Tagged sleeve

Of Hallows and Horcruxes

I wrote a while back about my eldest being a big Harry Potter fan, and that I’d found a fantastic pattern for the sweater Hermione wears in Deathly Hallows Part I… the post is here, if you want to refresh your memory. I bought the recommended yarn from Knit Picks and it sat for a couple of months, until I decided it was time to knit the sweater.

This sweater was certainly an adventure. First of all, to be fair, the designer, while she has several patterns on Ravelry, only has the one garment pattern. Of her 13 patterns, 10 are crochet patterns. This should have been a warning that this wasn’t going to be smooth sailing. I was smart, and went through other projects and read the notes, and felt an impending sense of doom. So many comments about things that were wrong, or needed to be modified! It was discouraging, and I hadn’t even cast on yet! I’m not so easily dissuaded though. I did my gauge swatch, measured the kid, and started knitting. I figured I’d use the experience of other knitters who’d already made one to make the process easier.

Problem 1: The yoke is designed badly. The original sweater from the movie was apparently purchased at H&M, and is seamed, rather than having a yoke. Knitting in one piece is easier though, so I can see why the designer chose to make it this way. Also, nobody is going to tell you that you’re sweater is wrong because it is a yoke rather than being seamed.

The problem here is that the increases are weird the way they’re written, which skews the colourwork pattern. Many knitters who have made this cardigan used Elizabeth Zimmerman’s method. This preserved the colourwork pattern.

Problem 2: The yarn requirements were way off. I’d only knitted the hood and had not quite finished the body, and only had 2.5 balls of yarn left. I knew there was no way I would be able to knit pockets and two sleeves with that much yarn, so I had to hunt for more, because Knit Picks was sold out. I eventually found someone who was destashing two skeins.

Problem 3: Lots of people complained that the sleeves were too big. I had to decrease them considerably. I also chose to knit them in the round, inside out, because I didn’t want to have to seam them and I also didn’t fancy purling them.

DSC_4837 The sweater, in the end, turned out nicely, and the kid is happy with it (though it was too warm to wear by the time it was finished). I did have a request for another one from my best friend, but I told her I’d never knit this sweater again. I didn’t keep detailed notes, and didn’t want to have to fight my way through it a second time. I’d be happy to knit her something else though!

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The cabled button band was knit as the sweater was knit. The whole thing, aside from the pockets, is one piece. I had expected to have to pick up stitches, but the only picked up stitches were at the underarms.

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I do quite like the pointy hood. Hopefully the kid gets a lot of wear out of this sweater. And there’s already dibs on it if/when they decide they’re not into it anymore… My best friend wants it when the kiddo is done with it!

My Ravelry page is here.

Minoru, part VII, the collar, pockets & sleeves

DSC_4536There’s a rainfall warning for today – we’re expecting 50-70mm of rain in the city. What a perfect day to spend inside, sewing a rain jacket! I’m excited, because today I get to start making it look like a jacket! First, I had to sew the collar to the neckline of the jacket. Remember my comments on using heavier thread to do the gathering stitches? It won’t gather at all, because of the rubbery backing on the fabric. I ended up doing small pleats instead, facing the shoulder seams, which is better anyway, because they’re not as bulky as gathers. The nice thing is that because this reduces the bulk, I was able to seam seal the collar after topstitching. Look at that nice zipper with its reflective tape! Fancy!

I had to stray from the sewalong again, because I am adding pockets. I decided not to do welt pockets, because of the placement of the waist gathers. Therefore, I used the tutorial that Tasia linked to here. No pictures, as that’s all covered in the tutorial. I did, however, make my pockets a little deeper than the tutorial.

DSC_4535Once I’d finished the side seams, I sealed the sleeve seams, but since I was starting to run short on seam tape, I didn’t seal the body side seams. I topstitched the side seams, but not the underarm seams, because the stiffness of the fabric would have made it really difficult. I’ll use liquid seam sealer on the body side seams. I trimmed all of the seams to 1/4″ before sealing.

