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Installing a zipper and ribbon, finishing wee Carson

September 11, 2014

Supplies needed  — zipper, ribbon, thread, pins, needle, scissors and thimble if you use one
Supplies needed  — zipper, ribbon, thread, pins, needle, scissors and thimble if you use one

First step is to block the cardigan so that the stitches and edges are smooth and there aren’t any changes to the size of the sweater after blocking.

Adjust the zipper length if necessary, for wee Carson you want the top of the zipper to be level with the end of the raglan decreases. Instructions for shortening zipper are included in the wee Carson pattern.

Pin in the zipper, trying not to stretch out the edge of the cardigan as you go. You want the stitches to lay flat and remember that the knitting will stretch but the zipper won’t!

I pinned in one side first and sewed it in before moving to the second side so I could line up the pattern repeats when I moved to the other side.

Sew down the inside edge of the zipper closet to the teeth, stitch into the gutter between the edge of the colourwork and the I-cord edging.

Sew down the outside edge of the zipper using a whipstitch to tack it down. This edge is going to be covered by the ribbon so don’t worry if it’s not super neat, its a good chance to practice before moving on to the ribbon.

Sorry you can't really see my stitches, the thread is an exact match to the zipper.
Sorry you can’t really see my stitches, the thread is an exact match to the zipper.

Pin and sew in the other side of the zipper, lining it up as best as you can.

When sewing in the second side of the zip I find it easier to unzip the zipper, but I do zip it up occasionally to see how things are lining up.

Ribbon facing

For a very neat finish and so the rough edge of the zipper is enclosed you can cover it with a ribbon facing. For wee Carson the ribbon goes all the way around the edge of the cardigan adding structure to the hood and preventing the edge from flipping out. If your cardigan doesn’t have a hood you can sew in a ribbon facing on each edge to cover the zip.

Pin the ribbon easing it in so the outside of the sweater lays flat, leave a few extra inches at either end.

Start sewing in the ribbon closest to the edge of the sweater about an inch away from the bottom and leave the ends of the ribbon until last.  You’ll probably need to make some adjustments as you work your way around the hood because it won’t have the sturdiness of the zipper supporting the knitting. Then sew down the other edge of the ribbon.

I left the ends of the ribbon until last so I could fold them under and finish them neatly. Unfortunately I forgot to get a photo of this bit before I left wee Carson in Canada for my niece.



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