Results tagged “Finishing” from Fabric.com Blog
Not only was I totally pumped to have a go at the new HotPatterns Download before it hits the net but I was also pumped because I love knit tops. I am not a big ironing fan (though I do love a good pressed seam), so wrinkle free and knit tops are big populators of my wardrobe. After I saw how many pieces it took to create a Fringe Festival top I was even more excited. But that was all a candle flame compared to the sun of my excitement once I finally tried on my top! I don't know if it is the fit of HotPatterns or the style or an equal combination of both but few pattern makers final pieces make me feel as satisfied at HotPatterns once the project is complete. The Fringe Festival is no different.
This top was quick and easy and coupled with the grey Tencel Jersey Knit that I used the fit was easy but sexy. The fabric drapes nicely and the cut is perfectly shaped to cling (slightly) in all the right places and gently bunch right at the hips. One of the bonuses I noticed concerning the hip bunching is that when I bent over, kneeled or squatted down, I did not feel exposed. Even with the lowest jeans, the extra long hem line gives you coverage when you need it and the ruching hides any tummy troubles when standing.
I decided to modify it with a dupioni scarf and crochet trim. I wanted to braid the scarf in the knit fabric but given my deadline I couldn't make it work to satisfy me so I practiced my crochet skills instead. I used the given pattern piece to make the dupioni scarf and used a simple crochet decorative edge that I found in one of my stitch books. The crochet edging is working in Berroco Vintage in Pumpkin which really stands out against the teal silk and neutral grey of the top. With the casual sexiness of the cut of the top coupled with the elegant silk and lace edging this top is perfect of a date night, pair with a cropped tuxedo jacket for a cocktail party or worn with grey wool pants for office wear.
A knitted hem is an awesome way to finish or start off your knitting when you are looking for a tailored and clean look. Knitted hems are also the perfect solution to preventing the Stockingette curl. You may also use this technique to place pin tucks anywhere in a project by a small modification.This technique played a big role in the Lollipop Skirt by Bekah Knits. Let's get started.
To add a knitted hem to the beginning of a project, you want to decide how long you want your hem. You can determine this with swatching. However many rows long your finished hem will be, you will knit double. I am going to demonstrate with a 6 row hem. First I cast on according to my pattern and knit 5 rows in Stockingette. Next, on the right side of my work, I purl one row (I will explain this in a bit), then I knit 5 more rows in Stockingette. One the next row (which I will be knitting), I will pick up one stitch from the cast on edge and knit it together with a stitch from my left needle.
You can see that it starts to form a welt, i.e. knitted hem. The purl row in the middle creates a dent on the wrong side enabling the fabric to fold there and give a clean finish. Otherwise, you would be creating more of a tube instead of a nice, folded hem finish. After this row, you can continue knitting according to your pattern.
Now, if you want to add a knitting hem to your project at the end and cast off at the same time, I recommend you add a lifeline where the top of the hem will start. This makes it easy to pick up your stitches in a straight line. You might notice that you cannot see the life line from the back of the work as easily as you can see it from the front but once you start picking up, you will see it just fine. Again, working with a 6 row hem, you will knit 5 rows from the life line in Stockingette. The next row, on the right side, purl one row and then knit 5 more rows in Stockingette.
On the next right side row, beginning picking up the first purl bump on the hem side of the life line and knit it together with the first stitch from your left needle, continue across the row this way. But once you have 2 stitches on your right needle, begin casting off. Once you have cast off all your stitches, weave in your ends and pull out your life line.
If you want to add a welt, or pin tuck into your work, follow the directions above for adding a hem at the end of your work but do not cast off. Continue knitting up, spacing your welts out as you go so they do not add too much bulk. I spaced mine by knitting 7 rows from the top of the first welt to the purl row of the next welt. This creates a cascade of welts.
