“If only the sleeves were longer.” “If only the neck was loser.” “I wish I had shaped the side seams.” “If only” or “I wish” thoughts are prevalent in the world of hand knitting. They are phrases I very much want to avoid, of course, as they create your beautiful handiwork to have a lot of shelf time and I knit to wear my garments. Unfortunately, they are phrases that all knitters have had at one time or another including me when expectation and reality do not meet and to me, the talented knitter is not one who knits but is one who knows how to avoid or solve their “if only” moments. Also, one who actually wears their knits if that is indeed the knitter’s purpose for knitting. I believe I am in the midst of such a situation, admitting it, and coming to terms with it. I may have an idea you may want to borrow if you have an “if only” issue that is similar. Here goes:
So, I am now the proud owner of Blue Skies Trench, written about here. Yesterday my mom and I had a date for brunch. The perfect weather and opportunity to wear and show off my new project. I did not pull it from the shelf to wear. Oh oh . . . Expectation did not meet reality? What is going on?
The question then, of course, became why? Why wasn’t I in a mad dash to wear and show off my latest ‘work of art’ especially to my Mom who I would like to think is one of my biggest fans? Perfect circumstances, yet I chose another piece. It is always tough when you come to the realization that something doesn’t seem quite right with your ‘latest’. On the other hand, how great to be honest with yourself as that may lead to a solution!
Yep, something was bothering me about my trench coat. A little background info. The only reason I have photos taken of my projects is to get them online. I am not comfortable with modeling and I do not feel like I am friends with the camera (ha, camera man and I are friends). It has gotten a bit easier with experience, but it is the toughest part of the end game of a project. However, the camera does not lie. With photos, one can really detect if the garment and/or you look like you think or want to look. I look very carefully at the photos after they are taken. I pay particular attention to the knitted garment to inform me of its quality. I check seams, the way it lays on me, the fit, how I’ve fashioned it, to name a few. And, in these recent photos of the coat I noticed a glitch that I did not notice when trying it on through the process of making. (I do not own a body form.)
I did not like the way the front bands were turning in. Below, is a good picture showing this. While I love the collar (here is a close up of that detail) . . .
I do not like the way it is hanging below the waist.
So, the issue for me is how to get the bands to lie flat at all times, in other words, to not curl in. To this, I recalled my years of sewing. What could I possibly do to prevent this? Somehow, back the bands with twill tape? In the ‘vault’ of sewing supplies, I found some double folded bias tape about 1 inch wide (purchased from Joann Fabrics.)
Thinking that if I sewed the bias tape over the knitted seam where the band was particularly turning in, it would act as a stiffener and keep the band flat like I wanted. Not wanting to add weight to the coat itself which is delightfully lightweight, which is why I chose acrylic, I wanted the shortest length of seam tape as possible. After sewing it on to both sides of the front below the waistline,
I tried it on and the bands are indeed lying flat. Even when I pulled out the fronts so they didn’t have my body to guide them flat, they stayed flat. At least, flatter. I think this may work and I no longer hear my little inner voice saying negative things. I will especially know when the opportunity presents itself to wear, again . . . will I pull out my Blue Skies Trench? I will let you know.