How to finish a knit neckline: A quick tutorial

Now, probably have been finishing knit necklines like this forever – in this case, simply chuckle sagely.
But if, like me, you’ve always been struggling a little with how to make a knit neckline look good, may be this is of interest for you.

  1. Start off with a 4cm/ 1 3/4 in strip of self fabric. I mostly cut along the grain, but you can cut perpendicular to the grain too. In a knit it is not necessary (and in fact more difficult) to cut a bias strip.
    Here, I need to finish only the back neck, so I don’t need to sew the strip into a circle. But of course, if you want to finish the neckline all the way round, sew the strip together along the short sides and then press.

 

2. Sew the strip to the neckline, lining of the edge of the foot with both strip and neckline.
I use my serger, which results in the flattest finish, but  sewing with a stretch stitch on the sewing machine works too.

3. What you see is what you get. You can see that the strip is a little shorter than the neckline, thus resulting in little puckers. They will disappear later.

4. Fold the strip over to the right side and press. Only just cover the seam allowance with the pressed side.

5. Sew the strip into place on the right side. I use my coverstich with either a single or double line of stitching, depending on how conspicuous I want the finish to be.
You can also use a double needle or a zigzag (you probably want to experiment a little bit what size of zigzag looks best.)

6. Done!

You get a nice clean finish on the outside and on the inside with no seam allowances showing.
The puckers from step 3 will be absorbed by the ease of the knit once you wear the garment (unless you made the strip a whole lot shorter, then it doesn’t work. Your pattern will tell you what length strip to cut).

Here, you can see the finished neckline on my Hila top. I’ve used this method for loads of knit tops and it has always worked a treat.

I hope this is useful for you. If you don’t use this method, how do you finish a knit neckline?

The Hila and Teresa Tops #sewdowndewsbury

I’ve already written about how much I enjoyed #sewdowndewsbury and spending time with Ali of Thimberlina. Another thing I was particulary looking forward to was meeting Hila and Teresa, who I’d already felt a connection with via their blogs  and 2015’s antics of Jumping Into June.

Turns out that they are just as fantastic in person as they are on their blogs – and maybe on some cosmic level there is a connection between me and them, because we bought the same fabric in Fabworks. If that isn’t proof that we met in some earlier life or something then I don’t know what is!!

So I decided to call my makes after them – so may I introduce the Hila and Teresa tops.

First up the Hila.

This cowl neck top, one of the many Burda permutations is one of my favourite patterns. So far I had only made longsleeve or sleeveless versions of it, but a picture on Lucie‘s blog convinced me that actually it looks really smashing with short sleeves.

One thing I changed from the Burda pattern is the size of the cowl. I made it a little bit less pronounced by pinching out a little from the pattern and also by making the shoulder seem come closer to the neck. In that way the cowl doesn’t open quite as far as normal and bra-revealing accidents are a thing of the past.

See:

There’s your evidence. Yep, I follow the scientific method on this blog!

Next up is the Teresa blouse:

Fashioned from spotty cotton lawn/batiste (which unfortunately creases like a thing possessed, so much so that I’m inclined to group it with “creases are fashionable” linen).

I used the Barbara pattern from Maison Victor 3/4 2017

As you can see, the patter is acutally for a dress, so I just lenghtened the bodice and eyeballed a few changes to make it look right.

Do you know Maison Victor, by the way?

It’s the younger hipster’s answer to sewing magazines. I’m neither young nor a hipster, but ever since I cancelled my Burda subscription I feel I have leave to buy loads of other magazines. It has some nice boy’s and men’s patterns that come in slim sizes (those hipsters don’t seem to be very hungry…) so that’s good for my boys.

Back to the Teresa:

I love the scoop neckline – I know that choking high necklines are all the rage, but all the do for me is give me a rage (plus they look ridiculous on me, my head seems to be twice the size when I wear a very high neckline), so I was pleased about this variation. The blouse has a gathered back bodice and a yoke with I lined in a remnant because I was worried the dots of the fashion fabric might show through to the front.
I think the rick rack makes this – just breaks up the fabric enought to add a little bit of interest.

