crafts · finished objects · Sewing

A good beginning

Today is the first day of Self-stitched September, and what better way to start it off than with a brand new garment?

Pattern: Simplicity 2603, the infamous DKNY cozy knock-off

Fabric: Bamboo/lycra jersey from Fashion Fabrics club, about 2 yards for the XS size.

Notes: I have wanted to make this cardigan since I first saw the DKNY ads – it’s a great concept, very versatile, and flattering to all sizes and shapes.  But I’ve been suffering from a bit of knit fear, after I made the mistake of using an incredibly slippery ITY knit for my first knit project (which turned out great, but was such a pain!)  I’ve been working up my courage with double knits and pontes, and finally felt I was ready to tackle this pattern.

This fabric is a whole different animal – the bamboo jersey is thin, drapey, and ever so slightly sheer.  It cut easily with a rotary cutter, unlike some poly jerseys which seem to repel it!  I cut the whole thing out on the floor, which took longer than the actual sewing.  I was able to get the sweater out of 2 yards, but I didn’t use the sleeve cuffs, so I changed around the layout.  I made two alterations to the pattern.  I left out the elastic in the back neck, and to be honest I can’t see why it’s necessary – my collar lays just fine, and I hate the thought of elastic behind my neck.  I also opted to leave all the edges raw – this jersey won’t ravel, and I think it has a nicer drape this way than with a rolled or baby hem.  By leaving the sleeves unhemmed I was able to get away with using the 3/4 length sleeves as nearly full length.  I sewed the whole thing on my machine, with a zigzag set to .7 width.  I didn’t have any matching serger thread, and besides – I felt like I wanted to avoid the bulk of a serged seam.  It turned out fine that way!

Of course, the whole thing about this sweater is that you can warp and tie it in about 900 different ways.  I like it with a belt, as above, and today I’m wearing it like this:

The great thing about this fabric (or a rayon jersey, I imagine) is that it will cling to itself.  I don’t need a pin or snaps to hold it here, it stays quite nicely.  I have the usual singer’s obsession with scarves and things draped about my neck, and the drama of this really appeals to me.

I don’t like the tied ways of wearing the sweater quite as much, because I like the drape, but I took a photo anyway!

I don’t know what happened with the lighting, or why my face looks a different color, but hey – these are photos I took of myself, so I’m pretty proud!  To do this I crossed the fronts and tied them behind my waist.  The DKNY website shows 12 ways to wear it, and I tried them, but I’m pretty happy with my ways.

Leon, as you can see, really wants to be in my photos (actually, he really wants to go out that back door, but he’s not allowed!)

I plan to make two more light cardigans this month, so this isn’t the end of the knitwear.  I love sewing with wovens, but I do realize that I wear a lot of knits, so if my plan is to replace most of my wardrobe with self-stitched (it is) then I have to get over my fears!