Friday, January 3, 2014

Bimaa sweater

I've been dancing around the Bimaa sweater pattern for a few months.

I saw it on Pinterest first, and the observed how crazy-popular it was on the Internets.

So when this fabric was finally on sale at JoAnn, plus a 25 percent off coupon, I pulled the trigger.

I was glad to have the necessary supplies when some friends decided to make a trip to visit on short notice with their two adorable little boys. I had intended to make two sweaters (a 12-month-sized one and a 4T), but my twin needle bent at the end of the first one and ... since it was midnight ... I couldn't start the second one.


The pattern was really, really, really easy.

I honestly think it took longer to tape together and trace the pattern than it did to sew.

Taping together

I made the hooded version and lined it with fleece. The rest of the pattern isn't lined, but since it's made using a knit, you don't have to worry much about finishing seams.

You sew together the shoulder seams first and then the side seams and sleeves together, if that makes sense (there's no setting of sleeves). And there's no hemming since the sleeves have cuffs and there's a waistband.

Bimaa progress

The knit pattern hung around JoAnn forever, and I could't figure out why since it was pretty cute. But once I tried to cut it out, I understood why others may have avoided it. The print isn't in line with the grain. It's a four-way knit and super stretchy anyway, but the pattern being off a bit made it much more difficult to work with.

Since this was a small project and for a kid who will outgrow it in months, I didn't care too much. But if the fabric was intended for an adult garment, I would have been pissed that I didn't look closer before buying it.

You can sort of see how off the print is in the waistband here. The grain is straight, but the pattern is askew.

Bimaa sweater

But still cute as hell.

Bimaa sweater

There's a stitch on my machine that looks similar to an overlock stitch, and I used it on a few of the seams -- shoulders, side seams and the neckline where the hood attaches. But this knit showed not even the tiniest bit of fraying, so I didn't use the zig-zag stitch on the wrists or waistband, where I though the bulk of the extra stitching might bug a little guy.


This is the 12-months size, and fits a 9-month-old pretty closely. I think he's a bit big for his age, but the patternmaker isn't joking about the slim fit. I traced a 4T size for the second little dude, who is solidly a 3T, and I'm glad I went up a size.

But the slim fit is adorbs, so it's just fine.

I use a twin needle to sew knits, and it works well. It gives me enough stretch that my stitches don't tear. For some reason I can't get other stitches with a single needle -- like zig-zags of any width, longer or shorter stitches, whatever -- to not break on knits.


I lost custody of my old, massive sewing table the week after Christmas. Huge bummer. I found this new guy on Craigslist, and it'll be just fine. But I sure miss having a 6x6 foot solid oak top over two separate desk units. I know I was totally spoiled, but still. And I keep reaching to where the center drawer used to be, where I kept all my needles, feet and bobbins. Weird how muscle memory is so hard to break.

But the new table holds whiskey well. So it's got that going for it.

New sewing table


There are an assload of geese at the sugar beet factory right by my house, and it torments Tom to no end. They couldn't care less about him, and he is beyond obsessed.

So close


This about sums up my Christmas. Totally success, I'd say.


Oh, and there were hella-good cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon rolls


Also, my house has been taken over by yarn scraps. Just FYI.