The blouse was a big hit with my students today (“Oh Miss, you look very pretty today” “Hush, don’t tell her that, tell her she looks pretty all the time” “But she looks particularly pretty today” – sometimes you just gotta love teaching 🙂 ), so I am pleased to have scored in a young person’s world. Maybe there’s a hipster in me yet?

So, Hila and Teresa: it was lovely to meet you in Dewsbury and I’ll think of you every time I wear these tops!

 

Burdastyle Wide Leg Trousers: Feel Free to Laugh Out Loud

Actually, the trousers are fine – no need to laugh at the trousers (though if you feel you want to laugh at them, go right ahead, I won’t be offended).

But I had to laugh at myself and my embarrassing attempts at posing. You see, I while back I promised I was going to get the lack-of-photography situation on this blog under control. To this avail I bought a new camera – nothing fancy, still a point and shoot, the Sony Cybershot RX100 III. But it can be remotely activated via the mobile, so I am able do do my own photoshoots and don’t have to rely on my long suffering husband who enjoys photoshoots as much as I do a visit to the dental hygienist.

But boy, this posing lark is a learning curve!! I’m fully accepting of the fact that I won’t look any prettier on photos than in real life – but I would be really pleased if I didn’t look a whole lot worse. So I read up on “how to shoot good blog pictures”.

All the technical side is still a bit above my head, so I decided I might have to work with what I’ve got.

Making long lines is what I’ve read one should make – judge for yourself in the picture at the top.

 

Or may be “creating angles” is where it’s at?

 

or alternatively no nonsense what you see is what you get?

I’m really working this, girlfriend, don’t you think?

On a slightly more serious side note, can you see how my cowl doesn’t gape?! More about the Hila top in another post!

I even arranged a photo”studio” in a corner of my sewing room: (and oh my god, I just discovered how to do these fancy circles!!!)

And on a by-note, may I introduce this top from Fashion Style 5/2015 which I suppose is not going to make it onto a separate blog entry. Win some, loose some, ey?

 

So there, you may stop laughing now!

How do you cope with posing? Is is something you enjoy? Find as awkward as I do? Do you have any tips? Mind you, beginner’s tips will suffice…

 

Merken

Burdastyle 3/2014 #103 : The Spring’s Around the Corner Coat

I’m in love – again! If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I am fickle and fall in love very easily. And it’s happened again, this time with this ivory wool coat.

Ever since #sewdowndewsbury I’ve fallen for the Style Arc Stella Coat that Karen wore to the meetup and I was determined to make it from this ivory wool felt in my stash. However, it turned out I didn’t have enough fabric, so I thought this trench style coat #103 from Burda 3/2014 was the next best thing.

Like the Style Arc Coat it has princess seams front and back and it’s also got no closure, although it doesn’t have a wrap that is as pronounced as the Style Arc one (which was the reason it would fit onto my fabric).

It can be worn belted as well as open and I like both ways equally. In fact I fell incredibly glamorous swishing past in my white wool coat with the belt trailing in my wake:

And there she comes back again:

 

As you know, I like to show the functionality of my clothes and I’ve outdone myself again: it fully allows me to walk up and down 😉

I left the coat unlined, which is another thing I’ve always wanted, an unlined cream coat. The edges were finished with black bias tape. At first I wasn’t sure about it, I thought it might look  a bit like a condolence card. But given that I rarely display the inside of my coat is if I wanted to sell contraband out of it, I guess nobody will notice much.

If you are into details, here are a few dress form pictures:

The  wool felt was a dream to work with: holds its shape, no confusing stretch, but can be shaped into submission with lots and lots of steam (although it does smell as if  one is surrounded by wet long haired dogs 😉 ), doesn’t fray. I top-stitched all seams using Gutermann topstitching thread, otherwise there was no way the seam allowances would lie flat.

I’ve worn the coat all week, whether it was warm enough for an unlined coat or not and I just love it. Ever since #sewdowndewsbury I’ve been on such a sewing high – the trousers and top in the pictures are new as well, so I hope I’ll get around to blogging them soon.

