Thursday, 22 May 2014

cheap frills #1... a tutorial

little red cardi

imagine a sensibly shaped cardi in a happy shade of very hot orange. round-neck, buttons, sits comfortably past the hips. indeedy, in every way (except the colour), deeply boring.

this is what i did...

chopped the bottom welt off, plus an inch.
hand-sewed this strip around the neck to make a collar. 
used a left-over bit of the strip to make a pocket for keeping the shed key safe. 
finished the raw edges around the bottom with a crocheted picot edge.

it took two evenings.

despite this being a tutorial, i won't blither on about how to cut, sew and crochet as looking at close-up photos will help more. if you are going to have a go, feel free to add lib. cardis are pretty personal after all. 

#1: little red cardi

cut off the welt from a too-long cardi, plus an inch more, which gives a nice frill to play with

i used blanket stitch in matching embroidery thread to sew the strip around the round neck. as the strip was too long, i cut it in half in the middle and rejoined it making it shorter, which allowed me to use the two nicely finished centre-front edges at the front of the collar. (the original bottom button hole is underneath the butterfly brooch)

you can see the blanket stitching here. blanket stitch has built-in stretch which makes it perfect for knitted garments, unlike machine stitching which would be rather rigid. here you can see i used a bit of pretty bias binding to make a handy hanging loop.

a bit left over from the collar strip was used to make a pocket.

the raw bottom edge was not likely to last, so it was turned under, pinned then tacked into a neat hem. i blanket stitched along the edge then used fine hairy silver grey yarn to create a picot edge, working one row of double crochet, followed by the picot edge.

as the hem was only turned back once (otherwise there would have been an unsightly bulky ridge), i  covered the raw edge by hand sewing more bias binding over it in a loose over stitch to allow 'give' when being worn.

and here i am!

a note...

my life-long habit of rustling up a new skirt/cardi/pinny has become more regular than occasional.

this year i have already rustled up an apron or two. these go under the 'shed wear' label. 
i have also made myself a Merchant & Mills 'factory dress' (see above), which should be called a 'wear it every day' dress. number two is in progress and number three is planned for winter. and now, because it is still cold when nipping back and forth to the shed, i have moved on to cardis. 

i'm not suggesting that you snip up your precious hand knits but the wear-it-every-day shop-bought machine washable version that won't snag when it comes into contact with an upholstery tack. as affordable shop-bought cardis are dreary and dull i've also taken to seeking out pre-loved nice ones. (nice = lots of wool/cashmere)

cheap frills #2 which is another chop and change cardi coming soon...

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