Sunday, 10 April 2011

Knitwear Refashion #2

Ok, so maybe you remember just before MMMar '11 kicked off, I made an unnecessarily long explanation about why I was including knit and sweat refashions into my personal challenge rules. This was in contrast to my previous me-made/self-stitched challenges in which I pledged to (and succeeded in) only wearing stuff I'd made from scratch. You may also remember that for MMMar '11, I only got round to refashioning one piece of knitwear, the ubiquitous green cardi (which I am wearing right this second in fact, thus confirming its ubiquity!). Well, last week I finally got round to refashioning/remaking a second. Just in time for it to get really hot. Genial, no?!

Anyways, I'm pretty pleased with myself nonetheless. It's not like chilly windy weather isn't likely to return at any point. In fact, I would say that this garment IS pretty genius in that it is can be worn as it is when the weather's Spring or Autumn-like, but can accommodate either a vest underneath and/or cardi over the top when it's colder. I fear I may have made a practical garment here folks...

'But how did you make that garment, Zo', I hear you cry? Well, I started off with a large secondhand mens Marks and Spencer 100% wool jumper that had a distinctive moth hole and food stain embellishment on the front, and a secondhand womens stripey sleeveless knit top that had stretched and bobbled in a particularly unattractive manner. First I hand-stitched the mens jumper's moth hole up, and disected the garment along the side seams, neck seams and around the arm hole. I used a basic knitwear pattern (that I developed some time last year by cutting up and tracing off another secondhand womens jumper that I liked to fit of) and laid the pattern pieces for the front and back parts so the jumper's bottom ribbed edge would be encorporated into my remade garment, thus alleviating the need for me to worry about how to finish off the bottom edge. I made sure what had been the front of the mens jumper became the back of my reworked version, so if the food stain didn't come out in the wash, it was no biggie unless I got involved in a random back-inspection!

In a similar vein to the hem-ribbing scenerio, when I re-cut the sleeves, I simply moved my pattern so the cuffs would hit the 3/4 point on my new sleeves so I didn't need to fiddle with the sleeve hem either (are you catching my effort-saving drift here?). I didn't even cut and open up the original sleeves to recut them, I retained the sleeve hem as it was and cut them still folded in half. If the cuffs of the original jumper had been worn and/or saggy, I wouldn't have used this approach.

For the contrast shoulder yoke panels, I simply drew a nice shape on the pattern, traced that part off and made a little shoulder yoke pattern piece. I used this to cut away the shoulder part from the front body piece, reatining 0.5 cms seam allowance to attach the new pieces. The yoke pattern piece was then used to cut new shoulder yokes from the stripey jumper, equally adding 0.5 cms seam allowance to attached them to the body.

(sneaky inside peek)


Now I began construction. First I attached the new contrast should yokes to the main body using an overlocker (serger). I then attached the front and back pieces on ONE shoulder seam only. Next, I cut off the original neck band from the stripey sleeveless jumper (which was in good condition and would be longer than needed for my new neckhole) and while being careful not to stretch the out the currently-unfinished neckline, I measure the length of my new neckhole and cut the recycled neck band the same length minus 4 cms. (Making the neckband smaller than the neckhole stops the neckline becoming floppy and keeps its shape better.) I then overlocked this neckband to the neckhole, pinning them together at the beginning and end of the seam I was about to stitch and at strategic points along the two edges so that the ease would be spread evenly.

With the neckband in attached, the second should seam and side seams could be stitched up. Then the sleeves were stitched into the armholes (lots of pins at strategic points are advised, particularly at the underarm point and shoulder point!). I 'turned' all the loose threads, by which I mean I threaded all the loose ends, or tails, of overlocking threads that were hanging about back into the overlocking seam which traps them in and stops them unravelling.

This jumper took me half of one lunch break to cut out and half of the next day's lunch break to stitch together, such a pleasingly rapid creation. It is possible that I might receive the question: could I do this without an overlocker? To be honest, I wouldn't want to but I'm sure you could, but you'd have to take care that the edges didn't stretch whilst using your flat-lock machine to stitch the seams together, and I'd use a zigzag stitch. I mainly wouldn't want to because I'm lazy and I like the internal neatness an overlocker creates, but I certainly wouldn't want anyone to be put off from cut-and-sew knit creations such as this. If you've got one or two unwanted pieces of knitwear lying about or salvaged from a charity shop, if it doesn't work out, you've lost little and learnt some sewing lessons. Happy refashioning lovely peops!

16 comments:

K.Line said...

Great work!

montanachic said...

That is a great idea to add alittle interest to a plain sweater :)

didyoumakethat said...

I love your new jumper.

Amy said...

Hello from a long-time reader. I wanted to say thank you for inspiring me to remake a favorite old sweater of mine that's way too big and a bit moth eaten. I can't wait to give it a cozy new life using your tips and tricks.

Tilia said...

Cool refashioned piece that is! I would never think about doing this.

Tilia of Linden blossoms in my tea

christina said...

That's a lovely sweater and the contrasting yoke panels are such a good and inspiring idea! Have a nice and inspiring week :)

Sølvi said...

Very cool! Love the contrasting panel, such a great refashion - really good!

toboldlysew said...

Very cool! I must give this refashioning thing a go one of these days - but somehow feel I'm lacking in the creativity department!

Miss P said...

Great combination!
Px

Carmencita B said...

I need a serger! Aaaah!

casserole said...

This is such a cool idea!! I linked to your sweater refashion over at Craft Gossip Sewing:
http://sewing.craftgossip.com/cool-idea-contrast-shoulder-yokes-on-a-sweater-or-t-shirt-refashion/2011/04/11/

--Anne

Daruma-san said...

Sooo cute. I really like those colors together!

Darci said...

Thanks for the great insight into your jumper! I frankensew, too, so knowing how you put your garment together was SUPER helpful. Cute jumper, too!

And hopefully there will be NO random back inspections. :)

Thanks, Zoe!

Clare said...

Ooh yeah. I like this a lot!

Corrine said...

Wow, what a cute refashion. It has a very artsy/handmade feel to me. Nice work.

ruby murray said...

Gorgeous a totally wearable Knit refashion and one I'd never even thought of before.

I found you throught refashion coop, stop by if you get the inkling, (I'm a Brit but now in Canada): http://www.rubymurraysmusings.blogspot.com/

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