Tag Archives: knits

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?


Burdastyle 6/2014 #114: Said&Done – The Sweatshirt Edition

Folks, I’m in love – again! For the first time ever I made a sweatshirt and I’ve fallen for it hard!


In one of my many journeys of online fabric shopping sites I came across some quilted jersey and I knew from the start that this wanted to be a quilted sweatshirt. But I don’t really wear sweatshirts – I find them either to tight around the waistband or too baggy, the neckline is too high and also I’m not much into activities that require specialised sweating gear. So no sweatshirt for me, although I  gather that the quilted sweatshirt is even a Thing this season, there are pinterest boards devoted to it and all!

And then I discovered Burdastyle 6/2014 # 114 – and my problems were solved. No tight neckline, no restrictive waistband, bagginess yes, but the floating kind. I had overlooked it completely when it first came out, must have been because the model looked so sickly and miserable in her bright yellow shirt, but now I made it up in a less dominating colour I love it.

IMG_0661It is, as you can see, very oversized. I even traced the size 36 rather than my usual 40 and it still fits very loose everywhere. IMG_0660It’s got a high-low hem and together with the quilted fabric for the body this makes this the most comfortable thing ever. It’s a bit like wearing your blanket – Helena from Gray All Day has spoken about the benefits of blanket wearing more lyrically than I ever could.

I thought the sweatshirt was a bit plain when it was finished, so I added a letter appplique. S&D for Said & Done. My family found this hilariously ridiculous, but hey, this is how I roll.

IMG_0663Other people have A&F embroidered across their chests, I have Said & Done! At least I don’t make my staff wear flip flops at all time like Mr Abercrombie and Fitch does, apparently!

And then… Well, you know where this goes, don’t you?

Yes, exactly! Then I went through my stash and make another one:

IMG_0700This time from some very light jersey that had been left over from other projects.


IMG_0703Not so much of the blanket look here, this is just a quite shameless “Just rolled out of bed” look.

IMG_0705And – because I can – some more self-promotion.


I all blame it on the weather: It’s suddenly got really cold, but I’m really done with winter now and want spring to arrive. It’s going to be a few weeks, I know, but still…

Aaannnd I have more knits in my stash that would make nice sweatshirts… And stash busting is a good thing, no?! So maybe I should take up a sport so I have some higher justification for wearing sweatshirts all the time 😉


The 7/8th Knit Dress Craze

Somebody switched on summer around my parts! Suddenly, literally over night, it became warm enough for sleeveless dresses and little sandals!

Which gives my plenty of opportunity to show off the latest dress craze that has come out of my sewing room: Almost full length knit maxi dresses.


IMG_7965I made two so far, both from 1.5m precuts of various knit fabrics. That’s where the 7/8th length comes from – it is as far as 1.5m of fabric will go on me. I think properly full length might look a little bit better, but I`m just not elegant enough to wear full length: I keep stepping on the hem, ripping it down in the process, when I walk up stairs the gathered up skirt  doesn’t make me look like a picture floating elegance but like a slightly overworked washer woman – in short, full length maxis make me nervous and I get all worked up and hot and bothered about them, and if there is one thing I don’t want my clothes to do then it’s make me hot and bothered, so not quite full length it is! Glad I got that out of the way!

IMG_7959IMG_7966I kinda used a pattern for this: Burdastyle 3/2014 # 125

I took the bodice part and lengthened it as far as the fabric would go. For the printed dress I cut on little dolman sleeves, basically by eyeballing it. The length of those sleeves again is determined by the width of the fabric: from sleeve to sleeve I had 70cm, half of a 140cm width of fabric.

IMG_7961I probably should have put the darker areas over my bottom so as to not emphasise it quite so much, but again, the fabric placement I ended up with was the only one possible with the amount of  fabric I had.

Let’s have a look at the de-accessorized version:

IMG_7969(By the way, I never found that cardie again that I lost in my hot-flush-induced defeat at layering ;-).  Oh well…)

IMG_7970I have to admit that I like these dresses a lot more “live” than in those pictures. Worn live they swish and move around the body in a way that I really like. On a picture, at least with the posing that I am capable of, they look more sack-like. At least I hope that’s only in the pictures… Here’s to hoping I haven’t been walking around in the West’s answer to the burqa for days…

IMG_7973The green and white striped version has pockets too – just because I could!

IMG_7974Back view, again displaying my husband’s idea of “darling, it looks absolutely fine” 😉 . Can you see my waistcoat and belt tossed to the side? That’s me and layering in a nutshell!

So there we are: I’ve gone all out for the simple knit dress craze. No great feat of sewing, that’s for sure. But I think these might become my most worn dresses of the summer.

How about you: Have you found any dresses that you have gone crazy for?

MMM14, Day 5: Patterned Maxi Dress

I am travelling home from Switzerland today, wearing my new favourite dress:


It’s one of those dresses that take about two hours to make (and that includes threading both the overlocker and the coverstitch machine), involve no real skill whatsoever – and I could just live in this!

I made it almost maxi but not quite as I am never careful enough not to step on the bottom of  a real maxi dress. The pattern is adapted from top a recent Burdastyle – I will blog about this as soon as I get round to it.


