My love-hate relationship with sewing knits continues with the Visby Henley top from Itch to Stitch. It’s a wonderful pattern — as always with Itch to Stitch. I just keep forgetting how difficult it is to sew knits on my 1950’s Singer sewing machine. I did sew quite a bit of this one on the serger, but little details like plackets just can’t be done on the serger. Singer did come through for me in the end, and I’m happy to add this cozy sweatshirt to my work-from-home winter wardrobe.
I used three different fabrics, all from Sewing Studio, here in Portland. They are made by Belgian designers, See You at Six. Two are french terry and one is a ribbing in the same color that I used for the wrist and bottom cuffs. I added 2″ in length to the sleeves — which I do for all patterns. This sleeve may not have needed it because of the extra-long cuff design, but I still appreciate being able to pull the cuff over my hands.
This henley has three views and I chose the most complicated: View C with the hood and front placket. I didn’t give a thought to how difficult a button placket would be on a very stretchy french terry. If I make this again, I’m definitely going with the flat-front option!
I’ve done a couple hoods in the past, so that was no problem. I had a hard time deciding if I wanted the hood in the pattern or just plain peach. Eric voted for the patterned hood, so I went with that. The hood is lined — which I love. I actually added a hood lining that wasn’t in the pattern for my last sweatshirt, the Castillo Cardigan. For this one, I turned the french terry inside-out and used the terrycloth side for the lining. The hood is now perfect to wear if my hair’s wet!
Now on to the button placket. I veered off course when pinning on the seam cover for the neckline. The seam cover is a beautiful feature, but it was NOT supposed to go over the top of the button placket.
The interfaced placket was supposed to fold over onto itself. First you fold it with interfacing out and sew the top (like you would with the edge of a skirt waistband), then you turn that inside out to make a nice top edge. Presto!
When I finally worked this out, I was bothered by my stay-stitching, which was now very visible on the sides of the placket. Nothing really could be done, so I’m calling it a design feature and not a mistake.
As I mentioned above, Singer struggled through with some really wonky stitching. I have to use a microtex needle and walking foot. I’m not sure which one causes the stitches to look like this. I’ve tried a ballpoint needle and it won’t even go through the fabric!
Thankfully for now, social distancing prevents anyone from seeing this stitch line. All the matters is that the garment holds together!
Let’s not forget the placket buttons. I can’t even bring myself to show a close-up. The button holes are a hot mess.
I found it amusing that these buttons are at least 40 years old, and their price had depreciated from 70 cents new to 25 cents at a thrift store in 2021.
Good to know that La Petite buttons are still going strong.
Not sure what I’m going to do about knits. I may just give in a buy a Singer Heavy Duty exclusively for sewing knits and terrys, and maybe the odd pair of underwear. For now, though, I’m going back to easy cottons! -rp