Knit Bodice: Color Blocked, Sweater Knit

Please pardon odd pose:

Don’t know how the camera caught that pose, but it works to show the front of my finished sweater knit top.

My fabric is an acrylic, emerald/black-marl sweater knit. I love the color and the fact that it is opaque.  It is one of the few so-called sweater knits purchased this year which are opaque.  Being opaque, I can focus on embellishment, construction or even fit.  I used my basic dartless block which is fitted for T-shirt knits.  I established an empire line 3.5″ down from the underarm; then traced the upper portion of the back and front pieces.  I repeated the process on the sleeve.  This allows me to use the fabric in a color-blocking manner without the need for additional coordinating fabrics.  I’m using the purl side as the public side on the upper bodice and sleeve, the knit side is public on the lower bodice and sleeve portions.   I attached the lower and upper portions using a laped seam application on my cover stitch machine. I’m hoping that the raw edge of the knit will curl slightly and add more emphasis to the lapped seam.

The stretch factor was a real problem. Not so much width-wise, but length wise. It took 3 fittings to bring the empire line up to where I wanted it.  I didn’t take any length from the lower portion. (Originally the hem was at my knee).  I took almost 3″ from the bottom edge of both front and back pieces the sleeve needed no length adjustments.  But the weight on those upper bodice pieces drug the fabric down, down, down.  I also needed to curve the front so that I took more off at the side seam than center front.  This in effect creates a hidden bust dart and a leveled the hem.

Whoops a little velcro butt goin’ on.

I removed 3″ ease from the sleeve wrist tapered to 0 at the elbow.  I feels like the ease is equal all up and down the sleeve.. Neither too tight nor too loose.By the time I got to the hem, I was ready to be done, done, all the way done. It is folded up, lightly pressed (might could have used more steam)  and top stitched at the Dream– I didn’t even use the threaded coverstitch!.  That’s because I spent so much time fitting and working on both the faux ribbing neckline and sleeve cuffs. Faux ribbing was created at the cover stitch but that could be a serger or sewing machine technique. Just depends on what you want to do. For this project, I wanted to engage the cover stitch.   I did attach the ribbing on the Dream.  At the sleeve I serge finished one edge, then serged the other edge to the sleeve. I serged the long sleeve-underarm-bodice  seam; turned up the serge finished edge of the ribbing to meet the ribbing/sleeve seam and using the Dream’s overcast stitch with G foot, over cast the edges. It looks serged. I preferred this finish because the cuff is pretty narrow especially with the faux-ribbing drawing it in even more.  Also I sew from underarm seam to underarm seam but don’t try to cross that seam. It leaves a small unattached area that has never caused me problems.  It’s just easier for me to maneuver all this under the SM foot instead serger.

The Dream really came through for me when attaching the faux-ribbing at the neckband.  I always baste the neckband to my garment. It’s the only way I can avoid a frustrating ripping session. It’s hard to tell exactly how much the neckband needs to stretch so that it will fit smoothly both at the neckline and around my neck.  I use 80% of the measured neckline along the raw edge. Then baste using Water Soluble Thread.  If I can’t persuade the neckband  to lie nicely, a spritz of water and it’s ready for me to adjust and baste again. Seconds–no frustration. Once I’m satisfied that the band will fit, I join the ends using the quilter’s bias join.

But here’s where the Dream Machine was a dream come true.  It has a laser guide light.  Wherever that light shines is where the stitching is going.  With the quilter’s join, I’m trying to stitch from one corner to another. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve goofed that.  It had gotten to the point I first stitched this line with WST. No more. Turn the light on, align and go.  Love it. Love it. Love it.   If I use the laser guide for no other purpose, it’s a winner for me and worth the purchase of the machine.



5 thoughts on “Knit Bodice: Color Blocked, Sweater Knit

    1. Thanks . Yes the laser is just what I needed. It is very easy to turn on/off and makes the quilter’s join so easy to accurately stitch. Can’t wait tomtry it with pockets.


  1. I enjoy reading your thorough posts for all the techniques you utilise. I am also enjoying the small tid bits about your new machine – congratulations! My Dream machine is sitting in its box in our hallway waiting to be opened on Christmas morning (the box is far too big to fit near the Christmas tree as you know). I am like a child counting the sleeps till Xmas. Please post lots more about your Dream machine experiences.


    1. Carolyn
      Congrats on your machine! Yes much too big too fit under the tree that’s why I set mine up immediately. I will definitely be mentioning my machine in future posts.




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