Sewing shoulder seams


What is the best way to sew shoulder seams that are already bound-off? I am making a vest.


Knitaholic :thinking:

I would do mattress stitch. I know that the stitches are facing the wrong way for the demonstrated version, but if you pick up a stitch on each side rather than the bar between them, you’ll get a decent seam.

Do you mean, do this across the entire row? The reason I’m asking this is, I made one vest, but could not seam the shoulders correctly, “frogged it”, and threw it into the garbage. At the time, I could not do the mattress stitch, could not get the stitches out of one shoulder, got frustrated, end of story. This is a different vest pattern, (I can now do the mattress stitch) and want to finish this vest. End of confession. Thanks for your help.

Knitaholic :blush:

I’m sorry you had such trouble. It can be so frustrating when things don’t turn out the way you think they will.

I would make a stitch through the end stitches to make sure they meet, then use mattress across the row, easing if necessary. Usually a pattern will have equal numbers of stitches on the front and back shoulder so it may not be necessary, but if it’s off by a st or two, you can take two loops from one st and three on the other side and it won’t show.

In the future, consider leaving the stitches on the needles and doing three needle bind off. I still get amazed at what a lovely seam this makes.

If the pattern calls for binding off in stages, you can do short row shaping for the same effect. I won’t go into it now, but it is a finishing technique that I’m so grateful that I learned.