Posted in My Makes, Sewing

#SewMyStyle Toaster Sweater V2

Having signed up to #SewMyStyle my first new project for January was to make a Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater.

The Toaster Sweaters (PDF or Paper)

New Things/New techniques or skills
– Knit fabric
– Twin needle – (including breaking 3)
– Sleeves

What Went Well
– The make – good instructions easy to follow
– Fit & pattern adjustment
– The re-threading of my overlocker
– Speed of making
– My taylor tacks and careful cutting out

What I need to work on
– Not breaking twin needles
– Stitching in the ditch – I missed the ditch on one side
– overlocker tension – loose loopers
– twin needle, stitches too small and tension too tight

What I have learned
– My first knit fabric
– Stitching in the ditch
– Sewing with a Twin Needle (though I think I am missing something given how many needles I broke)

What I would change if I made another
– Lenghen my twin needle stitches

I purchased both versions of the Toaster Sweater.

I didn’t notice when I bought them that version 2 is the official first pattern and had deliberated a bit over which version to make.  Seeing version 2 only had 3 pattern pieces hinted to me it was the easier make and when I realised it was specifically version 2 that was chosen for #SewMyStyle that firmed it up.

My first aim for 2017 was to sew some knits and I purchased some teal ponte de roma at the back end of last year in anticipation.  I really like the colour and though it might look nice in a jumper so re allocated that material for my Toaster Sweater.

Preparations
I put my fabric through the washing machine and the drier.

I then painstakingly ironed all 3 metres of it (will use what is left for another project)
I ordering some ballpoint needles and a twin needle.
Carefully traced out the pattern pieces from the delicate tissue paper onto my Swedish tracing paper and then wondered for a bit.

The Toaster sweater is designed to be a fairly short jumper but I didn’t want something that was going to stop around my waist.So I thought it would be a good idea to do a trial run. One of my early fabric purchases included some very cheep knit fabric at £1 per metre.  That was lounging at the bottom of my fabric box.  It doesn’t feel that nice against the skin, doesn’t stretch and I don’t love the colour.  I had thought I would never have a use for it BUT turns out it is exactly what I needed. Having no stretch I could sew it up see how it fit, especially length at the front and in the arm.  I could practice all the sewing stages without having to be perfect or unpick loads on my final sweater.

After cutting out my trial top I put it together in an evening.  I’m very pro this, loving the quick completion gratification on a sewing project.  As my main aim was to look at size I did everything on my sewing machine with straight and zig zag stitches.
I was able to understand and follow all the instructions easily, they do take you through every step clearly with pictures, it is a shame they weren’t in colour.  My pattern came with a little note explaining a few mistakes on the pattern and instructions – nothing to worry about thought.
Other than the armhole where the sleeve was bigger than the hole everything came together easily (stretch in the material probably would have helped.  I particularly liked the mitered corners as they came together easily.

Looking at my mock-up the shoulders were in the correct place and the arms were long enough.  I did think the jumper was shorter than I liked in the body though so I added 9.5cm to both the front and the back of my pattern pieces.

Hoping that the stretch wouldn’t make everything else no longer fit I cut out my revised pattern pieces on my ponte fabric.

I decided to use my overlocker for the seams where this was given as an option (fitting sleeves and sewing up sleeves and side seams.  Before I committed to the overlocker on both I sewed them up with a straight stitch on my regular machine.  This worked to a point but it meant when I was going over the straight stitch with the overlocker afterwards I didn’t hold the fabric with enough tension in the sleeve and the seam is a little puckered on one side.

Despite having already made the same minor confusion and mistake on my practice fabric I managed to sew up the mitered corners the wrong way the first time and had to unpick and re-sew them.  The other important point I forgot I had learned was not to attempt to back-stitch as it was too easy to get the fabric edge chewed up.

I decided to be bold and after mega pinning session charge ahead with my first attempt at using a twin needle.  I have no idea how you are supposed to create neat corners but that aside all was going well until I got half way through and I had a needle break.  I had purchased 2, and swapped it out for my second twin needle and whatever was going wrong stayed wrong because I broke the second one on my check that it was stitching fabric scrap.

I’m not sure what was going wrong but I had to put my project on hold and order some more twin needles.  When they arrived I picked this make up again and found the broken end of one of my needles still in the jumper.

Ouch!

I got started again and  realised my first needles were 2.5mm apart and these new ones were 4mm apart.  Rather than unpick what I had done so far I decided to just have the distance vary from the front to the back and get this finished.  It isn’t the sort of thing I think most people would notice unless they were looking very carefully and I had picked a similar colour thread rather than contrast.

After completing my top stitching (including breaking one more needle, it is always the right needle) I had a quick try on of my jumper and decided to sew up the cuffs at 4cm rather than 2.5cm as they seemed a little long.

And then my jumper was done.

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