SEWING THE TOASTER SWEATER (Version 2)
Woohoo! It's 2017 and that means Project #SewMyStyle has begun!
I could not be more thrilled to have two amazing blog contributors on this month's project... Both Sara from thesaraproject_ and the pattern designer herself Peggy from Sew House Seven have kindly offered us their top tips for sewing the Toaster 2.
FIRST, DETERMINING THE FIT.. AND THAT CROPPED HEM
Toaster Sweater designer, Peggy Mead says, 'The base size pattern was fit on a 5' 6" model with a full B cup. If you have a larger bust, you may want to think about adding length. The bust width is quite roomy but check the finished measurements to be sure.'
Sara added, 'I sewed the Toaster 2 with no adjustments in a size small. The hem has a slightly cropped style. I like this length paired with high waisted jeans, layered over a button up shirt. However, I am planning on adding a few inches in length to my next version.'
Let's also get some advice on buying fabric, if you haven't already done this. Peggy said, 'You need 20% stretch around the body (some fabrics don't have much stretch in the other direction and that's fine as long as the stretch is around the body and not vertical). Don't choose fabrics that are too fluid, such as rayon knits, as you need some structure to your fabric to keep the neck from collapsing.'
Sara added, 'I used a grey french terry for mine, but I have two more Toaster Sweaters planned for this month using a sweater knit and a waffle thermal knit. There's lots of options for this pattern.' Scroll to the bottom of the page for Sara's suggestions on online fabric choices for the Toaster 2.
On equipment, you'll be glad to know that both Sara and Peggy are working on a domestic sewing machine, rather than an overlocker (or, serger, as they're called in the US). (Yes, even though it's a knit!) Here's what they had to say on the matter:
Sara said, 'I personally do not own a serger (overlocker) and I sew with knits all the time. You can use a regular sewing machine with knit fabrics but make sure to use a ballpoint needle.’
Sara and Peggy use slightly different stitches when sewing the Toaster Sweater, but the principle behind both methods is the same: a zig-zag or stretch stitch is required to prevent breakage and unraveling. Sara said, 'Use some kind of stretch stitch instead of a straight stitch, otherwise all of the your stitches will break if you (or your child, this has happened to me) happen to tug too hard at the seam while wearing your garment. I prefer to use a lightning stitch or a zig zag stitch. Peggy agreed with Sara on the matter of stitch type when sewing with knits. She said, 'Straight stitches can easily break when the is pulled however, I do a straight stitch with a medium stitch size (not too small a stitch) so that the seam is smooth and then a zig-zag or stretch stitch (if your machine has one) right next to the straight stitch.This is called double stitch. The zig-zag or stretch stitch is the most important stitch that holds the garment together more securely, the straight stitch is just to keep the seam looking flat and even.’
SEWING THE TOASTER SWEATER
Peggy also kindly gave us some advice she's gathered up over the years of making the Toaster Sweater. Here are her top tips:
ON GETTING THE NECK FACING RIGHT THE FIRST TIME...
Avoid neck facing rolling on tricky fabrics by edging the facing with a zig-zag stitch.If the neck facing continues to roll despite edge stitching, you might want to try attaching iron-on interfacing along the edge of the facing.
When working on the neck facing, do not skip step one. It's important to fold down the neck facing before sewing. On step seven, if you don't feel confident stitching in the ditch, or if you want an extremely clean finish, you might consider hand stitching the neck facings down from the inside instead.
ON NAILING THE HEM DETAIL...
I think a zig-zag hem looks nice on the Toaster Sweater, but if you want to use a twin needle to hem the sweater, sew slowly around the corners and use the machine's hand wheel to walk the stitches slowly. Remember: you won't be ale to rotate the fabric to turn around those edges when sewing with twin needles. Instead, you'll have to carefully line the stitching up around the corners.
CHECK OUT SARA'S FABRIC SUGGESTIONS FOR THE TOASTER 2:
French Terry, Double Knit, and Sweatshirt Fleece from Style Maker Fabrics
French Terry and Sweatshirt Fleece from Fabric.com
French Terry from Stylish Fabrics
Want even more? Why not head over to SewDIY for some more helpful advice and tips on sewing the Toaster 2 Sweater.
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