Monday, July 22, 2013

lazy susan in knit sew along - day 1

sew along objective (yeah, i just did that...i promise i wont bust out an outline): to take your bodice from the lazy susan pattern and learn how to construct it out of knit fabric for a more versatile pattern.

day 1: cutting and construction for a LINED lazy susan bodice in knit. perfect for those thinner knits. :)

okay ladies. here we go. this is going to be fun! better yet, this will all be in a neat, organized place on the blog so you can continue to come back to reference. :) ps - if you are just joining us, make sure to read this blog that talks a ton about knits and has some great reference sites!

alright - BEFORE you go cutting. listen to this very important piece of information. these sew alongs work just like my patterns. please read through to the end of the post before you do anything. i promise it will help things to go smoother and make more sense!

so, to begin...our first task is choosing a size. as a general rule, anytime that you do a pattern that was constructed for a woven fabric in a knit fabric, you need to size down. woven fabrics don't have the give that knits do, so therefore when you make a knit version in the usual size, it will appear too big. for our project, the lazy susan...the bodice runs a bit wide anyways, so you are good to go sizing down. now, a little disclaimer - since this is constructed WITHOUT the button opening in the back i know you are probably wondering if it will fit over your child's head in a smaller size. both of my children have big ole heads and i tried it on both (even the largest of the two heads...sweet baby Nash) and it still worked. ahhhhh, the beauty of knits. :) BUT with that said, you must use either a stretch stitch or your serger or else you will be up the creek, promise. but, you generally need to use those types of stitches sewing knits no matter! if you don't have a serger, your regular sewing machine has a stretch stitch that looks almost like a lightening bolt. if confused, reference this blog post for more info.

here we go...

SIZE DOWN. i would usually make louisa a 4-5, so i chose to use the 2-3. first trace off the FRONT of the bodice. 
for this construction, we are going to ignore the back piece and instead make our own because we are all crafty like that. so, on the same piece you just traced, make a mark 3/8" to the LEFT of the fold line and connect along the bottom of the bodice and extend your neckline to meet that new mark. 
why the 3/8" you ask? because that is our seam allowance and to make this top lined (it is the seam allowance for the entire pattern actually), what you want to do is be able to construct it so that all seams are inside for the most professional look.

now we have our 2 pattern pieces for the bodice. let's get cutting! 

for the front: you want to cut 2 on the fold with the stretch of your knit fabric perpendicular to the fold. let me tell you a little secret about working with knits. PIN like your life depends on it. seriously. yall, i am not a pinner but you better believe i have my pins out in full force with knit. especially a slinky, rolly one like this green stripe!
okay, once your 2 front pieces are cut, set them to the side and still using the same pattern piece, we are now going to cut our 4 back pieces. 

here is a little aside on matching stripes. what i like to do is to place the bottom of the underarm curve of my FRONT bodice pattern piece at a memorable spot on the knit. in the photo above, see how i placed it right at the top of the white stripe? well, i remember that since i want the SAME placement for the bottom of my underarm curve in the back so that the stripes match up. 

for the back: i cut 2 on the fold and then cut down the fold to end up with 4 pieces. you don't have to do it this way, but i find it is SO much easier to match up patterns and stripes when done this way. SO, place your pattern piece with the extended 3/8" line on the fold (so basically your back pieces are 3/8" wider than the front) matching up your pattern/stripe as need be with the stretch of your fabric once again perpendicular to the fold. ignore the colored pencil, it had a point when i took the photo but that point has since escaped my mind!
now that you have it all lined up and pinned, cut out your back pieces. next, take the pattern piece OFF but keep the back pieces pinned together. run your scissors along the fold of the 2 back pieces so that you are cutting the fold and ending up with 4 back pieces. 
 NOTE: if you are not worried about matching patterns, then before cutting, then you don't need to cut on the fold and instead just cut 4 back pieces along the 3/8" extension line.

