Friday, 28 May 2010

Revisiting Knitwit (9200)

When I was about 6 years old, my mother tried sewing knits, which were still novel to the home seamstress at the time. She went to a Knitwit class, with Knitwit labelled name tags, which she mistakenly wore home afterwards. My Dad did not stop teasing her about admitting she was a knitwit until he died, 18 years later.


I have never understood the name of this company, but they are good patterns. I was happy to pick up this pattern at a charity second hand book sale last year. It was published in 1976.

I got it out after the May Burda deceived me. I had skimmed through it and thought the family holiday section included holiday polo shirts for the whole family (as advertised in the text). Obviously to Burda the whole family means Mum and the kids. The poor Dad has to wear a business shirt on holiday to the beach. Not in our family! The Burda polo shirt has waist and bust shaping, so I might make it for myself later.

I made the first Knitwit 9200 version from wicking polyester (on a roll here). My husband needs quicky dry travel clothing too. I had narrowed the collar by 50%, thinking that a 70's collar was not really appropriate on a current conservative polo shirt, but unfortunately the collar was still too wide, and I had forgotten that the plackets in the 70's were also very wide by current standards.

I cut off the oversized collar, and then sneakily cut off the collar from an old painting shirt polo. I used the painting shirt collar as a new pattern, and turned back the edges of the placket about 7mm and topstitched them as a placket narrowing slapdash save.

I was allowed two photographs modelled,one each front and back (with the usual headless stipulation). They are not a very good photograhs. There is a Quasimodo effect that is not the usual look. I was quite pleased with the fit, as my husband is generally too busy to be measured or have fitting sessions during the construction stage.



The shirt was approved, but I was asked to add a chest pocket with a zipper, allegedly for delaying pickpockets in Montemarte. Obviously my husband will be so enthralled with the fabric shops that he will not be on the look out for pickpockets.

I used Kenneth King's Cool Couture book again, this time adding the zipper to the ribbon welt pockets. I used quilting cotton for the welts, and polycotton batiste for the pocket bags.
I approached this with some trepidation - welt pockets on an un-ironable knit! However, stabilizing with knit interfacing (Proweft Tricot, Pam's Sewing Supplies) worked like a dream, and because of the stretch of the knit, the welts can be wriggled about to sit very nicely.It looks almost as if I can sew in a straight line (although I can't take a photograph in a straight line).Just don't look at the coverstitched hem.


I made another 2 shirts.


I am nearly tired of wicking polyester. Especially as I also made a turtleneck pink top for my daughter to wear to free dress day at school yesterday.


Karin (the Mrs.) said...

Great shirts! I have to start sewing for my husband still. I promised him tons of things but somehow every time something gets in the way. Could be courage thing, I have to admit :-)

Anonymous said...

Great work on your husband's shirts. I remember the Knitwit days. I have quite a few of their patterns (but mine are from the 80s). I was looking for one today...a 6 gore skirt. Timeless.

KID, MD said...

Very nice - particularly those pockets. I'm so afraid of welt pockets. I really must just start doing it. I think the shoulder line is also a 70s thing. The 70s menswear patterns I have all have that narrow shoulder.

Carol said...

Great shirts. I have several old knitwit books given to me by a friend who did the courses all those years ago. I actually pulled one out the other day for a similar ladies top. Your welt pockets are a great addition to a simple shirt and makes them very individual. I like them a lot.

gwensews said...

Nice shirts! I'm not familiar with that brand of pattern, but I did Stretch and Sew in the 70s. And in fact, I still use some of the SS patterns today.

velosewer said...

Great shirts. You do good work. In October my husband had his wallet stolen from a zip pocket on his trouser side leg while on the Eiffel Tower. He never felt a thing and I kept my eye on the people around him before the incident happened. The pickpockets are skillful and the authorities are very used to filling in police reports about it.

MareeAlison said...

Karen - well done. I think the welt pocket you did is amazing.

Sharon said...

Great shirts and my Mum also did the course. The welt pockets look very smart.

Mary Nanna said...

those welt pockets add a touch of couture to something that would be simple and practical, taking them from functional to special - nice touch.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Great looking shirts! The zip pockets are a nice touch.

Miranda said...

Great job and I love the zippered pockets. Have you had trouble pressing the microtex? I have been pressing it okay, but probably not very hot. I'm inspired now to make my DH (and probably my Dad) some of these shirts!