Knit – Not

My client/model Nancy is always kind enough to let me borrow her patterns since we are close in age and size so after her successful foray into a couple tops being made from Vogue 8815, I thought I could whip a couple up with some knits I had laying around.

The back is quite a bit longer than the front which adds to it’s charm and design but it always seems to me to also be part of the problem with more fabric back there is had become the “bully” and yanked the front neckline backwards thus choking the wearer…not great for a full day’s wearing. But knowing this I cut out the two tops anyway and added some lingerie straps inside the shoulder seams to grab my bra straps and hold the front bodice in place. After one day of wearing the top and working in the sewing room, reaching and twisting, I knew this would just not work. So what’s a seamstress to do?

I rolled out my DTD (duct tape dummy) and threw the top on her to show the problem:frontbackside

The next thing to do was just slash across the back, through 3 seams and see what happens.slash-across A huge wedge opened up and I added my favorite patch…gingham.add-gingham I tried it on at this point and it felt pretty good except the sleeves were screaming, “Release us too!” So I opened up that seam as well and let the back sleeves seam slide up to fill a one inch gap knowing I could add a triangular shaped piece later at the underarm seam…it’s knit after all…no one will know. Then I added a new strip:new-stripstrip-pinned Pinned it, and sewed it in:strip-sewn  OK with the backed sorted out all that was left is the sleeve. By allowing the back sleeves to creep up one inch to fill the gap where the strip was sewn I added a small triangle at the underarm and that worked too.missing-wedgenew-wedge-outside

OK readers….one down…another to go? Yes, this one was a different knit and just needed a curved strip and nothing for the sleeve…yippee!  But first…where to cut…holy moley…look there…they have provided a perfect line for me in the pattern…can you see it?cutting-line-curved

curved-patch side-back

A nice smile to insert curved-patch-stripinto the back:curved-back-finished

If you didn’t know what had been done back there do you think you would notice? Nah…and now these 2 tops fit way better!

Next time leggings to go with these tops…leggings? How tough can they be? Take measurements, 2 seams, no side seams and an elastic waistband…just wait! Disaster coming!

Thank you to all my new followers…I hope you enjoy future and past posts!

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22 Responses to Knit – Not

  1. accordion3 says:

    I hear the Cake Espresso leggings are very good… I’d love your take on them.

  2. mrsmole says:

    Well, well, accordion3….you will get your wish next time…ugly photos and a review of those!

  3. jrp53 says:

    I always learn so much from your posts but by putting the wedge in the back aren’t you just adding more weight for the back to continue to pull on the front? or is the adjustment in the sleeves enough to distribute the fabric weight? I’m not sure I understand the physics here, Thanks for your enlightenment

  4. Krysti Emerson says:

    What a creative way to keep your shirt in place. I recently went to a Couture workshop with Claire Shaeffer and the way they do it in “couture” (knit garments don’t usually qualify ha ha) is to put a piece of elastic around the armhole only attached to the shoulder seam. When you put the garment on you put your arm through the elastic and it supposedly keeps the garment in place. I had never heard of this before. I’m not sure how comfortable it would be, but for flimsy, flowy garments without structure it would work well.

    • mrsmole says:

      How interesting, Krysti…yes maybe on soft garments this would work but what about the bunching and gathering that elastic causes? Maybe it is not stretched at all and just lays there? Knits are funny animals…so many fabric contents and combos…how much spandex/lycra….weight…4 way stretch…stability…shrinkage…Lordie…too many factors to enter the world of Couture for sure…ha ha! I could have stitched elastic into those armholes and for sure they would have stayed put but the issue was still the lack of back length pulling the front up. Even the front horizontal seam pulled way up….nothing sat level until I did the patch…now the seams all seam to say, “Ahhhh thanks, Mrs Mole”.

      • Krysti Emerson says:

        I didn’t explain very well – the elastic is only attached at the shoulder seam – and not the rest of the armhole seam. You are supposed to measure around the armhole of the wearer, so even if the armhole of the garment is large/loose, the elastic is snug on the upper arm. It was an interesting concept – seems like it would work pretty well.

  5. mrsmole says:

    What this pattern needed the most was more back length to allow the front to ease forward. I could have slashed the front but in the end, the back would have still been the bully. Assuming that the polyester knit would ease enough to compensate for the rounded back was not a reality and a disappointment. Both knits did not stretch enough to allow the front to sit where it was supposed to and forced the front neckline backward. Since it was MY top, I could take the risk. Amazing result, more back length and super comfortable fit. The poor first sleeves went along with the game and allowed me to patch that triangular piece. They could have been re-drafted and re-cut but there were no more big pieces left to make new ones. Funny how the second top did not need the sleeves involved…thank goodness! Physics 101 is more like Fitting 101 here jrp53….some days we get lucky, most days we slash and alter. Thanks so much for asking!

  6. Lynda says:

    Great save. It’s nice when it’s your top so you can do what is necessary and get the adjustments right for your body without having to worry about a client. I too, learn a great deal from your posts.

  7. mrsmole says:

    Thank you, Lynda….blogs are just so great to see people messing with fashion to suit themselves!

  8. Krysti Emerson says:

    My husband says that I/we are sculptors with fabric. Taking a flat piece of fabric and making it fit a rounded body. So much truth to that….

  9. Andrea says:

    Great save, Mrs. Mole, and so nice to see you sew for yourself!

  10. mrsmole says:

    Ha ha Andrea, every time Nancy came over and saw my tops hanging she would ask “when are you going to finish them?” Well, it was certainly time to do it and then re-do it.

  11. Pella says:

    A truly interesting fix. I know the choking effect well.

  12. mrsmole says:

    So what I have learned from this, Pella….make that correction on the paper pattern for the next time so you don’t have to slash and spread!!!

  13. prttynpnk says:

    This alteration has really enlightened me- I am an official slasher now.

  14. NIce tops – I’m sure they will be really comfortable for you to work in (if that was the plan). I am now a little concerned that Anne has declared herself an ‘official slasher’ though!

  15. mrsmole says:

    Yes, the tops are for work as I rarely leave my sewing room except to wander through WalMart twice a month. Anne will learn many things with her slashing…let’s hope all good ones!

  16. June says:

    I find it very appropriate that a patch that improves the fit should also be shaped like a smile. Happy valentine’s day!

  17. mrsmole says:

    Knowing I have a smile on my back will certainly improve my sewing room trials!!!! Thank you for that, June…it has made my day!!!! Wishing you lots of hugs and kisses from your little girls and some heart shaped cookies too!

  18. sewruth says:

    See, I would have been so concerned that everyone would know I had a ‘smile’ attached to my back – but you’re absolutely correct, no-one will ever notice. Clever lady

    • mrsmole says:

      After living in England for so long and having a British husband I realize the importance of blending in and not being too weird with clothing but as sewers we surely have more freedom to make changes when the garments we make don’t fit. So many great products come from accidents! Imagine if I did the smile patch in red and a couple of circles on the back shoulders for a smiley face…it might make a dreary day go much better, well at least my brides might get a chuckle while I’m on the floor pinning their hems. Next time, Ruth, more messing and fixing and patches…..

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