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Sep 17, 2013

Testing My Knits + FAKE FUR UPDATE!



No doubt some of you are eager to find out what became of the fake fur throw I bought at the Salvation Army last week but was hesitant to use for fear of bed bugs.

After reviewing your many excellent recommendations, I decided to go with the "launder it, you have nothing to lose but $5.99" camp, so yesterday evening I carried it down to the laundry room in its knotted white plastic bag, and carefully loaded it into a washer.

Long story short, it worked!  After washing it, I dried it completely and then some, for nearly 45 minutes.  The results?  It does have a bit of a laundered look -- the hairs are more clumped looking than before though this is barely noticeable from more than a foot away -- but I feel much more comfortable using it.  So thanks for all your good advice and keep your fingers crossed that any critters it might have been harboring (or their as-yet-unhatched spawn) have been eradicated!





Today I started sewing test samples of my new knits.  I changed the thread in my serger and made sure that the tension was set correctly for the sweater knits I'll be using.



I experimented with the ribbing, testing how it looked stitched next to the larger gauge houndstooth.



I also tried adding that "v" shape just beneath the collar band that you find on many (though not all) sweatshirts.  I have a vintage sweatshirt pattern that has that, and the "v" is simply an extra layer of fabric that's appliqued on with a zigzag stitch.  So that's what I tried with my sweater knit.  I think the result looks pretty good for a sample.  What's the point of that "v" anyway?

UPDATE: You can read about the origin of the "v" here.



The wrong side looks like this:



Again, from the right side:



My only question is how well this will read, given that the houndstooth is already so bold.  On the sweater I posted yesterday, the "v" and all the trim is black.  On my sweater, it's light gray.  Is it worth the trouble?   I kind of like the sweatshirt styling, which includes a somewhat wider waistband and cuffs.



Another option is piping (made with my rib knit) added to the raglan sleeve seams.  I'm just not sure if this will add too much thickness at the seam, though the seam allowances will be serged.  Maybe I need to test that too.

And that's it -- I think I'm nearly ready to start cutting -- probably tomorrow.  I don't expect the actual construction of this to take a long time; it's more about working out all the kinks before I get started.

Have a great day, everybody!

20 comments:

  1. I do like the wider waistband and cuffs, but am more iffy about the v detail.

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  2. I like the V! High end detailing kick it up a notch!

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  3. So glad the laundry option worked. Something ventured and everything gained huh?! That houndstooth is lovely. I have dreams of owning some and making a short, preppy jumper to wear with long socks and short skirts (this will never happen, but it's nice to daydream). But back to your actual plans.... I like the vee. Sometimes the less obvious details are the ones that really make things pop. The ribbing looks like a perfect match too.

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  4. I think this is going to look great - and I like the V (though I've never considered it before). I didn't even realize that detail was on so many items! (Guess I need to pay more attention.)

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  5. Just commenting that your first photo is crying out for a caption, perhaps .... Beasts of the Southern Wild (Manhattan Style!)

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  6. As a knitter, it didn't even occurred to me to "sew" a sweater. (duh...) It's faster than knitting, and I like that. Next time I find a nice knit fabric, I'd like to try making a sweater. Can't wait to see yours completed.

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  7. Have you tried the "flatlock" (I don't think it's a proper flatlock, but a lookalike) on your serger for those raglan seams?

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    1. I should. I'm afraid the wool might be too bulky, but maybe I'll give it try!

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  8. I V-ote for the V. :-)

    Have you considered using black thread for the topstitching? Kind of an opposite of the RTW sweater you show, and a piping look without the bulk. I bet your old ... er ... vintage ... Viking has a stitch that will mimic the coverstitch look close enough to make a nice impact.

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  9. I like the wider wristband and cuffs too and I say "nay, nay" to the V. This is going to be a great project!

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  10. Another vote for the V! Though, since my name is Virginia, I'll always be partial to Vs of all kinds.

    This sweater is gonna be great.

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  11. I would keep the V and the deeper ribbing but skip the piping - there is such a thing as guilding the lilly.
    Hugs
    G

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  12. I would fall on the V side of the fence, but I think it is important that it is large enough to read against the pattern. For me, that would mean the V would extend down through two repeats of the houndstooth, pretty much like the photo of the sweater. Less taken with the thought of wider waist and wrist bands, but that depends on the body wearing it, such as a longer or shorter torso.

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  13. I like the V but agree that it could be larger. Actually, the reverse side with just the stitching looked OK as a detail to me too. Bigger wristbands and waistband fine too, but I somehow don't think piping would work in that rib knit.

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  14. I like how both the ribbing and the v look. I've been sewing for years but honestly I've never even thought of buying sweater knit and sewing up my own sweater so I am eagerly awaiting your results!!

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  15. If you "V", match your ribs with the neckline band.

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  16. 15mn at 60oC is enough to kill bedbug eggs, which are the main thing to worry about (incubation period: 2 weeks). That's 140oF for you.

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  17. I would try gently brushing the throw to see if you can fix the "clumpy" look.

    And yes, you made the right decision to wash the throw because your sanity and peace of mind are worth more than a secondhand throw. I don't live in a big city but I ended up with bedbugs anyway. My life was pure HELL for 8 months- first trying to figure out why I was covered in a horrible red itchy rash (the doctor was mystified and I had never known anyone with bedbugs) and then months of sleepless nights and frustration until we finally convinced the landlord to bring in a professional (I recommend heat treatment because it worked like a charm for us). We have been bedbug-free for months now but I will always have a certain level of paranoia and anxiety about bedbugs. Since ours came from a hotel, I will never be able to bring a single one of my belongings into a hotel room before tearing the beds apart for inspection. My heat treatment guy said that the wall-mounted headboards are the worst because they make a nice undisturbed haven for the bugs.

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    1. I actually thinking of going camping even though I don't like camping instead of using hotels the next time we go away. I just don't want to deal with all the problems that picking up bedbugs in a hotel would mean and finding a way to clear them out of the house and car for good.
      I'm so happy for you that you found a treatment that worked. I'm right there with you when it comes to the paranoia and anxiety (and a wild desire to scratch my skin off just thinking about it.)

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  18. That "v" has a purpose, or perhaps a vestigial purpose. It acted like a gusset, sort of, to provide a little reinforcement when the sweater was stretched over the head. Anyway, that is what I have been lead to believe. I think it looks great! Also, love the doggie pics!

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