Sunday, January 8, 2017

Steeking Made Easy: Preparing and Cutting a Sewn Steek

On Thursday I got my act together and cut open my purple Fusion cardi.

Step 1: I prepared the field of cutting by weaving in the cast-on end at the centre of the steek at the neck, and then simply taping all the other ends in the direction of the knitting. Before taping, I made sure that the tension of the stitches leading to the ends was even. I used regular invisible tape. I've found that masking tape tends to adhere a little too much.

Step 2: Next, I loosely basted down the middle of the two stitches at the centre of the 8-stitch steek, to aid in their identification during the sewing.

Step 3: Upon uncovering my Bernina, I discovered that it was loaded with thread almost the same colour as the wool. Not good. To make the cutting easy, I need a high degree of contrast between the wool and the thread (the stitching, especially on the right side, sinks into the knitted stitches, almost disappearing).


Therefore, before proceeding any further, I loaded up my machine with the above light-coloured thread.

Step 4: Using a small stitch, from the right side I sewed down the centre of the marked stitches, sliding the basting out ahead of the machine sewing. I was careful to overstitch the beginning and the end of the stitching to secure both the upper and lower edges. I was also careful not to catch any other parts of the garment unintentionally, nor to stretch the fabric. My mantra was, "HANDLE WITH CARE". You will notice that the stitches disappear into the right side of the knitted fabric. However, from the wrong side all is well, because the machine stitching is perfectly visible there.

Step 5: With small, pointed, very sharp scissors, from the wrong side I cut open the steek.

Ta da!
 P.S. Don't worry. The thread will be completely invisible when the steek is folded back and finished. That's why it makes sense to take advantage of the visibility afforded by the contrasting colour. 

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