Today's the last day of the Carmanah Sweater Sew-Along! Let's begin by adding the zipper.


First, for both variations, create a chin guard by placing the two small chin guard pieces with right sides together. Stitch along the curved edge using a 1/4" seam allowance.
Flip right side out and press. Finish the straight edge (which temporarily appears concave in the photo below) as desired.
Ok, let's move on to adding the zipper itself. You'll notice in the instruction booklet that we've added a comprehensive selection of Zipper Installation Tips directly before the zipper installation steps. These are well worth a read as adding a zipper to a knit project can be a bit tricky (since it's mixing the woven zipper tape with the stretchy knit). You'll also likely need to customize the length of the zipper and this section shows you how.
The photos below detail how to add the full zipper. First, begin by placing the zipper along the sweater front so that the bottom stopper is aligned with the bottom edge of the zipper. It's helpful to mark several points on the zipper tape so you can use them to align the zipper for sewing - just as we would use notches when matching together two pieces of fabric:
You can see Adrianna marked 'notches' on the zipper tape whereever there was a seam on the garment. The more markings the better as this will ensure your two zipper halves are applied so they match up exactly!
At this point, if it is necessary to shorten the top of the zipper to match the top edge of the sweater, you can follow the instructions in the Zipper Installation Tips! Note that the zipper stop should be positioned so it is 5/8" below the raw edge of the collar or hood.
Also note that within the instruction booklet I direct you to add the chin guard to your zipper at this point. In the photo below Adrianna chose to add it slightly later in the sewing process.
To further ease the zipper sewing process, you can add narrow double sided tape (the kind that dissolves in the wash and is made for this purpose) to the zipper tape so that the zipper stays precisely placed on the fabric (really helpful to prevent the fabric from stretching as you sew!).
Place the zipper halves so that the right side of the zipper is aligned with the right side of the sweater. Double check that you are using the correct half of the zipper!
Stitch quite close to the zipper teeth using a zipper foot. You can see in the photo below Adrianna began her stitching several inches from the top of the zipper to allow her to add the chin guard afterwards.  Once you are done stitching you can trim the extra zipper tape off the top of the zipper (if you haven't done so already) but be sure to leave enough tape (1/4") above the zipper stop to prevent the zipper stop from falling off!
You can now add the chin guard (if you haven't already as per the instructions) by sandwiching the zipper tape between the two halfs. Stitch it in place and onto the sweater all in one go (still using that zipper foot).
To add the zipper to the partial zip variation, the sewing process is much simpler!
Apply the zipper guard by basting it onto the zipper. Place the whole zipper under the sweater front so the zipper stop is just visible above the yoke seam line. If you are using a longer zipper, you can optionally let it extend below the yoke seamline...the yoke seamline will just become the zipper stop!
Stitch down one side of the zipper, across the yoke seamline, and then up the other side of the zipper.

Hood or Collar Lining

Our zippers are done and it's time to finish the inner hood or collar!
If you are sewing the hooded variation, begin by placing the hood and hood lining/facing unit with right sides together. When aligning these pieces, make sure that the center front seam allowance of the sweater is folded outwards - this way the zipper teeth are facign in towards the sweater and you are lining up the centre front raw edge of the hood and the sweater.
If you have twill tape at the bottom of your lining, allow the twill tape to extend beyond the neckline seam. If you chose to press under the bottom edge of the lining instead, make sure that the pressed edge matches or extends just 1/8" below the neckline seam. Pin all edges thoroughly.
Sew up the center front, aroung the long curve of the hood and down the other center front. Leave the bottom unsewn at this point.
Trim the seam allowances if needed to reduce bulk and flip the hood right side out. Press along the edges. The only edge left unfinished is the bottom of the hood lining. We will proceed with that edge momentarily, but first, here are some photos of finishing the collar lining:
In the same manner that we just added the hood, place the collar and collar lining with right sides together. Ensure that the raw edges of center front are aligned (the zipper tape is flipped so that the teeth are pointing towards the sweater).
Sew up one center front, across the top of the collar, and down the other center front. Trim the seam allowances as needed and flip right side out. Press the collar edges and corners.
Ok, now we are ready to finish the bottom edge of the collar or hood! Within the instruction booklet we offer two options: 1. Folding under the raw edge and stitching by hand or machine. 2. Applying twill tape.
If you folded under the lining seam allowance, you can now pin the folded edge to extend just 1/8" below the neckline of the sweater. Handstitch these layers together OR baste by hand or with large machine stitches and then, from the right side of the sweater, stitch in the ditch to secure the lining to the neckline. Stitching in the ditch is where you carefully stitch right on the seam so your finished stitching isn't visible from the outside of the garment.
To finish your neckline with twill tape, you will notice that the twill tape extends below the neckline:
In the photos above you can see the neckline seam allowances below the twill tape. Before we attache the bottom edge of the twill tape, it can help to attach the neckline and lining seam allowances together so that the lining doesn't want shift in the following steps.
To attach the two seam allowances, pinch them together:
Baste or otherwise stitch these seam allowances together by moving the rest of the garment out of the way and just stitching the seam allowance layers. Adrianna used her serger here but you can use a basting stitch or regular machine stitch. You'll notice you can't get close to either zipper. That's ok! Just sew the bulk of the allowances together.
Now we just need to fold the twill tape over the allowances (trim the allowances if needed). and sew the bottom of the twill tape in place.
Since the seam allowances have been secured together, you can guarantee that the twill tape will sit evenly over the neckline seamline. Simply sew 1/8" from the bottom of the twill tape. You will see that your stitching looks very straight and attractive on the right side of the garment afterwards:
Now that the neckline is done we can proceed with the final details!
For the full zip variation, secure the zipper tape to the sweater by folding it back over the raw center front edges:
Topstitch the zipper tape in place - you can do this from the right side of the garment by stitching 1/4" from the zipper teeth or you can do it from the wrong side of the garment by edgestitching 1/8" from the edge of the zipper tape.
For the quarter zip variation, finish the sweater by topstitching along the center front and and top edge of the collar 1/4" from the edge. This will match the topstitching that you already applied to the zipper on the sweater body.
If you are doing the collar variation, you are now finished! Way to go! If you're sewing the hooded variation there is only one more step:


For the hooded variation, we must now prepare the channel for the drawstring. First, ensure the lining and facing are nicely positioned by pinning through all layers along this seam.
Stitch in the ditch of the lining/facing seam through all hood layers.
Use a safety pin or purpose made tool to thread the drawstring through the channel.
Finish the strawstring by attaching toggles if desired and knotting the drawstring ends (or adding drawstring end caps or beads).
And now your Carmanah Sweater is complete! May it spend many years making it's wearer cozy and warm!
February 16, 2024 — Morgan and Matthew Meredith