Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fun for Fall: Sweater Knit Vest

Vogue 1124
I've had this pattern since the summer, looking for the perfect striped sweaterknit everywhere. I fell in love with the sweater vest shown on the pattern envelope, and really wanted to make one just like it. Even the fabric stores in NYC didn't have what I needed: a lightweight somewhat drapey striped sweaterknit. I even checked online and nothing grabbed my attention, so imagine my great pleasure when I found this fantastic knit at the American Sewing Expo a few weeks ago! I had the pleasure of sitting in on Sandra Betzina's class/presentation, watching her model numerous samples of her patterns including this one. I even asked where she got the fabric from, but was told, "There are great vendors here, I'm sure you can find something here at the show." While I wasn't thrilled with her response, I'll be darned if she wasn't right. I found this fabulous knit with the ladies at Fabric Gallery. They are near East Lansing, and had some really nice fabrics, for any of you "Michigan Readers". The threads are khaki, moss green, brown, black... lots of different shades of green and brown! I didn't have the pattern with me, but figured that 2 yds of 45" wide would be enough... oops. The pattern calls for almost 2 yards of 60" wide "2 or 4 way stretch drapey knits only". Well, in the words of Tim Gunn, I would just have to "make it work"! And I did!!!
The pattern includes all sized in one envelope, and is sized like all Betzina patterns with letters A through J. The vest is just 3 pieces, and is a big rectangle with 2 armholes. There are 2 bias cut strips to finish the armholes with, and a piece to add on if you want it longer (I didn't). Construction (for me) went like this:
1. Finish armholes with bias strips.
2. Attach the crosswise stripey band to each side of the front.
I really liked the fringe on the selvedge edge, so I attached the band wrong sides together and left the raw edge out. I think it adds some texture and interest to the shiny knit...
3. Hemmed the top and bottom edges using lots and lots of Steam a Seam (according to the pattern instructions).
I needed a quick and easy project after the Homecoming dress and the Chanel jacket, so this was perfect! Cut the fabric after the kids went to bed, and put it together the next morning. I think I'll get a lot of use out of it, dressing it up for work, and throwing it on with jeans. I did just notice that it is much, much longer on me than the model (model: thigh length, me: knee length), but I don't care, I actually really like the look of it, longer on the sides than the front and back. Thankfully, we aren't experiencing the snow that some of you are (sorry Ann, Joanne, and Lindsay T), so our photo session outside today was fun. I love the autumn colors...
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The vintage electric is back from the shop, and running! No major repairs, just a tune up, so now it's time for me to learn how to use all those magnificent attachments! Between the antique machine and the old thread chests, my sewing corner is looking a little funny...

The thread chest next to the embroidery machine has 3 drawers filled with thread (you can see in the picture), and the other drawers house bobbins, tape measures, needles, zippers... lots of stuff!!! Last weekend as I was cleaning one of them out, I found a high school football program from 1948 tucked behind the bottom drawer. It's from a nearby community, so I might try to put it in the hands of someone actually related to one of the players listed.

Looking at the vast differences of old and new in my sewing space makes me happy. Each machine has it's own speciality and strength, and I feel very fortunate to have a dedicated space for my hobby. Now, if there was only a machine that could read pattern and fabric to predict the occurence of "wadders"... Had me one of those today, so the glory streak is over!

10 comments:

Michelle said...

That turned out great! I really love the colors, it will be so versatile with fall clothing. And it looks like the vintage White found a perfect home in your sewing area! I am sure you will have a lot of fun figuring out all the attachments.

JoanneM said...

You made it work!!!! The fabric looks great it turned out very lovely. What a great picture... And er um.........your snow is just waiting......you wait...... :)

Bunny said...

Looks great. I can see where this would become the "go to" sweater on a chilly day.

Cheryl M said...

I found your blog accidentally through Patternreview. (I'm using Sim 3978 for a costume base, and you had reviewed it.)

I have this same sweater pattern. I like the way yours came out. Yours looks great! My knit isn't striped, so now I'm wondering if mine will work.

Happy sewing.

Cheryl Macy <-- also a HS teacher (English)

Gail said...

What an interesting vest. I'm very partial to unstructed knits - you can do very cool things with them. Don't be afraid to drape it over your shoulders for a glam winter evening look.

gwensews said...

How cute is that? Perfect for our fall weather. It would be great for a football game or a tail-gate party! Since it is loose and drapey, I wonder if a soft, loosely woven fabric would work?

gwensews said...

PS. I suspect the added length on your vest is due to the weight and stretchiness of the sweater knit.

Lindsay T said...

Fun fall vest! No snow here yet. Supposed to be in the sixties this week,so we're not suffering too much.

amber said...

Looks great!

Summerset said...

Perfect for fall and you are workin' it!