Week 14: Finished cardigan and honeycomb sock progress

Sewing

Well I started out this week’s progress by setting a sleeve. And then taking it out again. I have the worst time setting sleeves; they always get a pinch or two of fabric creased that isn’t supposed to be. I gave up, if you’ll recall, with the last shirt, since it was for me and the pattern was busy enough that I didn’t particularly care. On the cardigan, the caught fabric was very noticeable, and also it’s a gift, so I want it to be as perfect as possible. (I mean it’s very obviously not perfect, but I want it to look like I at least tried to get it perfect.)

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So while I was painstakingly picking out that stupid armhole seam I thought “hey, maybe if we hand-baste this thing in it will be easier to sew?”

And lo and behold, it really was. It takes some extra time, but not as long as picking the seam out. Worth it. Maybe as I get better at sewing I can skip that step, but for now….

I decided to go ahead and move forward with the Hong Kong seam finish I’d been considering. And if I decide to do those in the future, I should decide that before the whole garment is assembled and the seams are half covered by other seams. Not my smartest move. I wound up having to do a bunch of hand-finishing work to hide the edges of the bias tape at seam intersections, where if I’d just finished it when I finished the seam, it would have done it automatically. Never again.

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These were the big pieces. I pieced together a bunch of small ones, too.

I cut a ton of bias tape for the project from scraps. After battling with stitching my tiny scrap bias tape together, it was a relief to cut some longer pieces that could be used without assembly.

(You might notice this isn’t actually cut on the bias. Since the purpose of cutting it on the bias in woven material is to make it stretchy and to keep it from fraying, I decided that knit material already has the two of those covered, and I’d probably make the situation worse if I tried to bias cut it.)

If the project were for me, I would have added some brightly colored, mismatched fabric for the seam bindings, but my mom would at least have needed the colors to coordinate, which was going to mean finding new fabric and cutting it up, and I just didn’t really have it in me. On the other hand, self-binding with this fabric did mean adding a lot of bulk to the seams, which I wasn’t counting on. I skipped binding the hem to avoid adding weight there, and I didn’t bind the sleeve seams or cuffs because I thought the extra bulk would be annoying.

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Bound shoulder and armhole

Lastly, I still wasn’t entirely sure how I was going to close the cardigan – the pattern doesn’t actually feature a closure at all, but my mom wanted to be able to button it closed or something, and we’d picked out a button she liked while we were buying fabric. I figured I could do some sort of loop out of this fabric, though I wasn’t really sure where to attach it, and I worried about the button thread ripping through the fabric and creating a hole with time.

Then while I was making a ridiculous amount of bias tape, I realized I could make a double-fold bias tape and stitch it together and it would essentially be cording, at least with the 1″ strips I was using. And I remembered that you can use a second button on the back to keep your button from tearing through fabric. All in all, I’m pretty dang pleased with the way the closure came out, considering I only had the vaguest sense of what I was going to do before yesterday.

I stitched the loop down by machine right at the existing seam line. I hand-finished the raw edges and stitched it down again just to the back of the hem to avoid a second row of visible stitching on the front.

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The finished cardigan!

The only thing I might still do before I give it to my mom is find some dark hem tape and stitch it to the bottom hem to clean up the ragged edges from where I trimmed the excess off.

Knitting

Well since this post is already picture-spammy, and the socks look a lot like they did last week, I’m going to skip sock pictures. I did in fact make it to the gusset start – a few increases into it, even. I’m still not sure I started it at the right place, but you gotta take the plunge sometime, right?

Goals for next week:

  • figure out the next sewing project and get to the point where we have fabric cut out – we’re on a time schedule now, for reasons that will be explained next week
  • get through the heel turn and to the cuff of the honeycomb socks

 

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