So, through some strange crafty spirit in the ether, having my sewing machine on its way, and then on my living room floor - see previous post - inspired me to alter a cardigan I currently own. Alter by hand. That's right, having a machine that will be officially mine in approximately two weeks inspired me to sew something by hand. That I could have done at any time, having needles and thread in my craft supplies already.
So, since I did not think to take a before picture, imagine a black cardigan. The length hits me about middle of the hip. The width is boxy and definitely too big. The sleeves come down over my hand unless I push the cuff up to my wrist. Then the sleeves slack and hang loose in gathers along my arms. Altogether it hangs on me like I'm a clothes hanger. It has one redeeming quality - warmth. My office can get chilly, so a cardigan that is nice and warm is essential.
Not having any kind of guide to taking in the sides and such, I decided to just wing it instead of searching one up. The power of impetuousness and impatient. I wanted to work on the cardigan now. So I put the cardigan on inside out and felt along my sides to get a sense of how much extra fabric there was. Enter pins to hold one side down and a tape measure to duplicate the pinning on the opposite side. Some trying on and off to evolve a workable line that would look okay without pulling away too much on the sides (hopefully - cardigan doesn't have to button, those buttons are hard to fasten, but I'd like it to look like it could).
Well, seeing this tutorial on finishing the cut edges of a knit garment answered my only remaining question. I adapted it for the inside side seams by folding over some ribbon I had lying around over top of the seam and sewing through it like so:
For the bottom seam I just folded the ribbing on the bottom up and sewed through it in two rows with small stitches. I used the ribbing now on the inside as a guide for spacing the stitches evenly. Below is the bottom seam, no pic of the sleeve, sorry. Here you can see both the underside and the outside. I like to think the stitching shows up as a subtle detail on the outside.
So without further ado, here is the finished product. Kindof underwhelming - plain black cardigan - but a nice staple for my office that will keep me warm and work as a replacement for a suit jacket. Sleeves are the right length and the bottom edge hits me at the waist. And I look like a person wearing a cardi instead of a hanger. Bonus.