Burdastyle 2/2014 #135: Drapey Top – or Muffin Top?

This is my first attempt at spring sewing and I chose this out of the latest issue of Burdastyle:

I was intrigued by the asymmetric drape – someone in blog land (I will update the link if I remember who…) called it “Burda’s answer to the drape drape books” – and I like the fact that it is something different while still being wearable. However I spotted one problem: the undraped side seam is very short indeed, if you look at the picture it hits the model just above the skirt waistband, right in muffin top territory (on me, not on the model, of course 🙂 ).

So I decided to lengthen the undraped side seam, but leave the draped side as is. First I slashed and spread the back:

IMG_6723To most of you this will not be exciting, but for me it’s the first time I have ever used the slash and spread method for adapting a pattern and I just played it by ear. I added 5cm to the side seam:


and then taped everything together again:


My husband even made a “Making of” picture…


The front piece is very asymmetric, Kathy has provided the perfect guide to making sense of it all.

Again I slashed and spread the shorter side – first the before picture:


IMG_67295cm more length to the seam

IMG_6730This made a crease appear in the middle of front bottom seam which I just folded out and retaped:


The pattern came together no problem, so at least I didn’t make a mistake with the adaptation.

So this is it:

IMG_6736As you can see it is still really short on the undraped side! Also the neckline is a little lower than I’d like, but I guess that is Burdastyle for you.

Readers of a sensitive disposition please look away now: I am wearing zero make-up – and I should have… But it’s all about honesty here, isn’t it? ISN’T IT?



I still have to get my head around the draped side but I think it  quite like it.

The short side looks fine when I stay still:

IMG_6740But when I don’t – and I rarely do – this happens:

IMG_6742Ooops, muffin top alert!!! I can just picture myself at work in front of a class of  20 year olds flashing my tummy – not! So this will definitely be worn with a cami underneath – but given the sheerness of the fabric that is no bad thing anyway.

So final thoughts on this pattern:

hmm, still not sure. In some way I really like it, and the drape even swishes when worn, so that must be a good thing.

It’s quite cleverly drafted and making it up is really easy – just one seam for the drape and then you just have a standard raglan construction.

This version was meant to be a muslin. The jersey is gorgeous, but I think the colour does not do me any favours, even discounting the no makeup issue. But should I make up a real version? What do you think?

The First Make of 2014: A Humble T-Shirt

Happy 2014 to all of you! I hope you have had a good transition into the new years. May it turn out to be all that you hope for and more!

I have started the year with a bit of light sewing (no hangover here, we celebrated en famille which does not tend to get a very boisterous affair) and made a very simple, basic T-shirt.


I have self-censored this photo: while I am not hungover I have holiday hair that I don’t wish to share with the world 🙂 (Note to self: Go and have your hair cut – NOW!!)

I simply used an RTW T-shirt and took the pattern off there. Here is the original:


And here is my version:

IMG_6493The neckline is a little wider than on the original because I had to cut off the neckband once because I misjudged the necessary length. Live and learn, ey?

IMG_6495I serged on the neckband (folded in half) and then used my coverstitch machine to finish it. It is not quite as elaborate than the original which has an extra seam band for the back neckline, but I think it will do for a little T-shirt like this.


So I am looking into 2014, hoping it will bring me lots of exciting opportunities both sewing and otherwise.

What are your first sewing plans for the new year?

Burdastyle 1/14 #122 : Asymmetric Top

To be honest, I have not really felt the Burda vibe in any great way recently. Although I have sewn a few things from the latest editions (none of them blogged yet – sorry…), there was nothing I was really excited about, nothing where I saw the preview and had fabric and notions ready on the day the magazine arrived, traced the same night and completed sewing a couple of days later. But dutifully I made the top from the cover – in fact I made it twice!

No 1 was from a ponte jersey that I bought online (in order to qualify for free shipping – yes, it was that cheap) and that was clearly a mistake. I like the look of the fabric, but the quality is a rather horrible and quite stiff polyester. So I thought I should use this to practice my coverstitch skills.

Because the fabric is so stiff the top actually came out a little tight although I cut a size 40 – often for knit tops I go down to a 38. The construction is extremely easy and the whole top came together in no time.

I finished the neck by simply turning the hem over and then coverstitching it, no fussing with a bias tape or anything like that. I am starting to get the hang of the coverstitch machine, although I feel there is still quite a bit to learn.

No 2 was started on the same night. I had some leftover fabric from a rayon jersey and the original project I wanted to make turned out a fail so I was keen to make something wearable out of the rest of the fabric.


I had to do some slightly creative cutting because I did not have the required width for the front part left, but I think I got away with it.


The top is about 5cm shorter than the first one, but it comes out a little loose. Oh for the variety of fabrics!! Just goes to show that simply making a muslin may not even be enough, because different fabrics behave so differently, even if they are broadly speaking the same type.

IMG_6464So there you go: Some words of wisdom that I am sure I will forget before I make up the next version of this top, if ever there is one – I like the sewing of it better than the wearing. Does that ever happen to any of you? Or should have my sewing head looked into?