Merken

#sewdowndewsbury – The Aftermath

My god it was good! #sewdowndewsbury was just the most amazing meetup – I had such a good time! So much so in fact that I didn’t even stop to take pictures, but I’m sure you will have read other accounts (and if not, have a look at Ali’s picture gallery). From her post you will know that not only did she help me organise my stay and answer all my many questions, but she also organised a day walking in the moors with expert guide Brian! Isn’t that amazingly nice?! Thank you so much Ali! And thank you Brian for making sure we didn’t get lost and putting up with all our sewing talk!

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This was my first time in Yorkshire (apart from the usual touristy whistle stop in York) and I’ve fallen in love with the people! Everyone was just so nice, happy to help or just have a little chat. And now that I’ve realised that it’s just so doable to travel to Yorkshire even for a few days (can you imagine that plane-metro-train-journey to my house on the way back took 2 hours 32 minutes? Absolutely incredible, ey?) I’m hoping for many future visits. Fabworks, I know where you are!

Of course I came back invigorated and inspired and with so many plans! I’ve already made plans for most of my fabric haul – I’m sure you are interested 😉

So here it goes:

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The only item on my shopping list, a light wool suiting which will become pleat front trousers. I’m not alone in thinking they are a great idea, Shauni thinks so too (and she even has much the same images on her pinterest wall that I do, so we must be onto something).
Patternwise I’m either going for this from Burda 8/2016

 

Or this from Ottobre 5/2015

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What do you think? Right now I’m leaning more towards the Burda pattern. Around the hips both are much the same, with slanted pockets and two pleats, but I think I prefer the slimmer legs of the Burda pattern.

This is going to be my Hila top:

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Hila bought the same fabric for a dress, I only bought 1 metre, so the fabric has already decided it wants to be a cowl neck top. I have made many sleeveless ones, but I discovered a really nice short sleeve version on Lucie‘s blog, so I think this is what I’m going for.

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This fabric told me it wants to be a short sleeve blouse. Does your fabric ever talk to you? Mine sure does and I’ve learnt to heed an order from fabric, so I have decided on this Burda pattern from 2010:

 

This version has a weird collar which I don’t care much for, I’ll swap out a normal collar from another version.

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This cotton lace wants to be a sleeveless top of some kind. I wonder whether to make it a quite fitted sleeveless classic shirt with darts or something more drapey. So far, the fabric was not available for a statement, so I’ll have to prevaricate for a little while.

 

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This one, however, is spoken for: This is going to be the Teresa blouse. You will have guessed it: Teresa bought this fabric too, so I’m delighted to be her fabric twin. It’s asked to become the blouse version of a dress in the latest edition of  Maison Victor. I seem to have mislaid the foto right now, but if you are interested I could to a review of this magazine.

So this is it: my #sewdowndewsbury report. It was so nice to have met so many likeminded people and to be made feel so welcome. The day has definitely put Dewsbury on my (until now rather shady) map of the North. Here’s to many returns!

 

 

Merken

#sewdowndewsbury: All my bags are packed…

Only 7 sleeps until the Dewsbury sewing meetup, organised by Ali of Thimberlina! Needless to say I’m already incredibly excited! So much so that I’m already packed and waiting to go, humming Peter Paul and Mary songs.

I’m flying handluggage only, but at the same time I want to do some fabric shopping – not two things that are commonly mentioned in the same sentence. So I thought I have to save on weight by reducing the weight of the carry-all itself. So I sewed a carry-all of the lightest yet toughest fabric my stash could muster.

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Now don’t think I intend to rock up at the Ryan Air counter with a bag as full as this and try to get this into carry-on. The bag is just packed full of my entire bedding for the purposes of illustration. I just thought I might as well make it a bit bigger for those times when I fly carry-on on the way there but have one item of checked luggage on the bag back (which tends to mysteriously fill itself with fabric, at least that’s my past experience 😉 ).
It’s made from a waterproof rip stop nylon that was intended for a jacket until I realised that by virtue of being waterproof it would also be non-breathable. I’m sure boil in the bag jackets have their uses, they are just not for me…

While I was at it I also made a new ultra-light-weight toiletry bag.

