September 2007: Sewing disasters – crochet solutions!
In the news
The fall 2007 issue of Interweave Crochet is on the newsstands – and the preview is available here. I have two designs in this issue, the Autumn Romance Pullover and a pattern for children, the Come-and-Play Cardigan. My copy of this issue hasn’t made its way over the Atlantic yet, but I must say I’m eager to have it. There are a lot of nice patterns, and I’m impatient to read the articles, too.
Sewing disasters – crochet solutions!
This is a variation on the theme of a recent newsletter – adding crochet to clothes. In the example I show here, crochet was a much-needed help to conceal a sewing disaster. The ideas, and all the ones you may get yourself, are, of course, just as applicable to a purchased or gifted garment that, for one reason or another, doesn’t quite fulfill your expectations.
Had this been a project specifically created for the newsletter, I would certainly have chosen another colour than black. Black is difficult to photograph, but I hope my pictures are clear enough to spark a couple of ideas. This is a real-life testimonial.
In my so-called « spare time » (I don’t really have any, but I try to carve some out), one of my favourite occupations is sewing. I used to sew a lot as a teenager, but since my children were born, there hasn’t been much time. I’m trying to get back to it, though – I think it’s a very satisfying hobby, and one that has taught me almost everything I know about garment construction.
A new area I’m trying to explore is sewing knit fabric. I’m a total newbie at this, and the project I’m going to share with you is one of my first knit-sewing disasters.
I made two mistakes: 1) I didn’t pull out my tape measure to check the depth of the neckline. My children laughed out loud when they saw their mother pull on her new garment, only to stand half-naked in front of the mirror. The depth of the V-neck was not disturbing on the flat, skinny model in the picture. On me it was unbearable. (And no, I will not show any « before » pictures). 2) I used a pattern from Burda magazine, which gives good but quite concise instructions. These patterns have no pictures to show the different steps of the sewing. I totally misunderstood the technique for finishing the neckline, and sewing disaster ensued. Of course, I made this on a serger, which cuts the fabric while you sew, so it’s next to impossible to take apart the pieces and start again.
It was simply impossible for me to wear this garment as it was. But all was not lost. I might be a newbie at sewing knit fabric, but I know how to crochet!
So, what did I need? Something to cover up a part of the deep V-neck, and something to disguise the terrible neckline finishing. Ta-da!
The triangular motif is taken from a Japanese stitch dictionary – you can easily find others in other books or on the Web. One example is the motif I used in the « Thirds » scarf, published at Crochet Me.
The zig-zag ribbons you see are crocheted, not store-bought rick-rack. They are very simple to make and can be useful for many projects. I used DMC Petra cotton thread (because it was the only thin black thread in my stash) and a 2,5 mm (approx. US C-2) hook. I worked as follows, turning at the end of each row:
Row 1: Ch 3 (count as a dc), 4 dc in the starting ch.
Row 2: Ch 3 (count as a dc), 4 dc in the 1st st.
Repeat row 2.
I made the ribbons long enough to go from the tip of the V-neck to the collar of the garment, plus some. I wanted to allow for some shrinking of the cotton thread. I also thought it would be nice to have the upper end of the ribbon hidden by the collar.
Before sewing the crocheted pieces to the garment, I washed them in the same way I intend to wash the finished project. (And yes, I had washed the fabric, too, before sewing it up. It will not shrink in the first wash. That’s at least one potential sewing disaster I avoided.)
The triangle is a bit wavy on the top, but I think it disguises the cleavage even better that way. The ribbons are very pliable and easy to shape around any neckline. This former sewing disaster might not be a masterpiece, but I would definitely rate it as a wearable garment!
See you soon!