Hi readers! Remember my post about the “Big Fashion Stripe of 2018”?
To keep up with Fashion Week, I made this black/white chevron striped cardigan (polyester and acrylic). Is this cardigan on trend?
Well, a little bit, because most of the fashion week looks were vertical, thick stripes, bordering on the “Beetlejuice look”. I personally preferred my stripe horizontal and chevron-like.
I like my cardigan, have made it once before and will make it again with McCall’s pattern 6996.
The fabric is a very fine sweater knit. At first I thought it was a “raschel” knit, but it’s not. What is the difference? A raschel is a thin, open-design knit and it stretches horizontally, but does not stretch vertically. My chevron fabric stretches every which way and is technically a sweater knit, as designated correctly by the fabric seller, Sew Much Fabric. Combine the stretchy factor with the open-weave knit, and…… .
Some observations follow for the sewing nerd (for others, enjoy the finished look):
- The instability of the fabric was not that bad in regards to layout and cutting out. But if you’re not used to handling unstable fabric, I recommend the use of paper underneath.
- I cut this out on the cross grain because: The chevron stripe on the straight grain was vertical, and a vertical chevron did not visually sit well with me. For the record, I have an uncomfortable relationship with clothing sewn on the cross grain. But I went with it here, because of the visuals and the higher stretch along the cross grain. Knit garments should have the highest stretch going crosswise. In short, I made this cardigan on the cross grain while my inner sewing nerd was having a fit on having to sew it on the cross grain.
- Sewing straight seams in this open-weave knit is a fiddly proposition, let alone curved seams. The fabric ravels (remember it’s a sweater knit) on the cross grain, and it tended to catch in the toe of the presser foot. To counteract that, I interfaced most seams with fusible bias tape. The side seams and sleeve hems are the only ones I left without fusible bias strips. I realized later that the side seam (un-stabilized) is the crosswise direction and is the most ravel prone; oh well, it got sewn and serged.
- The downside to applying the bias fusible strips to the edges? The edges shrunk in and made the seam length smaller. That caused some conundrums but I got it done. There’s a usually-forgotten lesson here: applying fusible interfacing to anything will pull the pattern piece in a little bit and a lot in some. That is why most couture sewers use a sew-in interfacing. I’ll never learn…..
- Tip: As happens with knits, the fabric edges curled up; and I tamed them with heavy starch.
- Because the grain of the fabric was turned around, I was left with a not-wide-enough front band; and that is okay because this pattern does not overlap at the front. It’s what I call a (an?) “I-just-threw-it-on” look.
- Last bullet point: now that the item is on the cross grain, the selvage is running horizontally. It’s an interesting, lacy selvage, so I kept it intact at the hem. This may change if it keeps getting caught and pulled while in use.
- I may have sewn this cardigan wrong side out. But if it takes more than three seconds to figure out the right side, it doesn’t matter.
I think I’ll go make pants…………..
Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a great fall season!