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Sep 19, 2013

The Vest Is Yet To Come!



Today I made Michael his houndstooth wool knit vest.

I don't want to say it came out better than my long-sleeve sweater, but the second time working with this sweater knit, I felt much more on top of my game.

For a pattern, I used a different view from Simplicity 9993 -- a long-sleeve V-neck sweater.  I just left off the sleeves, lowered the armhole a bit, and added a waistband.



I had more than enough houndstooth; in fact, I probably still have enough for a couple of dog coats.

The big challenge on a V-neck is, of course, making a perfect V on the neckband and attaching it.  I did not want to make a neckband with an overlap at the front like I've made on knit jersey shirts; I wanted a true V.  I used the Simplicity pattern piece, made a sample to test it out, and proceeded.





Before attaching the neckband, I interfaced the front of the V on the sweater, since I'd have to clip into it, 5/8" deep.  I used a weft weight knit interfacing I had on hand.







Then I carefully, carefully stitched on the neckband. 

Here's what it looks like from the inside (this is the underside of the neckband).  The gray at the center point is the corner of my neckband; the black is the interfaced part of the V on the sweater itself.



And from the outside.



For the armhole bands, I measured the armholes and cut the bands about 2-3" smaller.  As with the neckband, I attached the band to the sweater with my sewing machine and then serged over the stitch line.





At the point where the I serge off the circle edge, I add a bit of Fray Check.



Here's Michael with just one armband attached.  I took another inch off the bottom before adding the waistband, which is relatively wide.  Cute, no?



The waistband goes on like all the other bands.  After it's attached and serged, I gently press (with steam) the seam allowance up, which is the way it naturally wants to lie.





There's a bit more pressing of seams and edges to be done, but so far, so good.

You'll notice on this sweater (and the long-sleeve one from the other day) that I do not stitch around the rib knit bands (as one usually would on a cotton jersey shirt).  It isn't necessary (the seam allowances steam quite flat) and it wouldn't look very professional on a wool sweater, imo.



I think I need a break from knits for a couple of days and no doubt you do too.

Have a great day, everybody!

31 comments:

  1. You did a great job on the vest, but your overlap link isn't working. It looks like Michael is very pleased with his new vest!

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  2. This is gorgeous! You did a fabulous job with the bands!

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  3. Very nice. Those v-necks are tricky when one doesn't do the overlap cheat, and I imagine even more so with sweater fabric rather than regular knit stuff. You did a great job.

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  4. Now Michael can break into song, "Be our vest, be our vest!" (Simpsons reference) :)

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  5. You, Michael AND the doggies all in houndstooth! I can't wait for the family portrait.

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  6. It looks fantastic! I really love the V neck. I always struggle with those a bit. I have made some vests for my sons and I really struggle with the armhole ribbing. I don't like it to flare out and can't seem to settle on the right slope, etc. This looks good!

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    1. Jane, when you join your two edges to make the band loop, shape the seam so that it looks like an inverted semi-circle. The top of the circle will be narrower than the edges. When you fold the band in half, the top of the fold (now the inner edge) will be narrower than the outer edge. That should help some.

      Also, make the band a few inches shorter than the armhole (think negative ease).

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  7. That really looks great! Classic vest in some classic houndstooth. :)

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  8. I got some tips from you in putting in the V neck binding. Where did you get the wool knit ribbing? It looks very professional! Holley in Roseville MN

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    1. Holley, I found a regular sweater knit with a tight rib in a solid gray. I bought half a yard of it to use for all my bands, which I cut out myself. This way they can be different widths (e.g., the waistband is wider than the neckband).

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  9. I wasn't too keen on your choice of fabric at first, but I must say now that your hound tooth knit is growing on me. And, yes, Michael does look cute in his vest !

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  10. Oh Peter
    Your knits go from strength to strength. I've been so good and not bought a sewing machine in almost six months and now you have me hankering after a serger so that I can play the knits game.
    Hugs
    G

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  11. Oh Peter, are you and Michael going to walk the dogs, all wearing matching tops? What a sight! LOL!!!

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  12. Looks great, Peter, but I muss say that the armpits should be more carved, IMO. Have a look on pictures of wool vests and you will see.

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  13. It looks so darned good! You inspired me and I broke out the Mood sweater knits I bought on MPB day. So far, so good! Just one sleeve and hemming left to do.

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  14. "Best headline Award" was yours, then you gave us Miss Peggy Lee; Peter you are one class act.

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  15. Looks good.

    Are you sure that was weft interfacing? It usually has lines, like this:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=weft+interfacing+image&rlz=1C1CHWA_enUS546US546&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=Uj08UvDbBvbd4APu8oGgBA&ved=0CC8QsAQ&biw=2051&bih=965&dpr=1

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    Replies
    1. I guess it's a sheer, lightweight knit interfacing.

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  16. This is inspiring, Peter. If this is what you can do on the first 2 projects of working with sweater knits, what will you do when you are experienced?! Truly, I love the vest. I want a picture of you and Michael together with your sweater knits on.

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  17. Great vest and sweater, Peter. When you sew first with your sewing machine do you use a straight stitch or a small zigzag? What machine are you using?

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    1. I use a straight stitch on my Kenmore 158.141 zigzagger. Then I serge just over the stitch line, so the final seam has plenty of stretch. As you can see I didn't do this at the bottom of the "v" in my v-neck for fear of ruining the placement, hence the original stitches are still visible.

      All that said, it wouldn't be wrong to use a narrow zigzag either -- it's just to hold the band in place till I serge it.

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  18. Stupendously good. Very inspiring too. Wonder if this would work making a knitted waistcoat?

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  19. i just had to pop in and say that i've been reading your blog for a couple months now, and i find you very inspiring. i just got a new (to me) machine, a vintage Singer from the early 1960s, and i have only so far been able to sew a straight line on a very good day. (at least i've figured out how to put in and fill a bobbin, and how to thread the thing, right?) as an example of my skill, moments ago i somehow managed to shatter the tip of my needle... bet that doesn't happen to you! anyway, i gave up what i was messing around with and came to check my RSS feeds, and lo and behold, here's this gorgeous vest you're working on. suffice to say it inspires me. so i just had to say thank you for keeping up with this blog, and giving guys like me some hope.

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    Replies
    1. Welcome, Frank. For what it's worth, I just broke a needle yesterday while trying to sew a thick denim cuff (I was shortening the sleeves of a jacket Michael's sister had bought). Hang in there and thanks for the kind words!

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    2. i was literally working with fabric from an old t-shirt, haha. <:o)

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  20. Great work with both pieces! I'm totally inspired to sew sweaters now! But how do you plan to launder this fabric? Did you pretreat it at all?

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    Replies
    1. Mary, I didn't pretreat. Like any wool sweater, when it gets dirty I'll hand wash and air dry.

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  21. Another needle breaker here!

    The vest looks adorable on Michael. Bravo for making such a beautiful knit garment. I'm impressed with your circle serging. I've not been able to do that well despite practice.

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  22. I'm so ready for fall weather after seeing this! Beautiful work.

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  23. Looking good! It's been years (decades actually) since I've had a sweater vest. This is making me want one.

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