Be brave and steek with it

I spent 6 months knitting the Sparkle! A-line jacquard dress from Vogue Knitting’s 25th anniversary issue.

I was so impressed that I managed to do the pattern perfectly, I didn’t measure as I went. And in the end, the dress was far too large (and yes, I did swatch it and wash the swatch and all the rest. I guess my tension changed over the 6 months or the weight of it stretched it or I measured wrong to start with – let’s move on though…)

I fixed some issues by sewing larger seams at the sides, taking it in by several inches. But over time, the dress continued to grow and it was just too large and droopy to wear. After it sat for several months, seeming to accuse me of neglect from a pile of mending that sits under my sewing table, I took action. I decided to steek it.

Wikipedia offers a good definition of steeking – it’s basically reinforcing some knitted fabric with a line of stitches (hand or machine) and then cutting through all that fine knitting you spent so long on in order to shape the garment. Otherwise known as one of the most terrifying prospects known to the steeking newbie.

But, I figured ruining the dress by trying to fix it was better than it sitting there forever, unloved and unworn. And many had steeked and lived to tell the tale, so why the heck not try it?

So I measured up, taking up the shoulder seams and taking in the side seams. I sewed three lines of stitching on the machine (yes, that’s more than needed, but I was nervous), summoned up my courage and cut out the excess. Here’s what I cut out:

Overall, the dress fits much better now, but there is still work to be done.

I think it should be shorter

I think the straps should be thinner

And I need to find a way to keep it from drooping – by the end of the day, the hem in the back was a good 2-3 inches longer than the front. I’m thinking of lining it – but it may take another few months before I can face more work on this. (Did I mention I hate revisiting things in order to fix them?)

Anyone else ever steeked? Or any other suggestions on how to turn this labour of love into something I really do love?


2 thoughts on “Be brave and steek with it

    • Love that phrase – Oh my giddy aunt. 🙂 But it did take me months to get up the courage to steek it. Do I recall rightly that you are thinking of steeking something? It’s really not so bad, once you get over the fear…

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