Plaid wool knit sweater
I recently have fallen in love with a new silhouette for myself, and it’s been a lot of fun playing with it: a cropped pullover. Whether it’s in the form of a hand knit sweater (which started my obsession) or sewing my own tops, I’ve been loving this shape lately.
This version was the third I made from the same pattern, Butterick 7557 from around 1956. Great envelope artwork too, right?
Many vintage patterns specify types of fabric recommended, but this one didn’t. In my mind though, it was perfect for knits! Kind of a cropped vintage version of a Tilly & the Buttons Coco.
I made this version in a plaid Rick Owns wool knit. What a delightful fabric! Thick and squishy, enough grip it didn’t slide around at all when cutting, and the topstitching stitches just sunk right in.
On one side the knit stitches are clearly visible and the other site is more of a brushed texture, and I decided to go with that as the right side, even though it was probably meant to be the back.
I did take a tiny bit of a risk with the fabric. I really hate hand washing if I don’t absolutely need to do it, so I threw a swatch of the fabric in the wash. It came out exactly the same size as it went in! Since it was a swatch, I went ahead and threw it into the dryer, too. It came out the same height and just a tad narrower, which I was even able to kind of tug back into position. So… I went ahead and washed and dried the yardage. It might have beefed up the density a tad perhaps (hard to compare yardage to a small swatch), but it definitely didn’t change much. Now I can machine wash it, though I’ll probably line dry anyway.
Construction was a breeze, as I sewed the whole thing except the hems (which were just a simple zig zag) on my serger.
A tiny tip, if you construct on a serger but also need to trim seams as you go: I’ve come to find I’m a lot more accurate when I baste a neckband (or cuff) on first, checking to make sure I didn’t sew in any puckers or accidentally take up too much of the band on one side, causing it to look wonky. Then I can take it to the serger and trim and serge at the same time (since this has a 5/8″ seam allowance), and with no pins to worry about in a narrow space, to boot.
I love that stand up funnel neck so much!
Another large scale plaid for me. Why do I keep doing this to myself?! This time, I decided visually where I wanted the horizontal lines to fall (widest bands above and below my high bust), and matched the plaid at the side seams of the body. And then just cut each sleeve the same as one another. I actually managed to get some of the lines matched up on the sleeve but that was pure accident as it’s a dropped shoulder, so I didn’t even try to match it. I did match up the collar and used a different part of the plaid than where the neckline ends, to add a little visual interest.
I know you’re “supposed” to line up knit neckband seams at a shoulder seam, and in fairness the pattern specifies to do that, too. But after a first version I had a hard time telling the back from the front quickly (1 out of 100 chance I remember to sew a little ribbon into the back neck as a visual aid). So I centered the seam at the back neck so I could grab and go. Not going to lie, I totally put this on backwards still the other day. Ha ha!
I’m a knitter as well as a sewer, so the idea of sewing sweaters is not something I’m used to. But I knew this shape would be a great match for a wool knit, and I’m so glad I was right!