construction time, wahoo! 

these next few steps, aside from a stretch stitch or serger, are exactly the same construction as you would for the bodice in woven. so, place 2 of the back bodices pieces RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER with one of the front bodice pieces matching up the shoulder seams. pin in place and sew along the dotted lines. repeat with other 2 back pieces and front bodice piece. REMEMBER YOUR STRETCH STITCH.
 now head over to the iron and press all of those shoulder seams out.
on the way back to your sewing table, did you almost trip over all this? because i did. oh well, i'd rather a big fat lego than a barbie shoe anyday!
now, on a flat surface place one of your bodice pieces right sides up. NOTE: if you are doing a flutter sleeve, now is the time to add one just as you would as instructed in the pattern. place the other bodice piece right sides together matching up the shoulder seams with the other bodice piece. pin until the cows come home for real and make sure that all of your points/sides/neck curves/etc are matching up since the knit may want to move around on you a bit more than a woven would. once you are all pinned, head over to the machine and sew along the dotted lines as shown below. caution, you will NOT be sewing up the back bodice seams like you would in the woven version, instead start along the neckline.
once sewn, clip the curves. knit will work with you a bit better than a woven so you don't have to be as aggressive clipping your curves! now, go and pull the back pieces through the front via the shoulder seams and then take over to the iron and press your neckline and arm curves out.
okay, now to sew the bodice front and back together at the underarm seams. i always say, this step is way more difficult to explain/photograph than it is to actually do! here is a photo pointing out what i call the underarm seams in case you are not sure what i am talking about.
right sides together, match up the 2 underarm seams and pin them together. continue to open the bodice pieces so that the right sides are touching and pin these together. you will sew from the bottom raw edge of the bodice front, through the underarm seams and down to the bottom raw edge of the bodice back as shown by the dotted line. 
repeat for the other side and then take over to the ironing board and press out those seams. 
okay, hope you are clear as mud with what we just did with those side seams...because we are about to do the same thing for the back seam. this way, we will have one complete piece as the bodice, meaning no buttonholes in knit to fool with. you can thank me later. my machine likes to eat knit when it comes to buttonholes. :/

just so that we are all on the same page, when looking at the back of your bodice, this is what i am referring to as the back neck seams. 
right sides together, you want to match those two back neck seams up and pin them together.
now, open out the back bodice pieces so that right sides remain together and continue to pin down along the back side seams. you want to sew along the dotted line as shown below (i couldn't get my fabric to lay straight for photo, but this will be a straight line) stitching the 2 back sides (both outer and lining) together. i promise, this is SO much harder to explain!
 now, take over to your ironing board and press that back seam out and get ready to pat yourselves on the backs!!
 you have successfully completed a lined knit version of the lazy susan. rock on ladies. this is what the front of your bodice should look like.
and the back, with the back seam (NO buttonholes here!)
 as i said before, i was worried about the neck opening and my louisa's large head. however, i was happy to see that it fit over the adorable pumpkin head of this one. so, i knew i would be good for lou! can you even tell how proud he was. poor kid thought he was getting a new shirt.
now if you are a top-stitching fool like i am, you are itching to finish this puppy off. and go for it...just make sure that when you top-stitch you lengthen your stitch length (i usually top-stitch knit in a 4.0 or 4.5) and stretch it as you stitch so that those stitches don't pop when going over the head. :)

ladies - that is day 1. awesome work my dearies! please share any photos/questions/tips/etc on the brownie-goose lovers page on facebook. tune back in tomorrow to learn another construction of the lazy susan bodice. this time, we aren't lining it and we will put a fun edge to the seams as shown here!


JanH said...

Question: Is there a reason why you have to cut the back in 2 pieces, then sew together? Couldn't you just cut out the back (and lining)? What am I missing here??? Because, I know it's me that is missing something.... ha :)

~m said...

I am going to try using the burrito method versus cutting up the back and see how it works.