How I Created The Alice Knit {The Flora Modiste Sewing Projects}

The Alice Knit Sewing Project Featured

And alas, we have a new sewing project for the month: The Alice Knit! A perfect hip length black sweater that's not-too-big but also not-too-small. The little black sweater that can LITERALLY be worn with anything.

Not even kidding. I've worn this sweater with dresses, pants, skirts, AND shorts. Am I missing anything? Oh, yeah: I've worn this sweater with long dresses and short dresses. Skinny jeans and not-so-skinny jeans. Short skirts and long skirts. (It actually goes PERFECT with the Emma Skirt, go figure.) I think you get the point.

To me, this little beauty is the perfect sweater. I couldn't adjust it any way to make it better, even if I wanted to. But alas, I cannot take credit for this perfect little sweater. I actually bought the inspiration for the Alice Knit at Banana AGES ago.

Before I really started to pay attention to where my money was going, and what companies I was supporting with said money. (BTW, a few months back I wrote a post all about how important it is every time you purchase an article of clothing. Check it out!)

Anyways. My original Banana sweater was REALLY starting to wear. Like bad. It was pilling all over the place, and just looked a bit ragged. I was wearing this baby weekly, and it was really starting to show.

The Alice Knit Sewing Project Original Sweater

The Alice Knit Sewing Project New Sweater

Which made me realize: Why don't I just remake my favorite little sweater?

So that's exactly what I did.

I took all of the measurements of my Banana sweater, created a knock off pattern, perfected said pattern, and then cut and sewed up a brand new sweater. Looks pretty good, am I right?

(Make sure to stay tuned next week.. This month's sewing project tutorial is going to be all about how to create your own knock off pattern! If your favorite article of clothing is looking a little worse for wear, this tutorial will be perfect for you.)Sewing Tutorial: How To Remake Your Favorite ClothingThe Alice Knit Sewing Project Mid Front View

And now you may be asking: What is a knock off pattern? Excellent question. A knock off pattern is exactly what it sounds like: A knock off of an already existing piece of clothing.

I don't really like the term "knock off" (it just sounds so cheap) but hey, I don't like our President either. And I've got to live with both, so.

Creating a knock off pattern truly is the easiest way to recreate a piece of clothing that you already have in your closest and absolutely love. And once an article of clothing starts to show its wear, it's most likely going to be years old..

Which means it most likely won't be for sale anymore.

Recreating a favorite piece for your own personal use is the only way I really think knock off patterns should ever be used.. Which isn't always the case though, having seen it firsthand. This small label that I worked for in New York did essentially nothing BUT knock off patterns for the ready to wear line, which drove me absolutely crazy.

The designer of the company (who had no design experience) acted as if the designs were all original ideas, which they absolutely were not. Or she would copy the cut of a garment, and add a small cutout somewhere.. And all of a sudden it would be "an original design".

Maybe it's the design student in me.. But God, that drove me fucking insane. Please don't ever copy someone else's hard work and call it your own design. It's not cool, and it's not right.

Be open and honest about it, like how I am being with you right now about this sewing project. Sewing Tutorial: How To Remake Your Favorite ClothingThe Alice Knit Sewing Project Teri Front View

The Alice Knit Sewing Project Front Side View

ANYWAYS. The Alice Knit.

This little beauty is about hip length, with raglan sleeves. There is a contrasting knit binding along the neckline, hemline, and sleeves.

(As is typical of almost every sweater in existence.)

The sweater fits a little tighter in the shoulders, and is slightly loose in the hip and waist. I love this kind of fit, I feel like it's both flattering and comfortable. The sleeves are definitely more fitted than with a traditional sweater, but I think that's also what contributes to its overall unique shape.

The contrasting hem binding also follows the length of the center back, all the way up to the neckline. Sewing those corners where the binding meets the sweater was a bit challenging--Both points had to match exactly, since they are right next to each other.

There is also a tiny little keyhole along the center back hem, which was a bit challenging to sew up. Looking back, I should have made the keyhole smaller than I had wanted it to be.. It definitely seems to have stretched a little bit, once I cut the shape of the keyhole out.

BTW.. The keyhole is a perfect example of why knowing how to hand stitch is SO important. (No matter what sewing project you may be working on.) I have a little motto when it comes to hand stitching: When in doubt, hand stitch.

