Tag Archive: knit fabric

First Peek at My New Book!

It’s been a secret for far too long… I’m so excited to finally share with you the title and cover of my new book – Stretch! Make Yourself Comfortable Sewing with Knit Fabrics.

Published by Quadrille, the book will be out in early March 2018 – and y…

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Thrifty Thursday/Super Cute Slouchy Hat

I have done a LOT of dumb things in my life 😉 When I was in the 8th grade, I remember one particular day when it was so cold that I thought my ears would literally fall off of my head. Truth be told, had that happened, it would have been my own fault …

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Givre dress

About two weeks ago, Deer and Doe released its new Fall collection and was very lucky to review one the new patterns, the maternity Givre dress.   First, I’d like…

The post Givre dress appeared first on Pauline Alice.

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Islander Patterns Easy V Express Top Sew Along

This is the week of best laid plans going awry. Little did I know that the roofers were planning to arrive yesterday. So things were just a bit too noisy to try and get much done. But…better later than never, at least I hope :)I just love getting new…

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Aldaia Dress: How to sew knit fabric without a serger

Here’s the second part of the Aldaia dress tutorial series. If you want to sew the Aldaia dress pattern but don’t own a serger, no problem! You can use your…

The post Aldaia Dress: How to sew knit fabric without a serger appeared first on Patrones de costura, tutoriales e ideas | Pauline Alice.

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New pattern: the Aldaia Dress

I’m so glad to finally introduce the new pattern: the Aldaia dress! I’ve been working on it for the past 3 months and was waiting for the Paris fair to…

The post New pattern: the Aldaia Dress appeared first on Patrones de costura, tutoriales e ideas | Pauline Alice.

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Knip mode dress

The last of the three unfinished objects is a dress I started in the last week of December. In the same spirit as the Burda challenge Marianne from Foxgloves and Thimbles started a Knip Mode challenge to sew more from her Knip mode magazines. I don’t have as many of those as I have of Burda magazines, having had a sort of love/hate relation with the magazine. I loved them around 2009/2010 when they had some really good and original designs. Since then I’ve occassionally bought the magazine as mostly their styles did not attract my attention but I must say they are improving. I must even confess that browsing through the issues I have there are quite a few patterns I want to try and I took up the challenge (again without fixed rules) and will try to sew at least 6 items from other magazines than Burda.


This dress is not very original, but it suited me for the fabric I had. It’s a mix-and-match pattern with several skirt and collar/neckline variations. I used a different skirt variation then the one in the line drawing.

After washing this fabric it was not as beautiful as it was on the bolt and I left it in my closet for quite a while. Rummaging through my fabrics I saw it and thought it was a shame not to use it after all. It was pretty straightforward sewing, no surprises. I used a size 38 for the back neckline and 42 at bust level. It’s easy to merge between sizes and a “fba” like this mostly works for me in a knit like this.

I did sew a zipper in the side seam, as I was afraid I could not get into the dress, the waist having no extra width.


I like the top part of the dress, but not so sure on the skirt. I shortened it because the original length was way too long and made it matronly. Shorter is definitely better, but perhaps a pencil skirt style is better on me.

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Aldaia Dress: How to sew knit fabric without a serger

Here’s the second part of the Aldaia dress tutorial series. 

If you want to sew the Aldaia dress pattern but don’t own a serger, no problem! You can use your sewing machine to sew knits, you’ll just to know a few tips. Let’s see them:

If you …

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New pattern: the Aldaia Dress

I’m so glad to finally introduce the new pattern: the Aldaia dress! I’ve been working on it for the past 3 months and was waiting for the Paris fair to release it.

View A: cotton spandex jersey – Girl Charlee Fabrics UK

View B: knit fabric – Henry & Henriette (not available – similar here)

View C: ponte milano – local shop (similar to Cousette)

Inside the Aldaia dress

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Two posts in a day…

This one with a preview of a Knip Mode pattern from their latest issue, June 2016. Intriguing neckline, sure to catch my eye and immediate desire to make it.  

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Five Tips for Sewing with Ponte

Five tips for sewing with ponte... when your pattern is designed for woven fabrics

There’s a little subtitle for this post which reads, “When your sewing pattern is designed for woven fabrics”. Since we listed ponte di roma or double knit alongside woven fabrics as a suggested material for sewing the Martha dress, we’ve had some questions about how to sew with it and any special considerations or changes you’d need to make. So today I thought it worth discussing tips on sewing ponte when the pattern you’re using is primarily designed for woven fabrics.

Martha sewing pattern in ponte - Tilly and the Buttons

This is a ponte Martha dress that I made for myself – I absolutely loooove how it looks and feels in this fabric. It looks smart yet is soooo comfy to wear! And it’s great for twirling, as demonstrated in this little video I posted to Instagram.

Wait… what is ponte?!

Ponte di roma is a type of double knit fabric – I’m calling it ponte as this type of fabric is relatively easy to find, in UK fabric shops at least (take a look at the links on the right and search “ponte” to see their selections). It’s medium weight, with very little stretch, and looks very similar on both sides. Compared to other knit fabrics, ponte is relatively stable and holds its shape nicely – which means it can work really well with some sewing patterns that are designed for woven fabrics – even if they don’t list it in the fabric suggestions.

On to my tips…

Martha sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

1) Choosing your project

Consider the properties of ponte versus how you want the garment to hang on your body. Firstly, the knit structure gives it a little bit of stretch, so it will mould to your body at the same time as being comfortable to wear. So it can work well on fitted bodices, skirts and wiggle dresses where a bit of stretch would allow you to sew a closer fit and still breathe, run for the bus and eat your lunch!

Ponte also has a nice amount of body to it, so it holds a garment’s shape pretty well. It can work well for a panelled skirt, fit-and-flare dress as well as some jackets. Because of the body, I wouldn’t use it on a garment that you want to look light and drapey though, such as a blouse or blousey dress (like the Bettine dress, where you want a soft drape at the waist) – it could end up looking a bit bulky.

2) Fitting the garment

When fitting your dress, bear in mind that the fabric has a bit of stretch to it – but not loads. What I usually do is cut out my usual size, so I know that the neckline and other details are where they’re supposed to be. Then I pin or tack the seams before sewing them together and try it on as I go – at this point I usually take in the seams to account for the stretch. When sewing, just follow the pin lines (rather than the seam allowance guide) to sew it the right size. Simples!

Five tips for sewing with ponte... when your pattern is designed for woven fabrics

3) Tweaking the design

Some design features look better than others in ponte, so consider which variation to make and whether to change certain details.

Take the sleeves on the Martha dress, for example. The short fitted sleeves would look really cute it ponte. The bell sleeves, on the other hand, look a bit weird. Trust me, I’ve tried it! The sleeves on this dress started out as bell sleeves but, while they look lovely in a lightweight crepe de chine, they were a bit much in heavy fabric, so I took them in at the underarm seam to make them more fitted. I wouldn’t suggest you do the same, as the wide sleeve head of the bell sleeve has made the sleeves hang a bit funny. Instead, just go with the narrow short sleeves in the pattern and extend the underarm seams down if you want to make them longer.

If you’re making a skirt and your hips aren’t significantly wider than your waist, you might be able to omit the zip. Same if you’re making a dress that’s wide enough at the neckline and waist for you to pull it over your head (not the Martha pattern!). I’d suggest you leave the back seam in just in case you realise later that you really do need to put a zip in it 🙂

Five tips for sewing with ponte... when your pattern is designed for woven fabrics

4) Stitching tips

Change your sewing machine needle to a ballpoint for sewing ponte – the rounded end won’t snag the loop structure of the fabric.

Lower the presser foot pressure (if your sewing machine lets you do this) so it doesn’t stretch out the fabric as it’s going through the machine. And ideally use a walking foot or dual feed foot, which will feed both layers of fabric through at the same speed so you don’t get rippled seams.

Stretchy knit fabric usually needs to be sewn with a zigzag stitch or overlocker (serger) so the stitching doesn’t snap as the seams stretch. But if you’re sewing a dress designed for woven fabrics – and therefore which doesn’t need to stretch to get it on and off, because it has a zip or other opening – you’ll probably be fine sewing it with a straight stitch. Do test your stitching out on a double scrap of your dress fabric first, and if you do think the seam needs to stretch you can always sew with a narrow zigzag.

5) Finishing the neckline

If you’re a regular reader, you may remember I made a jersey Bettine dress – which is designed for woven fabrics – last Summer (can’t wait for the weather to warm up so I can wear it again!). For that dress, I replaced the neckline facing with a neckband so that it would pull the fabric in and stop it gaping. Someone asked on Instagram if they need to do the same thing when sewing Martha in ponte. You don’t! Simply sew the neckline facing as normal.

You can interface the neckline facing too. You can get knit interfacing, although it’s a little hard to come by, and I’ve always found woven interfacing works fine with double knits when you don’t need to stretch the garment to get it on and off.

Five tips for sewing with ponte... when your pattern is designed for woven fabrics

So those are my tips for using ponte to sew a pattern designed for woven fabric. I hope this post will inspire you to try it if you haven’t done before. You might just become a bit obsessed! I’m currently dreaming of a short sleeve Martha in turquoise or coral ponte (swoon), perhaps with some beading around the collar. Now I just need to be invited to a Spring wedding…

If you make the Martha dress, don’t forget to share your pics – we’d love to see! Tag us on Instagram @TillyButtons #SewingMartha. And remember we’re holding an Instaspam party on Saturday 7 May. Hope to see you there!

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A Date-Night Wren Dress

When the Wren dress was launched by Colette Patterns a couple of months ago – I couldn’t help myself and bought the paper pattern immediately. I love the shoulder gathers and the faux-wrap effect so much so, that I started in on it as soon as it arrived.  But I already knew from seeing a… Read More »

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Galaxy Dress

Hello everyone!  This was actually the last wedding of this year for me.  Sorry, in an earlier post I stated that that was the last, but I promise this is the last.  Let me tell you this wedding was a blast and the food was fantastic!  It was our good friends Lucy and Josh. I…

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Knit Bettine dress – of course!

One of my first thoughts after sewing my first Bettine dress, was, ‘I bet this would be a cracking dress in a knit’.  So when Tilly started to reveal on Instagram that she had made  Bettine out of a knit, & that she started the thinking for me by showing how the neck facing is replaced by […]

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Completed: The Summer DVF Wrap Dress

What? Did you think I was going to make it an entire year without busting out this pattern? Ha ha! Forget about it! (No idea why I’m standing pigeon-toed in this photo, eh.) ANYWAY. If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you’ll know that I loveeeee me some knit wrap dress action. […]

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Completed: The Mission/Skater Mash-up

Now HERE’S an obvious gap in my summer wardrobe that’s finally been filled! A knit tank dress! I think we can all agree that wearing knit dresses is the ultimate in comfort/secret pajamas. Especially when it’s nasty hot outside!! I looove my knit dresses in every season, but most of them have sleeves and I […]

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Blue Swirls Dress

I’m back once again, this time with my first iteration of the McCalls 6713 dress.  Like I said in my earlier post, I’m all about the blues this summer. I kinda posted out of order on this dress as this is the first make of M6713, and is a bit more true to the pattern. As… Read More »

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Painted City Dress

After I learnt that sewing with knits isn’t all that I built it up to be, I couldn’t wait to make more – all the things!!!  I’m still waaay behind on posting up my Renfrews – but instead I decided to  jump forward and share my my newest knit creation, the Painted City dress. Psst… you can… Read More »

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Gabby’s Wrap Dress!

Hey Everyone!  I am so happy to be sewing again!  I have been sewing like crazy for the past week just getting caught up with everything that has needed to get done.  This next dress was another commission for my friend Gabby.  I have made her the Cowl Neck Dress and the Doctor Who Clara…

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Gabby’s Wrap Dress!

Hey Everyone!  I am so happy to be sewing again!  I have been sewing like crazy for the past week just getting caught up with everything that has needed to get done.  This next dress was another commission for my friend Gabby.  I have made her the Cowl Neck Dress and the Doctor Who Clara…

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Learn to Sew Jersey Tops – Take Our Online Workshop From Home!

Learn to Sew Jersey Tops - online sewing course

Want to be able to make comfortable, wearable tops for every day?

Want to take your sewing skills to the next level with an introduction to sewing stretchy jersey fabric?

Don’t have an overlocker or serger – or just don’t like using it?

Fancy taking a Tilly and the Buttons workshop – but can’t get to London?

No problemo… Introducing our first online workshop that you can take from the comfort of your own home – Learn to Sew Jersey Tops… on a regular sewing machine!

Cue cheesy trailer!!!

 Register for our online workshop - Learn to Sew Jersey Tops

Who is the workshop for?

Learn to Sew Jersey Tops is suitable for advanced beginners and improvers – you’ll need to be comfortable using a sewing machine and have experience sewing a few things already. I’ll take you through essential tips and techniques to get you feeling confident sewing jersey on a regular sewing machine, without overwhelming you with too much information. If you’re a fan of the Coco sewing pattern, a loose-fitting garment designed for low-stretch knits, the Agnes top, which we’ll be sewing in the course, is the perfect next step to build your skills and get to grips with handling stretchier knit fabric and sewing a close-fitting top.

Why jersey?

Jersey tops are comfortable, wearable and practical for every day. They’re also quick to sew and easy to fit once you know how. Yet many people are scared of sewing stretchy jersey, and you might think that you need to get an overlocker or serger to be able to sew with it. I want to show you that it doesn’t have to be tricky, and that you can sew jersey on your regular sewing machine. I’m hoping to get you hooked on sewing jersey!

Learn to Sew Jersey Tops - online sewing course

What will I learn?

  • How to make the gorgeous and wearable Agnes top, in a variety of different styles – destined to become your new wardrobe staple!
  • Tips, techniques and tools for sewing jersey on a regular sewing machine
  • How to choose the right jersey fabric for your project
  • Techniques for cutting and stabilising jersey so it doesn’t stretch out of shape
  • No-fuss fitting for jersey tops (so much easier than fitting woven clothing!)
  • How to attach a neckband that won’t gape
  • Steps for sewing both plain sleeves and puffed sleeve
  • How to use elastic to create adorable ruched necklines and sleeves
  • Transferrable sewing skills that you can use again and again

You’ll also get a free digital copy of the Agnes sewing pattern to print and assemble at home, plus a discount for the printed pattern (available through the course platform).

Learn to Sew Jersey Tops - online sewing course

How do online workshops work?

One of the best things about sewing is that you can do it from the comfort of your own home, at a time that suits you, without having to travel anywhere special, or schedule any time off work. Now you can take a sewing workshop with me (Tilly) in your own time and space too. You can even do it in your pyjamas if you like!

When you register for the workshop, you’ll get instant access to a member-only course website. The lessons are taught through a combination of video, text, and printable check lists, viewable on your computer, tablet or smartphone. Yes, video! It’s so helpful to see sewing in action, in moving images.

Learn to Sew Jersey Tops - online sewing course

I’ve designed this course to be manageable and actionable – the lessons are broken down into bitesize chunks, with practical action points so you can get sewing straight after watching each step. You can record and track your progress as you go to keep you motivated, and I’m hoping that the participants will form a supportive online community.

