Fleece vs Sweater knit

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Fleece vs Sweater knit

New postby sewingrandma on Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:08 pm

I purchased McCall's 6803 for DB. It is a sweater and calls for a sweater knit or sweatshirt fleece. I've never worked with a sweater knit but that isn't the issue. All the knits I found are hand wash only and since my DB currently lives in a nursing home in another state I wouldn't bet on it ever being hand washed. I was wondering if regular fleece (not sweatshirt) would work OK instead? It stretches enough according to the guide on the pattern. I probably wouldn't put pockets on it and am thinking of making the pattern longer instead of putting on a bottom band and as far as a closure I can't use buttons or zippers because severe Parkinsons limits his hand coordination/movement. I have to alter the pattern so that it is a large chest and flare out to an XXXL in the belly/hip area due to other health issues.
Anyone have any suggestions about the fabric? How about a closure alternative? Is leaving the bottom band off and just lengthening a good idea or bad?
Thanks for any input you have.
Brockie
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Re: Fleece vs Sweater knit

New postby MartySews2 on Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:44 am

I would use fleece and just cut it larger to pull over his head and use tiny seams. I would also pre-wash the fabric in the hottest water possible and dry it on the highest heat setting so that any shrinkage is gone. That's probably how they wash items in the nursing home. When buying the fabric, I would add an extra half yard to allow for shrinkage and length. You could do a neckline with a deep V shape or have one cardigan style without any closure. Hope this helps.
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Re: Fleece vs Sweater knit

New postby kaitlinnegan on Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:37 am

Many sweater knits could be machine washed and dried despite the care instructions -- just make sure they don't contain a large percentage of wool, or they will shrink (and continue to shrink).

I think this fleece would be an excellent alternative, though. You can even buy fleece that has a sweater face, but regular fleece would do. I don't see any issues with lengthening the pattern -- I have seen cardigans like this, and I think it will still look good. As far as closure, what about large snaps? I'm not sure if those would be a significant improvement over buttons, though. There are magnetic snaps like those used in handbags, but I'm not sure how well they would work in a garment.

Velcro would probably be the easiest for hand coordination, but might cause some damage on the surrounding fabric. To minimize this you could probably put the "hook" side on the underlapping layer. I am still waiting for the higher tech versions of velcro that only stick to each other, not to other fabrics.
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Re: Fleece vs Sweater knit

New postby sewingrandma on Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:37 am

Thanks for all the suggestions. The pattern is a cardigan Marty. I'd thought of snaps Katlin but figured they'd be just as bad as buttons, my thoughts were the same on the Velcro as yours too. It really can raise havoc with fabric finishes if mismatched. I'd sure like to see some Velcro on the market that doesn't also. I didn't know they were making Velcro for sewing items that was the same for both strips. DD bought Velcro for Abby's costume and I thought I had lost a piece when I was ready to use it when I could only find 1 strip of it. I tried it and it sticks just fine to itself(and to fabric like the regular Velcro), maybe even better than the usual fluffy and scratchy strips we are used to. Thanks again for suggestions. I've got some fleece and just need to find time to alter the pattern and sew the sweater. If anyone has any other suggestions I'm open to them.
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Re: Fleece vs Sweater knit

New postby sewingmom on Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:20 am

Brockie, would heavy shoe string ties work to hold the overlapped front together, or large fabric knots instead of buttons. I saw plenty of both before the invention of Velcro. You would still put a fair size buttonhole for the fabric knot to go through. I suppose if he dresses himself he would not be able to tie the ties.
Belinda/Lindy
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at my brothers funeral last Saturday. The music wasn't perfect but was a joyful noise. We just thought my brother would have been pleased with Ronnie's progress.
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Re: Fleece vs Sweater knit

New postby sewingrandma on Thu Oct 22, 2015 1:25 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions. I think I'm just going to leave the front open as that is how my DB would normally wear it even if he could use buttons.
Belinda, sorry for the loss of your brother but am so glad to hear that you and Ronnie were able to sing at your brothers funereal. It's a big step for Ronnie.
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