Looking better. Not great, but better. And no fair making fun of my crooked seams on practice runs.
For this version I tried using the bias edging cut from another wool sweater. While I like the look of the coordinating print, the drawback is that it is too thick. It rendered the elastic completely useless because the fabric refused to bunch up. Back to lightweight wool for the bias tape.
You can see the modification that I made with the elastic on the left side: two pieces of elastic sewn in together in a shorter length. While it did help with the gathering a bit, the fabric is just too thick to bunch up as much as it needs to. I will also try to use some elastic that is more heavy duty, though I don’t want it to be uncomfortable for the boy. My goal with this soaker is to make it useful, attractive, and as easy to make as possible without having to order special supplies. A weekend project.
Well, not this soaker.
I also did a bit of reading about stretchy fabrics and it turns out that you don’t necessarily have to use a zig zag stitch. Using a setting that creates 12-15 stitches per inch will work quite well for this application, which is nice because the seams have give but the threads aren’t too loose. It also makes the visible stitch from securing the bias tape look tailored and clean, unlike when I used the zig zag stitch on the first version.
For the next round, I will be making some additional changes. First, the soaker needs to be smaller. You can’t tell from the pictures but it appears to be able to fit a nine year old. It’s huge. Second, I will investigate the possibility of using an elastic with more density. The stuff I have around the house is too weak to keep the leg openings nice and snug. I also discovered some soft wool fabric that I had forgotten about (go figure) so I will try using it for the bias tape and the snap reinforcement panel. And finally, I will not use the good lambswool or merino wool sweaters for the next round–back to the scratchy ones for practice!