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Sep 9, 2013

Experimenting with Terrycloth Knit (with a-meh-zing results)



Today I experimented with Simplicity 9993, the vintage (Seventies?) men's knit pullover pattern I was thinking of using for a sweater knit project.

I decided to try Version 1, which is a raglan long-sleeve pullover with a neck facing instead of an attached neckband.



The only stretch knit I had around that was appropriate was some vintage striped terrycloth I picked up at a thrift store last year.  It's colorful, but the colors don't particularly flatter me.  It makes me think of Halloween candy.



Cutting up terrycloth, I discovered, leaves a lot of lint behind.  Get out that sticky roller!



I cut my terrycloth carefully so all the stripes would line up.  If they didn't it would be very obvious at the point where the sleeves attach to the front and back.





I stitched everything on my sewing machine (my Kenmore 158.141) first, and then brought it to my serger.  Even with just three threads, the seams feel very strong.



One of the problems with a stripe this wide, I discovered, is that the raglan sleeve creates a very pronounced rectangle toward the neck (that top orange stripe).



Here's the pullover before I stitched on the neckline facing.



In retrospect, I should have just strengthened the neckline with some knit interfacing, turned the edge under at approximately 1/4" and edgestitched.  Instead, I added the facing as per the instructions, stitching at 5/8" (and serging off the seam allowance).  I then topstitched around the neckline at 1/2".

The oval boat neck-style neckline doesn't really work with that angular orange stripe.  (UPDATE: Michael likes it -- he says it looks French.) 



I mean, it's OK.  The stripes match, which is good, but the stripes don't work with the raglan sleeve, imo.  Live and learn.



It was meant to be a muslin, after all.  It's not a disaster, just very "meh."

I'm very uncertain how best to finish a neckline of a sweater knit; I'm not sure this boat neck style would work best, though I guess it depends on the knit.  With a ribbed knit I could probably fashion a neckband.  I'll have to see what fabric I use.

That's it, readers.

Have a great day, everybody!

27 comments:

  1. I gotta say, it's very striking. I've got various knit muslins that I wear around the house. That one would be especially nice on a rainy day. You've done a very nice job.

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  2. Oh just give it Michael. He loves your mehs. I like the colors. So does he. You don't. It's a no-brainer. You have your own sewing "Mikey" which is nice because nothing go to waste.

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    1. ..give it TO Michael...I meant to say/type.

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  3. It's beautifully made and I think that you'd like the square effect if the knit had a narrower stripe or if you just liked the colors! I use cross grain strips of self fabric for binding necklines or complementary solid colors. Ribbed bindings are rarely available in anything close to a color you need.

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  4. I think its the big orange stripe that does it in. In grey or taupe tonals it would be cool. Or make the sleeves a solid. And whats with view 3....thats different.

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  5. I love it, I agree it's frenchy, but also it has a 60's Beach Boys feel too. You could be Dennis Wilson!

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  6. I like the stripes and the rectangle effect!! I agree with Laura...very Beach Boys!

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  7. Emmaonesock has a guide to finishing sweater knits; I found it very helpful. I like your 'muslin'. It's very cheerful.

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  8. I'm sorry Peter but that photo with the outstretched arms just made me burst into a snotty laugh! A muslin OK. Don't leave the house in it.
    Just have to be honest. Carry on.

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  9. SNORTY not SNOTTY. Stupid auto correct.

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  10. Could be a cozy pj top for winter, some plain orange or green pj pants and you're all set :)

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  11. Perfectly matched stripes, impressive !
    I'm a bit at lost with the "it looks french" sentence. What does looking french mean ? Probably one of those obscure things you have to be an American to get . Saying that though, I must say that this T-shirt does look somewhat familiar and wouldn't be out of place in my part of the world.
    well done !

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    1. It looks like a French boatneck/sailor shirt, a Marinière?

      http://frenchgirlinseattle.blogspot.com/2011/10/la-mariniere-french-sailor-shirt.html

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  12. Hm, yeah, you should not use a bold striped fabric. In my experience, you can't match stripes on a raglan shirt anyway (only in parts), not unless you force the fabric. Doesn't the raglan have a slight curve in your pattern?
    The sleeves are twisty, they just don't look right. They look worse than the neckline - which I actually think looks fine, square and boatneck and all.

    Why not try view 3...;) Or check out what's wrong with the sleeves first.

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  13. In a tone on tone stripe in a fall color, that stripe matching will look great. I did learn that if I use a 1/4 inch black and white stripe I look too much like an animated eye chart.

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  14. Really interesting. I can't remember seeing striped raglan sleeves, although of course I am sure they are out there on the racks somewhere, but you have me thinking I might could do some sort of dress like that for my daughter who has very wide square shoulders on a slim frame. With the neckline squared off with stripes . . . hmmm, interesting. But I am worthless with a machine and knits. Tried different suggestions but always end up with stretched out seams. I'm so jealous of the more capable sewing enthusiasts.

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  15. You look like St Patrick's Day! Really. Have distinct memories of my Irish expat mother dressing us in these colours especially, but not solely, on 17/3...

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  16. The colors and fabric look more like robe or pool cover up material to me, but I don't mind it. Besides, as noted, it was a muslin.

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  17. I think the square stripe neck is ok, but then I laid out a vintage Stretch and Sew pattern this weekend with a square neck raglan to possibly make soon -- so I'm rather in the mood for this sort of thing. I was wondering how it would look in a stripe, so thanks, I'll use your muslin as my muslin too.

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    Replies
    1. If I were cutting it again I'd keep that orange stripe a little further from my face.

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  18. I have a knit muslin that I intended to toss but kept until I reworked the pattern and it wound up getting worn as a pj top. Maybe that would work for you.

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  19. I'm with Michael. It looks French. It is a very 70's color combination, though.

    PS: I forgot to mention how darling your cousin Cathy looked in her lounge pyjamas and kimono. To. Die. For.


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  20. I like the stripes, but then I am French :-).
    For neckline: clear polyurethane elastic to stabilize. If you follow those facing directions, you have no one to blame but yourself... If you want to learn how to sew knits, follow Jalie directions instead.

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  21. very on trend with the neon colourway, and pretty great stripe matching for a "meh muslin". Fit is good too. In fact, I think I kinda like it! Is the fabric cosy or scratchy? Completely unrelated to how wearable it is, I'm just curious really

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  22. I agree on the meh, but you're getting that opinion from a girl who doesn't really like those colors or widish stripes as a general rule, and can't get over the square + boatneck thingy going on there. It's an eyepopper for sure!

    I do have a suggestion though - check the selvedge to see if you can use that as binding. I bought some nifty stretch lace for a summer cardi, and could NOT find matching binding or anything that even looked good with it. BUT the fabric has a very wide non-lace selvedge that will be perfect to bind it with. So now I check for that opportunity when I buy fabric.

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