My next post will detail how I will make the casing for the elastic, since I don’t plan on following the pattern instructions for that step. I can’t do anything else on the outer jacket right now, because my liquid seam sealer needs at least 8 hours to cure, so I’m going to sew the lining and baste the remaining reflective tape to the front zipper.

Minoru, part II, in which I sew a muslin

Sunday was muslin day! Exciting, right? Maybe not, but making a muslin is an important step, especially when you’re using fabric that is expensive, hard to come by, or leaves no room for error! Tasia at Sewaholic made a great blog post about making a muslin for this pattern, and it might be interesting to give it a read.

As for my muslin, I needed to make almost no adjustments to the pattern, which surprised me. My measurements put me in a size 16 in the high bust and waist (I measured over top of my down underlayer, and loosely, so there’s some wiggle room in my measurements), and a 10 in the hips. Remember, Sewaholic patterns are made for a pear shaped figure, and I’m more hourglass shaped. This means I always have to grade down in the hips with their patterns. This is a bit of a disappointment for me, because I’d really love to sew the Thurlow trousers, but they’d be a nightmare to adjust.

Anyway, once I worked out my size, I looked at the finished measurements and saw that there’s much more wearing ease in this jacket than I had expected. Even in the sleeves! My arms are about 13″ at the bicep, and the sleeves measured 18″ at the armpit, so I’ll have plenty of room. My full bust is 43″, and the bust of the size 16 is 47″. Again, plenty of room. No sleeve adjustment! No FBA? I’m shocked, actually, but this makes the jacket so much easier for me, so I’m certainly not going to complain!

I cut out the size 16, and graded down to a 12, because I wanted it a bit bigger around at the bottom, and I generally don’t like grading down that many sizes. Then I hunted through my stash for sacrificial fabric, and found two lengths of coordinating pink quilting cotton that I had purchased to make knitting bags and never used.

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Sewaholic Minoru muslin, photo taken with jeans and t-shirt underneath.

Here’s the end result. Yes, the muslin looks ridiculous, but I didn’t plan on making a wearable muslin, so I don’t care. I only cut the outside pieces, since I’m not worried about the fit of the hood, and didn’t need to bother with the finishing touches.

As you can see, the bust fits fine, but I think I’ll add another 1/2″, just to be safe. There’s plenty of room in the sleeves. The waist is a bit large, but that’s likely because I didn’t have 2″ wide elastic, which is what the pattern calls for.

The sleeves are about 1.5″ too long, so I will have to adjust the sleeve length, but otherwise, the fit is good. I may end up using a shorter piece of elastic, because the recommended length for my size doesn’t draw the jacket in enough at the waist. The placement is perfect, however. I tried the jacket with my puffy down underlayer, and it fits well with the down, so I’m ready to go forward with cutting this size, once I adjust the sleeve length.

DSC_4482I have yet to determine my pocket placement, but I’m hoping to make welt pockets like I had on my last rain jacket, which I handed down to my daughter since it doesn’t fit me properly anymore. I prefer zippered pockets on jackets, because I’d hate to lose my keys while walking the dog! I may get lazy, however, and just do side seam pockets using this tutorial. It should be fairly easy to add zippers, but my preference would be welt pockets. They’re fairly simple to do, it’s just the placement and angle that are a bit of a challenge.

There are a couple of things I’m going to change… I’m not a big fan of the way the waist elastic casing is sewn, especially since I’m making a waterproof jacket. I will sew an actual casing, rather than through the lining of the jacket. This way I can seam seal the casing, and stay dry. I’m also going to line the hood. As I mentioned previously, I’ll be adding piping along the raglan shoulder seams, as well as down the centre of the hood.

The only places that I can see seam tape being necessary are on the hood and on the raglan sleeve seams, as well as the underarm seams. The gathers at the collar won’t work with seam tape, so I will use liquid seam sealant.

