Two Knit Tops
What a busy time of year! I have not been sewing as much as usual, but I have finished a couple of knit tops. These were quick and easy to make projects because I used a pattern I have used many times before. So, I knew the pattern would fit. I used McCall’s M6964 pattern for a basic long sleeve pullover knit top. I used fabric from my stash. I believe I purchased the teal print knit from Fabrications in Richland, Michigan and the solid teal knit from Zink’s Fabric Outlet in Ligonier, Indiana.
I was not really happy with the last couple of tops I made from this pattern. I thought the neckband did not lay as flat as it should. It seemed to stand away from the neckline a bit. I decided to cut a different band and then compare it to the pattern piece. I looked up how to make neckbands in the book, Knits for Real People, by Susan Neall and Pati Palmer. I measured the circumference of the neck around the seam. I multiplied that number by .75 and added two seam allowances. That gave me the length of the band and I used 2 ½ inches for the width. I cut the band on the bias. I used this method to make the band for the solid teal knit top and it worked well. I basted it first to check to see how it looked and I was happy with the result.
When I sewed the print top, I checked the neckband I cut from the original pattern piece. The width was the same as the other (2 ½ inches), but the length was longer. I decided to use that band, but I cut off the extra length. I also basted this band to the print top. I was unable to attach the band without puckers in the top. The band was too small! I wondered how that was possible because it was the same length as the band for the first top. I looked at the pattern piece and notice it called for the piece to be cut on straight of grain, not the bias. I was amazed. No wonder the bands cut by this piece did not lay flat! Fortunately, I had enough fabric left to cut another band the same size on the bias. The bias-cut band was easy to sew onto the neckline without puckers. I will use this pattern again, but I will not use the pattern piece for the band. Pictures of the two tops are shown below:
The lesson learned from these two projects is this. If something you sew does not look quite right, try to figure out what is wrong. It may be something you can easily correct before using the pattern again. You may need to change the pattern or you may need to practice a technique to improve your skill.
I hope you are sewing something fun!