Help with sweater - too wide

Hello all ~ I am a newbie to this forum, and it looks wonderful! I’ve looked around and hope I am posting to the correct area - my apologies if not.

I just tried making my first piece of clothing (other than scarfs, of course!), an ‘easy Vogue’ tank. Unfortunately, it’s too wide… about 2 inches too wide on each side! I don’t understand, because I checked my gauge, and thought it was right. I also kind of ‘tried on’ the front piece when it was done and thought it looked okay too. Then, I finished the back piece, placed them together as if to finish the seams and knew I was in trouble. It’s made of cotton (which I love), so I tried washing and drying. It did shrink a bit, but more in the length than width - figures, eh?

Other than the width, I really like it. My mom (who has just started knitting again after a long break) suggested maybe I seam the sides, and just stitch the seams flat (as if sewing). I’m afraid it will look bulky or just plain weird if I do that. I also briefly considered using my serger and just serging the seams on the sides like some manufactured sweaters are, but am afraid the stitches will come out. (Can you tell I’m desperate to save this sweater?)

I guess I could chalk it up to a learning experience and give up, but I am new to knitting and it took me a looooooooooooong time to make this!!

Any and all help would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance for your time.

Sincerely,
Deb Corsentino
debrtino@aol.com

I’m guessing here that a serger is a type of sewing machine? If so, when I use a sewing machine to sew steeks before I cut them, the stitches don’t unravel. (Steeks are extra stitches that you put in a circular pattern and then sew and cut, if you knew that – I was going to apologize, but maybe somebody else didn’t know that :slight_smile: Anyway, I think that if you sew the stitches with a small stitch they won’t unravel and you can take it in.

Thanks so much for your help. And you’re right, serger is a sewing maching that basically sews a standard straight stitch, a ‘wrap around’ type binding stitch, and cuts the excess material at the same time. I’m sure I can adjust the stitch length so they’re small… maybe there is hope for this sweater afterall! I might want to make a few little squares to practice with though… the whole sew-bind-cut at the same time serger thing is a bit scary sometimes!

Also thank you for the info re: steeks. I didn’t know what they were.

Elizabeth Zimmerman, the queen on knitting, says the following, and I paraphrase–after cutting your steeks for the first time, lie down in a dark room for 15 minutes. It is scary the first time, but liberating–no seams!

depending on what color it is…you might be able to do this. I made the knitty.com tempting top and it too, was too wide. I bought some thin elastic and wove it into the WS. You can’t tell its there, and it took care of the too wide problem pretty easily. If its only about 2", that could work.

Thank you all for your help… I’m just working-up my courage to try fixing it. (I’ll definitely do the “15 minutes in the dark” thing :wink: ).

You guys are great!