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Don’t know how to knit, but still want to make yourself a sweater? These days fabric stores carry a wonderful selection of sweater knits, so you can create your own cut-and-sew knit garment. Check out my knit project, and some sewing techniques I used.

I purchased this lightweight interlock sweater fabric in neon green and grey. I love the stripes in the fabric, it makes a really ‘iconic’ sweater. I used our Jersey Top pattern to make my sweater. Since my sweater fabric was pretty lightweight, I didn’t want to use a cardigan or baggy pattern. For the inserts in the pattern I used some leftover black mesh fabric from my sultry Little Black Dress project. Using little scrap pieces of fabric in a new garment is such a great feeling!

The only pattern alteration I did was make the hemline a ‘hi-lo’ style. So I shortened the center front by 1 1/2".

This fabric came in a ‘tube’ format, so there was two folds on the fabric. I find these folds to be very permanent so I never use them for my center front or center back fold line. I find it easy to cut sweater knits with a rotary mat and blade. It really makes the edges smooth and with no ‘jags’ from scissors. I wanted to add a band on the neckline (like self ribbing). So I cut a long band 2 1/2" wide, with results in a 1" finished width band.

For my top I used my serger to do an overlock seam finish. But you can use any of the above ‘stretch’ stitches.

I assembled my front top and sewed ONE of the shoulder seam to the back. Then I folded my neck band in half widthwise and serged/sewed the edges to my neckline seam from one shoulder opening to the other. Then I sewed the remaining shoulder seam, making sure to sew the neck band edges together (and securing my serging). I then attached my sleeves and sewed up my side side seams from sleeve hem to top hem.

You could also finish the hem and sleeve hem with bands like the neckline, but I used my coverstitch machine to hem these edges. A Zig zag or stretch stitch could also work.

Here is my completed top! I love the mesh inserts and the ‘cozy’ nature of the fabric, I am going to get a lot of wear out of it this fall and winter. It is a great piece for a casual outing, or even lounging around the house (in style). Try making one yourself, this top only took me about 2 hours!

Here are some other patterns that would work great sewn in sweater knit fabrics. The Chill Dress has a relaxed silhouette that would suit any fuzzy knit. Or how about our Esther Cardigan, it would work great in those heavier fabrics. I didn’t forget about the boys! Everyone need a great sweater, and our Andrew Sweater is the perfect pattern.

Are you going to try sewing with sweater knits this season?

- Meg

11 Comments

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    Oct 17, 2013, 03.04 PMby listentofate

    love the techniques you used!

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    Oct 15, 2013, 05.21 PMby SewAshlyn

    Thank you for this tutorial. I will definitely try it.

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    Oct 14, 2013, 05.44 AMby Monp

    The mesh inserts look great. If you want a flat neck band, measure the neck line, cut the neck band one third smaller than the neck line measurement. (easy way is to fold your tape measure – measurement into 3) Then ‘quarter’ the neck line and mark with pins, same with the band. Match up the pins and pin the band to the neckline at these marks. Stretch the band in between the quarters to fit and then sew.

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    Oct 11, 2013, 05.58 AMby Deeba007

    Thanks Meg, I just need that :-)

    1 Reply
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      Oct 11, 2013, 03.28 PMby MegH

      Your welcome!

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    Oct 11, 2013, 01.51 AMby velvetribbon

    Thanks for sharing this with us! My first knit top wasn’t perfect on the neckline, so I’ll give this technique a try :)

    1 Reply
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      Oct 11, 2013, 03.28 PMby MegH

      No problem! Yah, there are a bunch of other neckline techniques that I will share in the future :)

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    Oct 10, 2013, 11.52 PMby ShuShuStyle

    cute! I would cut the neck line strip shorter and stretch it so that it would lay down.

    1 Reply
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      Oct 11, 2013, 02.52 AMby MegH

      Haha yeah I thought about that… but I really wanted the stripes vertical and the fabric wasn’t a stretchy that way. In retrospect I should have made the band smaller, but actually when I tried on the top I kinda liked the stick up effect, haha. It was like a mini portrait collar! But for sure cutting it smaller would have helped :)

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    Oct 10, 2013, 10.43 PMby Manic Pop

    Yessss!

    While I was out shopping today I thought to myself how much I hate the sweaters out today and then had an epiphany – why don’t I make some?!

    This is an awesome tutorial! I plan on buying some over-sized sweaters to cut up from a thrift store and re-stitching them to make a whole new one. The only thing about that is you have to take extra care to tape right near your new planned seam line to avoid unraveling of the knit. The fabric you used is fine because it doesn’t unravel, but other sweater knits might need some extra care before/after cutting. I’m sure there are other ways to do this other than tape, but that’s a method I am familiar with.

    Thanks for reminding me to sew up some sweaters!

    1 Reply
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      Oct 10, 2013, 11.14 PMby madebymeg

      Manic Pop – I love that idea! I’ll have to go thrift store shopping soon… Maybe if you serged/zig-zagged your cutting line before cutting that would help, too?

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