the Knit HAF

.. that would be Louise Cutting My Hearts A Flutter shell, designed for woven patterns and made by me in an ITY knit fabric.



I’m using a panel fabric purchased from  I enjoy the challenge of border prints and panel prints. My panel had a border on each side and one across the bottom. I elected to cut the back on the fold and the seam the side borders so that they mirrored each other. Then I cut the front on the seam like it was on the fold. Confusing? I completely eliminated the bottom border from this garment, but I kept the fabric thinking it could make nice bindings. I used my HAF with the armcye dart rotated to a horizontal bust dart, but made no further allowances for the knit fabric.  I was following up on yesterday’s hunch that this shell, drafted for wovens, would fit as well as the shell’s I have that were drafted for knits.


I also elected to use simple RTW finishing techniques.  I taped the neckline and shoulders;


serged the shoulders together and discovered that even though I used bias tape, the taped-neckline would not stretch over my head. I cut the tape away, which makes my necklin 3/8 lower than usual; serged the edge, turned stitched and pressed in that order.  I used Nancy Zieman’s serge plus technique of placing the thumb behind the pressor foot and preventing the fabric from shooting out too fast.  I’ve learned that the very act of serging and stitching will stretch  our knit fabrics.  We need to take extra care to combat this reshaping of the cut pieces.  Taping might have worked if I had used a bias cut tricot.  Then again, it might not. It’s another idea to try in the future. I finished the hem next. That’s rather out of order, but I wanted to create a notch and vent at the side hems.  It was actually easiest to first serge, turn, stitch and then press the hem.  Afterwards serging the sides from hem to armcye.  I know many recommend finishing the armcyes first and then serging the side seams.  It is easier to finish these while still flat.  But I have problems getting those top edges to match exactly.  I have to hand baste before sewing and I’d just rather not.  I prefer to serge the sides as nicely as possible and then finish the armscye in the round so I can correct whatever tiny bit I’m off.  Well of course, ITY finished perfectly even, so I had nothing to correct when I serged, turned, stitched and pressed the armscyes.  BTW, I pressed over my ham.  It’s a curved seam and I’m really aware of the stretching I’m doing. So anything that will help, especially something as simple as pressing over the ham, is something I want to do.


I’m fairly pleased with the final results.


The garment fits well across the shoulders chest and bust.  I need a little less ease across the tummy and hips (entirely unusual for me) and could easily just have made the side seams wider by 1/8-1/4″.  This may be something to experiment with in the future. The RTW finish is nice, but I still have just a little gaping.  I’m really being to an@l here; most people would not notice that the neckline and armscyes are standing away from the body and I want them to hug the body.  Had I used facings, I think this would not be an issue. I always interface my facings and cut them just slightly smaller which causes the front to roll slightly to the inside and coincidentally hug the body.  I may be wrong. The garment may fit perfectly, I’m just missing the final effect of a facing.

and now the reason why I never tuck my blouses:


Even with the loss of 40 pounds, I think I can still play Santa!


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