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It weighs in at all of 120 gramms – unfilled, of course.

I “designed” it in such a way that it will hold the plastic bag of liquids that you have to bare at security.

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I can just rip the plastic bag out and have the guard inspect the brand of deodorant I’m using and then pack it back in the pouch so that my toiletries don’t get lost in the depths of my massive bag.

In case you are not that interested in the details of my luggage, here’s a look at my goodie bag:

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It even has the date of the momentous occasion on it:

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And finally a little look at a little present for one of the people I’ve wanted to meet for a long time. It’s navy on the outside and has a silver lining on the inside. I bet you know who it is for already 🙂

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I can’t wait to meet all of you very soon! See you on Saturday!

xxx Chris

A quick review of Burdastyle 3/2017

My feeling is that Burdastyle has come in for a lot of criticism lately, and I have to say that I agree: there have been noticeably fewer patterns in each issue and a lot of repetition.  They seem to have a new design team and for my taste the quality has slipped a little since.

The March issue is a little better, in my opinion, so I thought I’ll share a few thoughts with you.
It’s the wedding dress edition with a few nice dresses:

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I like the look of that, however even on the model the straps don’t really lie flat, so I wonder whether that isn’t a problem waiting to happen.

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This is marketed as a “Duchess of Cambridge”-style dress. Well – not every lacy sleeve makes a Duchess of Cambridge dress, does it?!

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The “wedding guest” dress on the left made me wonder – I guess there must have been a simple A-line dress with wide sleeves in every one of the last five issues. Why another one? And a boring one at that?

The boho-wedding dress… Well, if you’re going in for a beach wedding it could come in useful.

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This made me laugh out loud! Wear this to a wedding?? A beach-coverup style mini dress? Really? I was under the impression that most 17 year olds don’t get married these days.

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This are the two things from the issue that I might just make: I really like the trousers. They are in the tall size and a real classic. I have fabric waiting, so these might be one of my next projects.
The cold-shoulder top is nice too, a bit more structured than most. I might make this once summer comes along, from some black cotton I still have in my stash from Ecuador.
There are instructions for the embroidery and although I personally hate embroidery I think it’s a brilliant idea to teach that skill for those who are ameanable.

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There is another reason that Burdastyle isn’t so attractive to me any more: they are reaching out more to the beginner, like in this very simple top. It’s great in principle for a newbie to get more detailed instructions, but I personally would like it if they branched out more into advanced techniques too, so that more experienced sewists get a chance to learn some new skills too.

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Nice, classes pieces for kids – I expect these patterns will be popular.

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That’s my favourite outfit in the whole magazine, in the plus section, so I won’t be able to use it because I’m too lazy to teach myself the skills to size this down. I like also that they have used a proper plus size model, so you really get to see what these patterns look like on a curvy figure.

img_6016That is great too – love it! This is easy enough to frankenpattern from other sources, so I might just make that. I love the combination of the two fabrics.

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So near and still so far! I think it’s brilliant they are doing info on pattern changes. This is for FBAs – but I just think the instructions are a bit too sparse, two pictures for each type of FBA. I would much prefer it if they had fewer methods, but more clearly explained.

And now for my pet peeve:

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A few months back they started baking recipes. Baking recipes!! Are these in the international edition as well? What place do these have in a sewing magazine? There is a rebellion against them on the Burda Facebook page every month, but Burda’s heart seems set on them.

Just a quick overview of all patterns:

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and technical drawings:

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Overall, I think it’s not a bad issue, but not stellar either. I cancelled my subscription in December, so this is my last issue of the subscription and I have to say that it has not changed my mind.

By the way: Please excuse the bad quality of the pictures. I do recognise the problem and I ordered a new camera. It’s still just a point-and-shoot, but a more high-end one than the point-and-shoot that I’ve been using so far. AND I have enrolled into Photography for Beginners course in order to learn at least the tiniest bit about photography AND I hope to find a corner in my sewing room as a “photo studio”, so maybe I’ll have a more regular supply of well-lit photos in future. One can just hope!

LOTILDA

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