Sweaterday: The Home Stretch

Miss Vivian, as I have taken to calling my sweater (in my head, that is; this is the first time I’ve referred to her as such “out loud”), is very nearly complete… ish. Both sleeves are done, and last night I joined them with the body and started working on the yoke decreases, leading up to the saddle shoulders.


After the shoulders comes the hood, and then the weaving in ends and blocking and then finished! Except, not. There’s the pesky matter of adding some sort of closure. Typically, that closure is a zipper, and while I love the idea of a handknit zip hoodie, the idea of actually sewing in the zipper makes me a bit squeamish. I’ve never tried to sew anything onto knitted fabric, much less a knitted fabric that I’ve spent weeks knitting. I’m sure I’m making a bigger deal of it in my mind, but I also know that I’m going to have to do this zipper-sewing by hand.

My sewing machine is temperamental at best, downright devilish on its bad days, and there’s no way I’m letting it get anywhere near my handiwork. I have great plans of learning to sew, but I think they’re going to have to follow great plans of saving up money to buy a new machine. In the meantime, I’ve got to figure out the best way to approach sewing a zipper into knitted fabric by hand. Has anyone done this before? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


8 thoughts on “Sweaterday: The Home Stretch

  1. Wow, she sure is a beauty! I love the colour you chose and the cables looks delicious. Unfortunately I’m not any help with the zipper issue- but I think it would be great with one.

    • I’m feeling slightly more optimistic about this zipper business, but we’ll see. There’s a chance I could get to spend part of my weekend installing a zipper.

  2. She’s lovely, Amy. I just hand-sewed a zipper into a Zodiac sleep sack for J’s teacher. My hand stitching is atrocious on the backside, but from the outside, it looks ok. I tried using the zipper foot attachment on my sewing machine, and had pretty decent success with a spare zipper and some fabric on the trial run, but when I started sewing in the real deal, it didn’t fare so well. My suggestions— line it up, pin it, line it up again, pin it again, baste it first, and for the love of all that is knitted– make sure the zipper WORKS before actually sewing it in.

    I don’t know if you’re adamant about finishing this by yourself, but don’t you work in an office full of crafty people that could be persuaded, either by chocolate or yarn, to help you, or even do it for you? There are lots of tutorials out there, but sometimes I have to have someone there looking over my shoulder to get it right. 🙂

    Can’t wait to see it finished!

    • Thanks Angie! I guess as long as it looks okay from the outside, that’s what matters. If the inside really bothers me, I can always buy some pretty ribbon and fabric glue. 😉

      As for my co-workers, most of us have trouble finishing our own projects, much less taking on other peoples’. 😀

  3. I haven’t tried the zipper, but I’ve read about attaching them, and it seems very straightforward, but takes patience. I would straight pin it to your knitting, then stitch very close to the zipper – but take care you don’t sew it so you might catch the knitting in the zip! Unfortunately the hand-sewing will probably take an hour unless you are one of those gifted hand-seamers! ^_^

    It’s lovely!

    • I try to avoid seaming and hand-sewing at all possible costs, so I’m not sure I’m really one of those gifted hand-seamers. I’m a gifted avoider! 😉

      My plan of attack at the moment is to turn the sweater inside out, pin it together, then pin the zipper, fully zipped to the sweater, and then if I’m feeling really gung-ho, I may baste it in first and then get into the knitty-gritty sewing.

      I may resort to fabric glue. There’s no telling.

  4. If the zipper hand-sew does not work out, I would take it to a tailor to install. They have great machines and they install zippers every day. If I get too squeamish about finishing items, I tend to bring them in for a professional. I, too, am saving up for a machine that won’t eat my knitted items. I want to try steeking, darn it! 😉


    • I did actually manage to get it in by hand, and it was much easier and less headache-inducing than I thought it would be. 🙂

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