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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sewing with Sweater Knits

I had to make some new sweater knits and with the vibrant colors and wonderfully soft fabrics available, it is no wonder I love both of these garments!

Both fabrics are acrylic knits with lycra.  the green, purple, black, or one on the left and made into the cardi is from Gorgeous Fabrics and was probably one of the nicest fabrics I have EVER used!  It literally feels like cashmere on your skin!

The McCall's dress fabric wasn't too bad either!  It came from Hancock's and even though it too is super colorful and the moment I laid eyes on it, I knew exactly what I would make from it.  
Both are washable and dryable.  Yahoo!

So, back to the Nina....
From the StyleArc site: This style has interesting design lines to create a slimming silhouette with a waterfall front.  The cardi is simple to sew yet creates a designer look.  

Look at how adorable those design lines are!  I love how it is longer in front and more fitted in the back.  The neckline is super cozy and hugs your body.This was so simple to put together and so unbelievably wonderful to wear!  I was truly worried I had forgotten to do something major as I was constructing it but I reviewed the directions and realized I hadn't missed a thing and look at the results!

I finally mastered using the rolled hem and ending up with a professional result--I always felt it looked like the rolled hem was an afterthought and I rarely used it on anything that would show....

One thing I love is the waterfall front.  You could put a facing on it but it would end up so heavy that you'd have to tug it down in the back all the time.  And the neckline wouldn't be nearly as flowing as it is here.  It's perfect as is.

I also cover-stitched the sleeve hems and those worked beautifully as well.  All in all, it was a great sewing day for this garment!  All the machines behaved as they should!  No times outs for bad behavior were necessary.  

Next up: McCall's 7244.  Is this dress cute or what?  At first I thought it was an ordinary dress but then I read that it was partially lined.  It also has an invisible zipper but with the fabric I used, it wasn't necessary.

I worked very hard to get a pattern to run down the middle of the dress and intersect well at the v-front and of course at the center back.  I also lengthened the sleeves so they were full-length instead of 7/8/  They are cute as drafted but living in the northern plains, you need long sleeves to stay warm from about mid-October until March or April.

You'll notice how freaking low cut this is!  I lifted the neckline's 'V' by about 2 inches and now find it appropriate for work.  It does sort of hug your chest as drafted, so that works and I may not have to wear a cami.  This was also pretty darn short--I lengthened this by about 2 inches.  I'm 5'7" and totally needed the length.  If you are taller, check before you cut your fabric.  If you are shorter, you might be okay!

For alterations, I made my usual 1/2" swayback adjustment and also made the darts a bit bigger for an FBA.  I am very pleased with the alterations and how the dress fits.

I made my usual size 14 and did end up taking it in a bit starting at the armsyces, bust, waistline and hips.  I'd have to make this again to see if it truly runs a little large.  I find McCall's size 14 tend to fit me perfectly if I make an FBA and swayback adjustment.

What makes this dress special is the lining.  I used tricot that I've had in my stash for a while and it worked like a charm.  There are even separate pattern pieces for the lining--always a bonus in my book!  The facing, is unique as well--it is made from the main garment fabric and also interfaced. Again, that worked beautifully.
Since my cover-stitch was behaving so well, I used that on the hems and it worked like a charm!

I really love both of my new sweater knits.  While I don't need a lot more dresses right now, I can see making this in a cute print for spring.  The Nina cardi I will make again this winter and I do love the elbow-length sleeves and plan to make another for spring!
Thanks for reading!


  1. Love both these colourful prints Sue. You certainly can't go wrong with the Nina cardigan. This is an awesome pattern and you have reminded me that I should make some more. That McCalls dress is such a cute design too.

  2. I've had my eye on that dress pattern. It's great to see it sewn up. I love it!! Lovely fabric and fit. You look terrific.
    Really like the cardigan also.

  3. I have that same fabric from Hancock Fabrics! I'm also sewing that McCall's dress - but not in the same fabric :-) Looks great!

    1. Thanks Sharon! Hancock's has some very pretty and nice sweater knits!