My zipper facing will go on the inside of the jacket, though it will depend very much on how much fabric I have left after cutting everything out. I am cutting it pretty close on my yardage, so it is possible that I won’t have enough for a facing.

I do have one complaint though. Usually, Sewaholic has excellent, very detailed instructions, but this pattern is lacking in that department. The instructions for the collar are unclear, and if you’re doing view B (without the hood), there are no instructions at all. They do have a sewalong on the blog, but without reading through all of the posts, the collar instructions wouldn’t have been clear. Not everyone thinks to look for sewalongs, so the written instructions that come with the pattern really ought to be more detailed than they are.

I bought the zippers and elastic that I need today, since Fabricland didn’t have what I needed. I’ll be cutting out my jacket shortly.

Grey floral Granville

I needed a new, neutral shirt to wear with my Owligan, so I made another Sewaholic Granville, because I know it will be trouble-free, and I’ve already done the pattern adjustments. The only problem is that my upper arms have, um, grown a bit since the last one I made, so I had to add some ease to the sleeves. Yes, I can still wear the previous one I made, but the sleeves are a tad snug, and that’s just not comfortable.

DSC_4375I used the Curvy Sewing Collective post on sleeve adjustments to add ease to the upper arm. Turns out my upper arm measurement is only 1/4″ less than the actual sleeve measurement, so I definitely need to do the adjustment. I added just shy of 1 1/4″ to my sleeve width.

This adjustment is surprisingly quick, and I finished within five minutes. Just make sure to add your seam allowance when you draw the horizontal line, and draw it from that point, rather than right at the corners where the sleeve meets the cap. You will also have to redraw your grainline, because this adjustment shifts it outward more at the top end than it does at the bottom, and you want your sleeves to be on grain.

I traced the new sleeve onto a piece of pattern tissue, since I don’t enjoy manipulating multiple layers of printer paper when I’m pinning my pattern. Normally when you do pattern adjustments like these, you would put a bit of paper in the gap you created, tape it in, and carry on with cutting your fabric. I find patterns adjusted this way difficult to store, and difficult to pin, so I traced it onto tissue.

DSC_4377The fabric I chose is a quilting cotton. I know, “garments shouldn’t be made from quilting cotton”, but it was pretty, neutral, and the price was right. It also reminds me of a colouring book for grown ups. I couldn’t find anything I liked in the shirting fabrics, because all they really had were stripes and plaids, and I didn’t feel like messing with matching. THIS is why I didn’t want go go with plaid – I’m sure the finished product will be worth all of the extra work, but I don’t want to do that much matching. This is supposed to be quick to sew, remember?

At any rate, I’ve successfully sewn garments out of quilting cotton dozens of times. Would I have preferred a lovely Liberty of London fabric? Absolutely, but there was nothing interesting at Dressew, so quilting fabric it is. In fact, if you’re interested, Tilly & the Buttons has a great post about sewing garments out of quilting cotton, and I recommend that anyone considering it give the post a read. She does warn against sewing garments with sleeves in quilting cotton, because it is frequently stiffer than fabrics intended for garments, but I say, you be the judge. Some quilting cottons have more drape than others. My fabric is quite soft, so while it is certainly thicker than garment fabric, it has similar drape to a lightweight flannel, and flannel shirts are really popular for autumn!

DSC_4399I cut out my shirt on Tuesday, and finished it on Friday. I am pretty pleased with my new shirt, and I think that while the quilt fabric is a bit thicker than shirting fabrics, it works pretty well. I wore it out to dinner with my husband over the weekend, and found it very comfortable to wear. Remember the caution against sewing garments with sleeves in quilting cotton? No problem, they’re quite comfortable, and don’t feel stiff.

Here is a list of shirtmaking posts on the Sewaholic blog that are handy when sewing this shirt.