I’m working on two cream polar fleece Toaster Sweaters today. I’d made one for Daughter No2 last year, in the Autumn and she loved it – until I put it in the wash with a whole lot of dark things. Not cream anymore! Still wearable, but dull and dingy. So I promised I would make it right, naturally. In the meantime, Daughter No1 announced she’d rather like one in that colour please, not the dingy one, a nice cream one.
Ever obliging, 3m of polar fleece was duly purchased from Closs & Hamblin, washed and ready to go. I cut the straight Medium for Daughter No2 and the Small (across the body and in length and width of sleeves) for Daughter No1. She likes a looser fit across the top half, so I cut the medium in the raglan and neck area. Make sense?
The fleece is lovely, they say it’s anti-pill and I really hope it will be. It’s a lovely colour, warm but not too buttery-creamy. It cuts easily and doesn’t want to roll. Now normally I’d use the overlocker for 95% of the construction of a Toaster Sweater, leaving the sewing machine to do the topstitching. But my trusty Janome is out for a service, and I’ve drafted in the Queen of Diva Overlockers, the Bernina. She’s a tough old cookie and will not do a 5 thread overlock with chain stitch for me at all. I’m reliable informed she’s not the only one, so it’s not just me. So I used the sewing machine to sew all the seams, overlocked and trimmed the edges with the overlocker, and went back to the sewing machine for twin needle topstitching.
With the construction of the Toaster, I pin all the pieces I can and bulk sew, production line style. So that’s the cuffs, neck and hem band and all the raglan seams, then I feed them through the machine, one after the other. Then the small pieces are turned through, seams pressed to one side and I pin the raw edges together, matching the notches, so they’re ready to be attached to the body. After the raglan seams are done, I topstitch then add the neckband – before the side seams are done! So much easier to do neckline treatents when your garment is flat people!
I used the 4mm stretch twin needle for this job. It gives good distance with the seamline running in the centre. Once all the small pieces are attached, they can be topstitched too. I added a little bit of ribbon to the centre back of the neckline, different on each one. This is so I can tell them apart and not deliver the wrong one! It’s also a nice touch to mark out the back when one is getting dressed in the half dark, which is coming…
I have just over half a metre of the cream fleece left over after cutting these out, I might have to get a little more (maybe in a different colour) to make something else. Waste not, want not! But before I get carried away, I need to finish these!