slouchwear revisited

Those of you who have been following my adventures in stitch, will be aware of my deep seated desire to make loungewear I would happily answer the door in. And whilst I have no desire to be anything other than a 6 ‘o’ clock pyjama wearing semi-hermit, I’m keen to expand my choice of evening attire.

There have been some tentative forays with varying degrees of success:

It’s only when I booked on a couple of workshops with the queen of knits herself, that I felt the door to this secret club swing open for me. The Roewood from A Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts and T-shirt from The Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking are not my usual style of skin tight top and a-line shape silhouette. But I signed up regardless, as I was keen to glean any wisdoms I could from someone who held the key to my slouchwear aspirations. And I’m happy to say, with my knit game strengthened and both items in regular circulation, the investment more than paid off.

On reflection, one of my main stumbling blocks was treating knits in the same way as I do a wovens and by that I mean shoddily and with a distinct lack of respect. I live in a tiny one bedroomed flat and my living room is my every room. I’ve got by cutting denim and craft cottons on my carpeted floor but I’ve finally woken up to the fact I’m going to have to find an alternative surface for knits.

I’ve also grappled with curling edges in an attempt to find those elusive selvedges – spray starching and ironing them out of shape. I recently learnt that most knits are constructed in the round and that when cut and glued, the selvedges might not even be true. Finding the grain line is as easy as following a couple of ribs in the fabric and pinning them straight. And my enduring struggle to find the right side of the fabric has disappeared in the knowledge that the selvedge rolls to the wrong side and a cut edge rolls to the right.

With my new found confidence, I finally felt equipped to cut into this medium weight french terry I picked up from Dots n Stripes a few months ago. I was fortunate enough to meet the shop owner at a stitch show in Manchester and she kindly helped me choose a navy single jersey for the contrast sleeves and bands. Both materials are cotton in composition with an elastane content of 5 and 8% respectively.

For my first Linden I cut on a on 10 based on my waist and hip measurement and this was way too big, so I sized down to a 4 grading out to a 6 at the hip. This time I cut on a straight 4 and the only alteration to the pattern was to take 5cm off the length at the shorten/lengthen lines. And you know what, I can’t quite believe I’m writing this but it came together LIKE A DREAM. So much so that I’m now in an obsessive loop, contemplating which knit project I’m going to dive into next.

I cut the material out on a table, not the floor and I can’t emphasise enough how key this was to my success. I also used my now beloved walking foot and machine basted every seam before overlocking. I couldn’t bear to bring a knife anywhere near the neckline, so to finish this seam I used the mock overlock stretch stitch H on my Janome Sewist and – after seeking Wendy’s advice – top stitched around with a regular straight stitch. The result has surpassed all expectations and I now own half of the slouchwear outfit of my dreams. Coming up with the goods for the bottom half will be no easy challenge but I’m in this comfort seeking game for the long haul.

14 thoughts on “slouchwear revisited

  1. brilliant tips there Aimee (I normally look at the knit stitch and truly never figured the other! – for me – if a knit looks to curly I dont buy it!) I adore that fabric and contrast – fine work

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Absolutely stunning fabric and a gorgeous top. To my shame I haven’t finished tracing out my Ottobre top yet. I just found it just too complicated for my headspace at the time and now I am into grant writing season. One of these days. I don’t know much about sewing with knits but sewing comfy things would be fab. This looks lovely. Xx

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    1. The fabric is really lush isn’t it – thanks for your lovely comments. As for the shame -chuck that right out of the window. Projects, aims and aspirations are good to have but they need to work with what’s going on in our lives. Sometimes I find they are seeds that I return to years later. As for sewing comfy things – that’s now high pm my agenda 🙂


  3. Too gorgeous to just lounge in – this must be seen out and about. You really have come on in your stylish interpretations and choice of fabrics in whatever you do. X

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been happily sewing with knits for 2 years (and recently I’ve been on a serious bender with them – Tees, longish nice tops, and even undies!) and never knew that the cut edge rolls to the right and the selvedge to the wrong! How did I ever miss this in all the classes, books and blogs I’ve been reading??? Love your Linden (I think I have this pattern but I’m not 100% sure which is an embarrassing admission of stash guilt in the extreme) – the blend of fabrics makes yours just perfect 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I picked up that gem of knowledge in Wendy’s workshop – I love it when you discover new things and your mind is a little bit blown! I must say I’m a little proud of this make – it was a stellar choice of fabric and my Linden has a big head from all the compliments 🙂 I still have a long way to go with my knits confidence but I’m finally hooked. Best wishes for the new year – I hope it’s filled with creativity and many more knits 🙂


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