Challenges are like rainy days; you enjoy the first one but after 2 or three it just gets old. This can also describe my take on binding; I like it but often not enough to mess with it. Arm holes sure but a whole dress like this Butterick wrap dress pattern that has been sitting in my pile for a while. I see binding as a challenge and a foe but not one worth engaging. It is not the making of binding I mind but first you must match it up on one side and sew it and then fold it over and sew it again on the other side, making sure to sew over your previous seam and catch it on the other side. UGH. Well, that is no longer a problem with the Janome Binder Foot. Now, there is a disclaimer: the packaging gives no indication what size binding can fit but our product description dictates 10 to 14 mm will fit. This not so modern, but very informative Janome video tells us to use ½ in. binding which is what I eventually tested and found successful.
I started off with ¾ in. binding that I had remaining from the Weekend Sewing Kimono Dress. After discovering the size problem I went with some premade bias tape that fit perfectly. It took a few tries to get acquainted with loading the foot. I suggest giving yourself some quiet time for this as it can get frustrating feeding a small piece of fabric through a tiny tube with holes in it. But once you get it, you're good! I loaded my binding with the foot off the machine, installed it and then loaded the fabric. The package does give some good recommendations for tension, stitch length and needle position but I found it worked best on my Brother machine to have the needle in the center position. Yes, this foot does fit Brothers. I do recommend sewing slowly so you can get used to the guiding of both the binding and the fabric. It is a lot like the ruffler in this aspect. There is a fabric guide at the front of the foot but you should ignore this. I am not sure why it looks like a fabric guide but it is not in a position to be of any help. This is a very helpful foot to use on big projects like the retro dress pattern above or small project like baby bibs. It will really save some time and hassle. I would not recommend it for bulky projects like the bias tape recommendation I gave on the Heather Bailey Marlo Bloom Bag with different handles. That would best be left to the old fashioned way. I am going to try it out this weekend by adding from binding to a plain tan trench I have. I envision it with from great navy with white pin dot binding. Follow me on Twitter to see how it goes.
You are finally done knitting that project (sweater,
blanket, shawl, etc) and you can't wait to wear it or use it in some fashion
but you still need to weave in all your ends. "I can just tuck them in here or
just take the needle and real fast slide them here", you say as you try to
justify cutting corners. Trust me; this is another place where you want to run
the straight and narrow. Just like Swatching is so very important, so too is weaving in your
ends. Think of it this way: You see a super awesome dress. It is in a cut you
know will make you look HOT, the color is just right to set off your ________,
and it will go perfect with your favorite shoes. You, of course purchase it and head home but traffic is tough all the way. It is bumper to bumper and it takes you
hours to get home. But you have your HOT new dress, so you are still feeling
great once you get home. The only thing you want to do when you walk in the
door is put on your new dress so you can see how HOT it is. But once you try it
on you can see there are threads hanging out everywhere; they tickle you as you
wear your dress, they hang out past the hem, out the sleeves and neckline. You
take off your dress and turn it inside out to get a good look and your HOT
dress is a hot mess of threads, seams and doesn't look finished at all.
Disappointed you throw your
HOT dress in the closet; you know you can't
take it back (traffic was terrible) and even though it did make you look
amazing, you can't get past the tickling ends and sloppy inside. You never wear
your dress again.
Now, the same can be said of knitting. You don't want to put all those hours in only to be left with a piece that looks unfinished, especially if it is a gift. Weaving in is easy and fast compared to knitting a whole project and can leave a sense of satisfaction that only a well made project can leave. Doing it well is the culmination of saving up for the yarn, making time to knit, ripping back on a tricky part and finally, finally casting off. You can't go through all that only to skimp on the finishing.
Weaving in is just imitating stitches with your tail ends. If you take a close look at your project you can follow the yarn and mimic your stitch for any pattern and make your ends disappear. This is easily demonstrated with Stockinette. On the knit side you want to follow your knit Vs and on the purl side you want to blend in with the purl bumps. Since all stitches are combo of knitting and purling, for any other stitch it is just as easy as imitating that combo of knit Vs and purl bumps. Take your time on the trickier stitches. If it helps, take a piece of contrasting yarn and follow your Vs and bumps and once you are sure you have got it, go over the contrasting yarn with your tail ends and then remove the contrast. Think of it as your trail of bread crumbs.