Sewing a sweater together!

I have made some sweaters, but have never sewn them together. Mostly because I don’t know how and also because I’m too “chicken” to try!! I’ve always had an experienced knitter friend of mine do all my finishing for me.

My latest WIP is a sweater called “Give the People What They Want” by the Yarn Girls. Here’s a link to it on Ravelry:

Anyway, I would like to try & sew this together by myself this time. Are there any online videos or books that you could recommend for me to learn how to sew the pieces of a sweater together? I have sewn garter stitch baby sweaters together with great success, because I can match up the ridges pretty well and babies don’t care how things look in the end.

And ALSO, what order do I do the sewing in? Do I sew the sleeve to the body first and then do 1 big seam down the sleeve/body? Or do I sew each sleeve into a tube and then sew it onto the body??? I REALLY need help because I don’t want to mess this up!!

THANKS for your help!!

Go to the video section and under Tips/Finishing Techniques you’ll see videos for mattress stitch and 3 needle bind off. Mattress stitch is usually the one used for all the parts except the shoulders. The shoulders are usually done with a 3 needle bind off because it’s firmer and more stable.

Take heart! This is actually not that hard to do. Usually the order is to sew the shoulder seams, set in the sleeves and then sew a long seam from the wrist along the sleeves and down the side to the bottom edge of the sweater. Of course there are variations depending on the style of sweater.
Don’t worry about messing it up. You can always take the seam out if it’s not correct. (The first sweater I made, I seamed the arm to the side of the sweater. Really, I could only laugh.) has some good articles about seaming, too. Here’s one I found, but I’m sure there are others:

I actually really love doing the mattress stitch because it’s kind of magical to me. You [I]know[/I] there are stitches there, but you just can’t see them once you pull the working yarn tight. Call me simple-minded, but it never ceases to amaze me how all your seaming stitches disappear AND somehow manage to sew two things together, too!

You’re not alone, I just can’t ever seem to get nice looking seams even using the mattress stitch! I’ve watched ssooo many videos without much success. I think it must take lots of practice. Hopefully I’ll figure it out because I have a pile of stuff that needs seamed together.
Good luck Cindy!!

Salmonmac is absolutely correct as to the correct stitching order. The only thing I would add to her advice is to pin the pieces together at one or two inch intervals. The pieces stretch out and you might find that they don’t line up right otherwise. It’s disheartening to have to frog it all over again. If it doesn’t show on the right side of the work, you might want to consider using contrasting or slightly darker yarn to stitch the seams with. That way if you do have to undo the work, you can easily see it. It should be invisible with something like a mattress stitch or Bickford seam.

A whole-hearted yes to the Nice Lady in PJs suggestion to pin the seams in place first. I’ve even basted particularly difficult seams first to make sure the fit and drape worked.
I think practice will probably help with the mattress st. You could try it on a test swatch knit on large needles perhaps to make it easier. I also use a running back stitch when necessary and that works too. Sometimes there are just places it’s difficult for mattress st to go.

When I pin my seams together, they look like porcupines–no one to two inches between pins for me. I load those seams up and if any slack starts forming on one side, I repin it and start taking longer stitches to make up the slack.

All good advice here. I hope you get the hang of this–for your sake and for the sake of the professional knitters who seam up your projects for you (as I’m sure they’d probably much rather be knitting). The good news about seaming is that it generally comes last in the process and that alone can spur you to finish it up!

Great advice and kudos to you all.
However, I also use the mattress st for closing and it’s the best, but I get this wide gap of sts on bottom of sweater when I finished closing, which of course was done in a k1,p1, rib st.

I wonder if anyone else had the same problem and if so, HOW DID YOU CLOSE THE BOTTOM RIB BAND ON
SWEATER??? LOL:hug: Babette

I also use mattress st on the ribbing at the bottom band. Usually I start at the ribbing and mattress st up to the armhole using the yarn left over from the cast on. You can use mattress st to seam between a knit st and a purl st and then hold the bottom edge and pull the loose yarn to close the seam. Next time you could plan the ribbing with extra knit sts on each end so that you’re seaming two knit sts if you prefer. Then the ribbing appears continuous.

Thanks soooooo much to one and all who helped me here. I’m going to watch those videos and try my hand at sewing my sweater together some time this week! (I have to finish knitting the last sleeve first)

Will let you know what heppens!!
knitcindy :heart: