwise) then I can cut my sleeves shorter. However, this knit has 0 vertical stretch, and when I cut it out, the sleeves were too short, ha ha ha.  I fixed that by adding a cuff, as in the last step below.
  3. Baste the shrug CB seam with the sewing machine to make sure it is flat. Every knit is different so it's important to me to not skip this step. Since I was trying to match stripes, I used my walking foot.  (This cued "Walk This Way" replaying in my head over and over....) .  I use Wonder Clips instead of pins because I feel like the fabric doesn't shift as much with the clips.20151227_160722  
  4. Then, I cut a sample from the scrap of the same knit, baste it, then test serge it.  I basically cut that CB area at the same angle out of the scrap, then practice serging it.  This is because every knit is different, and sometimes I need to crank up the DF to get the knit to lie flat.  I might have to cut and serge a few samples to get the DF right.  Then I serge the CB seam.
  5. Then I baste the arm seams.  Again I used the walking foot, then checked that the stripes basically matched. 20151227_170013
  6. Then I serged the arm seam.  BIG TIP:  Be sure to leave a long serger tail at the underarm when serging the arm seam.  Do not cut that serger tail off!  The reason is when serging the band on, that's kind of a sharp angle there at the underarm and it's hard to make sure that the shrug is totally connected to the band. 20151227_165915  
  7. Next I baste the upper collar to the lower band of the shrug.  Again, every knit is different and it may be that I need to use a wider seam allowance but at this point I don't know that yet.  I then binder clip the collar/band to the shrug and try it on (yes, with the wonder clips!)  Yes, it does look funny, but it gives me a good idea if the band is going to sit snug across my back or if it is going to flip out.  If it's flipping out, the collar-to-band seam needs to be sewn tighter.
  8. Baste the collar/band to the shrug with the sewing machine and try it on.  How is it looking?  Is the band still flat or is it flipping out?  If it's flipping out, see step 5.  
  9. Now it's time to serge the collar to the band.  I unpick the basting of where the band is attached to the shrug, just in that underarm area.  Since this is a vertical seam and the CB was an angled seam, I take another scrap of fabric and practice serging it to find out the right DF for this vertical seam.  Serge the collar-to-band  seam.
  10. Since I already checked that the collar/band is lying flat because I basted it, I then serge the collar/band to the shrug. When sewing the band on, put the band against the serger bed and have the shrug on the top.   That way, when you're serging the band to the shrug, you can pull on the serger tail so that it lines up with the band and there will be no "hole".   Below I am pulling on the serger thread tail, but aviary won't let me edit the photo.20151227_192239  
  11. Now it's time to hem the sleeve.  Try it on and determine the amount of hem that it needs. I serge the raw edge just to make it look professional, and then I usually blind hem it by machine.  In this case, I had cut the sleeves too short, so I made a black cuff, basted first and serged that on.20151227_201705  
  12. And now it's done!!

Front--sorry for the full frontal nudity here, I probably should have dressed Izzy up first.

I think it looks cute and maybe a little star-trekkie and a little caterpillar-y, ha ha!!!  I can picture wearing this with my black lady skater dress, gray belt, gray tights and black Mary Janes.

During the purge of my bedroom, I cleared out half a dresser drawer so all my Jalie shrugs can be together.    I love the shrugs and wear them all the time!!

Be well!


  1. "I cleared out half a dresser drawer so all my Jalie shrugs can be together."

    BEST part of the whole post! Hahaha!

    It looks fantastic and you've definitely OWNED that pattern!

    1. Hee Nakisha! My Jalie shrugs are a happy little family. :)

  2. Yes, you definitely are the shrug boss! Like you, I have a drawer just full of Jalie jeans. =)

    1. I was just thinking the other day, when Anne and I raided your closet, we did not raid the jean drawer...why is that???

  3. LOVE that stripped cropped cardigan Kyle.

  4. This looks great! I sewed up my first and second versions of this shrug this Christmas and I LOVE it (although it may not be warm enough to be practical in the winter...)---I definitely do not take the time and care you do, though. ;)

    1. Thanks! I love the shrugs for when I need to add sleeves to my sleeveless dresses. You're right, for the dead of winter they are not sufficient, but it's been warmer than usual here in NJ so they have worked out ok. They are also great for a/c in the summer.

  5. What a wonderful shrug! You will most definitely get a lot of wear out of it. Your matching skills are quite impressive!

    1. Thanks Tomasa! I'm getting better at the matching!

  6. I love your attention to details! Thanks for sharing your methods. So glad you have one week off of work to work on your own agenda. Have a Happy New Year!

    1. You're welcome! I love taking a week off and staying home; it is the best! Happy New Year to you too!


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