Overcoming fear of mattress stitch

I’m knitting my 3rd sweater ever, and I finally got brave enough to try the mattress stitch for the seams, and I think it’s actually coming out pretty good! I’m enbarrassed to admit, on my last two sweaters, I did the seams in a dumb and sloppy fashion. I decided it’s time to finally make the attempt. Here’s the sweater pattern https://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/Northern-Lights-Easy-Fair-Isle-Pullover . I will try to attach a picture of the 4 inches of the shoulder seam I’ve done so far… ThankS for listening!

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You’re doing a great job with that! When I’m afraid to try something, then finally do it, I always say to myself–Why was I so afraid? Glad that you were able to conquer your fears! I’ve been eyeing fair-isle for a while now…bout time I did it.

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That looks great! You give me inspiration!

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Great job! I think that you just might have that mastered. Be sure to post a picture of the finished sweater!

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Is this the same at the kitchener stitch? Looks good.

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Very nicely worked and very professional mattress stitch.

@Brianne_F_Beatty Mattress stitch forms an almost invisible seam on the front side but you can see the seam on the reverse side. Kitchener stitch is a perfect continuation of the the knit stitches without a seam on either side. Also, Kitchener is worked on live sts whereas mattress stitch is worked over side edges or across the bound off or cast on edges.
https://www.purlsoho.com/create/mattress-stitch/

https://www.purlsoho.com/create/kitchener-stitch-video/

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I love using mattress stitch to complete my garments. It gives a really professional finish and so much easier to do as you are looking at the right side of the garment and can see how it’s coming together. You’re making an excellent job of it. Post a finished picture please.

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Beautiful work

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Your seam looks great! I’ve knit this sweater many times (for other people-can’t wait to make one for myself one of these days!) and what I found is a good substitute for mattress stitch on the shoulders since there’s no “stair step” bind off is instead of binding off the shoulder stitches as directed in the pattern, I place them on a stitch holder and do a 3 needle bind off instead. I’ll confess, I’m not a huge fan of sewing when it comes to knits, so any time I can avoid it I do.
Can’t wait to see your finished sweater-I’m sure it will be beautiful. :slight_smile:

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Lovely work, and your seam looks great!

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If you are leaving live stitches, try the Kitchener stitch. It looks great - on both sides.

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That’s certainly another option. Kitchener Stitch isn’t a favorite of mine-I do it when I have to because I like the finished look…just not a big fan of the whole process, I guess. I do like the “stability” a seam gives to the shoulder of sweaters that are knit in pieces-either sewn or done with the 3 needle bind off doesn’t matter. Just a personal preference. The 3 needle bind off looks very neat on the inside so it’s all good for me. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thank you everyone for your comments. I finished it this morning and am really happy with it. I already went out and bought some more yarn to make another in a different color

scheme.

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Well done! It’s a lovely sweater and well worth a repeat.

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Your sweater is beautiful!!! Isn’t that a fun pattern? Can’t wait to see your next one! :slight_smile:

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That is a beautiful seam, and I think you will be very pleased with it.

However, I don’t think you are doing the mattress stitch on the shoulders! Mattress stitch is only done when joining side seams, such as under the arms. You need two vertical panels to seam together.

What you have done is a shoulder graft after the shoulders have been bound off. You need the bind off to give some stability and support to the rest of the sweater, but the grafting will join the seams seamlessly! That is, it won’t show. There are many other ways to seam the shoulders, and this is one of them.

You could seam using the kitchener stitch (another word for grafting) but it is not as strong or stable as binding off first. Good job!! Grafting is an excellent skill you will use many times.

I work 3 needle bind off whenever possible at shoulder seams but you can use mattress stitch.

I must have a practice at mattress stitch. I am one of those who shy away from it and prefer to backstitch instead (when I can’t get away with knitting everything in the round or in one piece that is!) :slight_smile:

This is a sweater to be proud of. Well done!

@Jo_Hamlett Grafting doesn’t daunt me. Mattress stitch turned out to be a piece of cake. Backstitch I haven’t been able to successfully do. I do seamless whenever possible too.