There are no set dates or deadlines for this workshop – you’ll get instant access, and you can start and finish the course at a time that suits you. While we can’t guarantee “lifetime access”, you know, in case of digital apocalypse or something, you’ll have access to the course for as long as it’s available – we’re not planning to take it down any time soon. It’s self-paced, so it’s totally up to you whether you binge watch the whole thing in one weekend, or spread it out over ten or more evenings – whatever suits you. And you can pause, rewind and rewatch the lessons as much as you like – so if you forget how to do something, you can always check back.

How much is it?

Less than half the price of a face-to-face workshop, with no travel costs either – hooray! The fee is $69 (US dollars), which includes a digital version of the Agnes sewing pattern. If you’d like a printed version of the pattern, there’s a 20% discount code for workshop participants – you’ll see it on the Agnes sewing pattern page of the workshop once you’ve signed up.

In British pounds, that’s roughly £45 (sorry I can’t tell you exactly how much it is as currency conversion rates fluctuate). The reason the price is in US dollars rather than British pounds is because that’s the only currency used by the course platform – I’m sorry if that’s annoying for British people, we’d like to develop our own course platform in the future if the workshop is popular so we can get around limitations such as this. Good news for our friends in the US, though! ☺

Remember – you can revisit this workshop as many times as you like, whenever it suits you.

Learn to Sew Jersey Tops - online sewing course

What equipment do I need to take part?

You’ll need a sewing machine with an adjustable width zigzag stitch, plus a computer, tablet or smartphone to watch the lessons on. You don’t need an overlocker/serger or coverstitch machine for this workshop! There are a few other low cost supplies that I find helpful for sewing jersey fabric – I’ll talk you through them in the workshop.

Any other questions? Take a look at our FAQ, or feel free to ask in the comments below.

 Register for our online sewing course - Learn to Sew Jersey Tops

I’m looking forward to welcoming you to the workshop!

[Many thanks to Dan Matthews, Jimmy Barnett and Charlie Moore at ramshackle.tv for their incredibly hard work producing the videos! If the Vikings can make it to Canada…]

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Completed: The Watson Bikini

I don’t know about where y’all are, but swimsuit season is BASICALLY upon us over here. Sure, they haven’t opened the pools – yet (that always happens on Memorial Day weekend, coincidentally right around my birthday as well. Pool parties every year for this kid!) – but it’s only a matter of time. Plus, I […]

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Completed: Some Tshirts, + thoughts on Me-Made-May

Good morning & happy May, everyone! Today we are gonna talk about my tshirts! I briefly touched over this pattern in my last post (and also when I made this ~heart-on~ sweater), but I’ve done some more tweaking to my pattern so I thought I would share some updates. My first renditions were pretty awesome […]

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Completed: A Cardigan, a Skirt, and a Tshirt!

Woohoo y’all get a damn TRIFECTA of garments for today’s post! Lucky you! For my monthly Mood Sewing Network post, this month I wanted to focus on that amazing striped sweater knit that you’re probably staring at (you should be staring at it, it’s fucking awesome). But I felt really boring just making *a* sweater […]

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Dressmaking plans

I actually really really hate cutting out fabric for dress patterns, big pieces of ungainly cloth, crawling around on the floor adding seam allowances, Remembering to leave notches where the darts stop and tailor tack the points etc, etc. But I do enjoy watching fabric go from 2D to 3D and enjoy even more when […]

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For a Dress That’s Fast To Make and Looks Great, Vogue 1250

A few years back, almost everyone in the internet sewing world was making Vogue 1250. This pattern must have been the hit that a pattern company dreams of having as so many were sold. The dress is made up of just 2 pattern pieces. The front, which is 1…

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Completed: Leopard Cabernet Cardigan

Good morning, everyone! Lots of changes happening in my world over the past couple of weeks – as you know, we moved out to the country, about 20 miles west of Nashville in beautiful Kingston Springs, TN. Our house sits on a 5 acre plot of land surrounded by woods, and wow, spring is gorgeous […]

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Who doesn’t like sewing up a knit fabric sewing pattern? Quick, easy, comfortable and not to mention the fabulous fabric choices out there.So why not a sewing competition purely dedicated to knit fabric sewing patterns?  Get your knit on is j…

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So back to me being a Ballerina…. Papercut Coppélia

Hey Guys,
Getting slightly out of sync here, but I love this so much I couldn’t resist!
I finally got around to making up my first go at a Papercut Coppélia wrap cardigan, and by golly I love it.
I also love this outfit combination, I’ve worn it twice this week already!
As lovely as it is, it’s really more of a wearable test run. 
There were definitely adjustments made, the jersey was not exactly easy to keep any semblance of grain on, and I’m hearing stitches pop every time I tie it up – but I’m gonna wear it to death!