I had NO idea how I was going to sew up the keyhole for this sewing project.. So I just cut the shape out and hand stitched it together. Perfect!

The Alice Knit Sewing Project Anatomy Sewing up the Alice Knit was pretty straightforward.

I think the most difficult steps of the sewing process were definitely getting those two corners near the center back right, as well as that little keyhole.

Everything else was pretty much just a straight seam, and there wasn't any type of closure needed for the sweater. And I finished all of the raw seams with a serger. Simple!

(This month's sewing project tutorial is going to be all about how to create your own knock off pattern! If your favorite article of clothing is looking a little worse for wear, this tutorial will be perfect for you.)Sewing Tutorial: How To Remake Your Favorite ClothingThe Alice Knit Sewing Project Bouclé Fabric Swatch

The main fabric that I chose to use for this sewing project was a synthetic bouclé knit. The original Banana sweater was simply a knit sweater.. But since I have no idea how to knit, I decided to buy a bulky knit that I could cut and sew instead.

Bouclé fabrics have a bulky, looped surface texture which is ideal when working with sweaters. The texture of the knit can also soften a garment's silhouette, which is also especially desirable when working with a sweater.

The fabric was a bit difficult to cut and sew with though.. It was literally falling apart as I was putting it together. Thankfully the design for this sewing project was very straightforward and simple, otherwise working with this fabric could have been much more difficult and time consuming.

I used a basic textured knit for the contrasting bindings of the sweater.. Actually pretty similar to what I used for the body of the Ilma Raglan. (The very first sweater we made here on The Flora Modiste--It's a beauty!) The textured knit was a bit difficult to work with as well because it stretched an INSANE amount.

I was cutting inches off my pattern pieces, they stretched so much. The Alice Knit Sewing Project Front Close Up

I LOVE the textured feel of both fabrics that I chose for the Alice, I feel like they are the exact look I was going for. My only wish is that the bouclé had a bit more stretch to it.. The original Banana sweater had an insane amount of stretch, but the Alice has a bit less because it is a bouclé and not a knit sweater.

This did result in a slightly snugger fit than the original sweater.

Which I still love, but is definitely something to consider when recreating your own favorite pieces from home. (And is NOT something I considered.. I just went to find a knit, not paying attention to the amount of stretch that said knit had.)

You live and you learn, right?Sewing Tutorial: How To Remake Your Favorite ClothingAnyways. I love love love my Alice Knit. Almost as much as I love the namesake for this beauty.

Since the Alice Knit is named after a remade OG sweater, I wanted to name this sewing project after another one of my original loves: Alice in Wonderland.

The Alice Knit Sewing Project Front Twirl

The Alice Knit Sewing Project Back Twirl

I feel like Alice in Wonderland is one of those books that got me to LOVE reading when I was younger.

I remember reading it as a kid, and then I picked it back up in high school when I saw it at a bookstore with my Dad. And I was always making my Dad go in to bookstores with me, btw. He said he would never, ever deny buying me books.

Which he has held true to, even to this day..

And I think has also definitely contributed to my love of reading.

Hell, I STILL make my Dad go to bookstores with me. Which I think he secretly loves.. HA. Right.

ALICE. I love love Alice. She is such a whimsical creature, one that doesn't take herself too seriously. She just goes where the story takes her.

When she fell down the rabbit hole she could have freaked TF out, but instead she just went with it. What good is panicking, when you literally have no control over the situation?

The Alice Knit Sewing Project Alice In Wonderland Quote

Her coolness in the face of absolute fuckery is a state I try to embody myself, all while not taking myself too seriously as I just try to figure out my place in this strange world.

My favorite excerpt from Alice in Wonderland: "One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire Cat in the tree. 'Which road do I take?' she asked. 'Where do you want to go?' was his response. 'I don't know,' Alice answered. 'Then,' said the Cat, 'it doesn't matter.'"

Because honestly. Does anyone know what they're doing or where they're going?

(Make sure to stay tuned next week.. This month's sewing project tutorial is going to be all about how to create your own knock off pattern! If your favorite article of clothing is looking a little worse for wear, this tutorial will be perfect for you.)Sewing Tutorial: How To Remake Your Favorite Clothing

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