Sunday, November 11, 2012

Skeleton Key Sweater, or Adventures in Stabilizer

Finally, FINALLY it feels like Autumn has come to the Bay Area. Usually the temperature starts dropping around mid-October, but this year the heat lingered until early November. Which really sucks when you're eight months pregnant and stuck in a sweltering apartment. 

Besides the discomfort, I love Fall. I love the colors, I love the cuisine (lots of soups, stews, squashes, and root veggies), I love the layered clothes. So, I've been excited that I can finally wear the Skeleton Key sweater I finished embroidering last month. 

Changing room lights make for great clothing photos!
I'm really, super-proud of how this came out! The sweater itself was a find, a $3 score on Target's clearance rack that had no defects. I figured it was a good place to start experimenting with embroidering on my own clothing, which I'd been avoiding since I prefer knit fabrics.

Knits are notorious for being difficult to stitch on, and now I see why. Even with the assistance of some tear-away stabilizer, it was still a challenge to make sure that all the stitches came out even and didn't pucker the fabric. If you make a mistake and want to re-do a stitch, you have to do it sans stabilizer, as your needle's already torn through it! It made for a few little gaps in the design, but they're hard to tell if you're not looking for them.

I used a pattern set from Urban Threads, a skeleton key and a keyhole. After a bit of research (Sublime Stitching has a great tutorial), I decided the best way to transfer was to trace directly onto the stabilizer. It worked like a charm! I used a fine-tipped Sharpie pen, no fancy fabric pen needed, then ironed the stabilizer on where I wanted the designs. Next time, though, I'm going to iron them on one at a time. By the time I finished the first design, the second one was a bit wrinkly and tough to hoop.

With the baby belly.
I'm so excited to finally have a piece of clothing that showcases my stitching! All these years, and I've never tried it. Now I'm looking at my closet, wondering which piece is going to be next.