I cut a size S and I’m pretty happy with the fit in the body. I definitely wouldn’t go any bigger! There’s plenty of room for bewbs and such, but with a wrap cardigan you’re gonna get more leeway in that department in any case.
The jersey is quite lightweight, and was from Goldhawk road. I think on a meetup – from whichever is the shop with all the Liberty prints. I don’t usually buy much in there, but I was looking for jersey like this and there it was. 
However I didn’t realise how difficult it is to cut out on grain. And I underestimated how much I needed. And I think it was cut a bit arseways as the guy was new and struggling with wielding his shears. I offered to help, but no. I think I got 1.5m but that was cutting it close. Especially if you like to flirt with the grainline.
Therefore I think the ties got the worst of the wonky grain-ness. I made a half-arsed attempt with the body. I gauged that the ties would be all warped in the wrapping so no matter if they’re warped from birth.
The major adjustment I did make was to take it in massively along the arms, under the arms and where the arm goes into the body, tapering down into the original waist. There was significant excess fabric, but I did hear that was possibly something that has been addressed in the updated pattern.
I also abandoned the cuffs, as I had to cut an inch off the sleeves to turn them up by an inch. 
Loooong sleeves. Shoooorrrrt arms.
But they’re okay now. I’ll do some pattern piece alterations before I sew up the next one. Thankfully, stretchy fabric will be forgiving if I don’t get it perfect for edition two!
I love how it nips you in at the waist 🙂
It’s the one thing that always grated on me about other cardigans. I always felt frumpy and like I was losing my waist definition.
The instructions were fairly okay for the most part, though quite brief. There were some head scratching moments when I read through them first, and because the pattern pieces are not your usual shapes, you need to pay attention! Especially when they’re flopping around, being all knit-like.
The other bit I had to go a bit maverick on was the neck band. There was a hell of a lot of easing to be done, and when I had stitched it all together I realised the neck band needed to go slightly further to be incorporated into the waist tie. With the front edges being even, part of the width of the neckband would be outside of the waistband.. One side I ripped back a bit and re-eased, the other side I sliced/trimmed a bit down the front edge until it looked how I needed it to look.
I didn’t see anything mentioned about it in the instructions about this, so if anyone else has come up against it, or if I’m being particularly dense let me know.
I sewed it up on my regular machine, as my overlocker was not getting along with the jersey. Since the ‘incident’ and subsequent tinkering, I’ve been getting decent stitching on thicker fabric, but as I never use jersey, it never got tested. It was eating it all erratically, and there was no way I was going to be able to keep any sort of even feed or even produce an even tension across the loopers. 
I know from finally getting to sew on the same model (but not broken) that although I’m getting an overlock stitch out of it, the loopers are definitely not in the same position/timing as an off the shelf model. How long do you think I’ll put the service off?
The other thing I will definitely be working on for the next iteration is the optimal stitch for stretching with jersey. The off the cuff one I though was working definitely needs a bit more give. I have heard quite a few stitches go – mostly in the wrap tie I think. But considering how much of a bitch it is to unpick stitches from jersey, I won’t get too concerned too quickly.
After finishing, I was a bit meh – but after the wearing, I adore it!
It’s basically my perfect cardigan and there will be many more, in many colours.
And probably like three black ones! Cuz that is how I do.
I just have to remember to buy knits and not wovens…It may be a hard one to break.
Emmie xx
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