In a burst of sewing focus, today’s projects included redrafting the ginormous Kwik Sew turtleneck pattern from yesterday, as well as cutting and sewing three more shirts. It was a good day. Here’s the the rundown of my three almost-finished shirts (all need hemming) and after the jump detailed photos of how I redrafted the Kwik Sew turtleneck to fit better.

Now for the pattern surgery. As a point of reference, here is a ‘before’ and ‘after’ shot – the pink and orange stripey turtleneck on the left is the version I made yesterday from an unaltered XL Kwik Sew 2900. The pink turtleneck on the right is post-alteration, made from the same pattern.


Here are the patterns that I’m working with. I like the long sleeves and the turtleneck on the Kwik Sew pattern. The Hot Pattern has an awesome scoopy neck, but shorter sleeves. It, too, started out as super-huge, but I took care of that a while ago.

My initial thought was that I could use the pattern pieces from Hot Patterns Weekender Cabana shirt to trace new side seams on the Kwik Sew pattern so I would have a better fit. I mean, seriously, look at that shoulder in the above photo on the left! I thought it would be immediately obvious when I compared the two pattern pieces that I should have cut, say, a size large or even medium, rather than extra large.

When I compared the two sets of pattern pieces, I realized I had a larger problem than side seams. A giant armhole. I love that word armhole, don’t you? Here are the comparison shots…

The picture on the left shows the Hot pattern front bodice piece (outlined in pink) laid over the Kwik Sew pattern (outlined in green.) See what I see? The armscye on the Kwik Sew pattern is HUGE compared to the Hot Patterns piece. The photo on the right shows the pieces side by side – you can see how blocky the Kwik Sew pattern was compared the Hotpatterns piece. It was the same story with the back bodice pieces…

I decide to toss my initial plan of just redrafting the side seams. Clearly, more intense alterations were called for. I taped a piece of wax paper to the arm area of the Kwik Sew Pattern, lined up the shoulders and the center front seams (marked in yellow below) and traced the armscye and the side seams from the Hot Patterns bodice piece to the Kwik Sew piece. I left the neckline alone, as my goal was a better fitting turtleneck.

The new side seam and armscye is shown in red in the photo below – see how much this raised the side seam?

I did the same alteration on the bodice back piece, then moved on to the arms. Here’s the comparison photo to orient you – this photo shows that I have already lengthened the hot patterns arm piece to full length, plus a couple of inches, for good measure. I love super long sleeves.

Here’s a shot of the two pattern pieces laying directly over each other which shows how giant the Kwik Sew sleeves were. I just tossed the Kwik Sew sleeve pattern piece into the trash and will use the Hot Patterns sleeve pieces for the scoop neck AND the turtleneck garments.

Alterations made, I promptly cut out the pink sweater knit I had on hand. I am happier with the fit, although there’s still a LOT of width across the shoulder. It bugs me, but not enough for me to do any further tweaking. I’m not sure if I’ll be making a lot of these – I’m not a huge fan of turtlenecks. Of course, I’m not a huge fan of freezing to death either, so I’ll be putting the pink turtleneck into rotation..

A few more notes on my long-sleeved shirts…


Turtleneck flop totally bums me out…

The mock turtleneck on the pink sweater is more floppy than I like. If I DO make again, I will probably cut the collar 2 or 3 times as ‘high’ so it’s a nice scrunchy turtleneck, not a mock turtleneck. I might also interface with some nice stretchy interfacing… anyone else have experience making not slouchy turtlenecks??

Shoulder stay serging success!

On all the shirts I used clear elastic (3/8” wide) to stay the shoulder seams. I laid the elastic along the shoulder seams while serging the so that the little knife missed the elastic and the needles caught the elastic. Worked like a charm!

More Mondo love

The blue and white striped scoop neck shirt is another excellent example of my Mondo-inspired two-part arms – I love how the stripes look on the forearm!

Note to self: next time cut the interlock neckband on the cross grain, not the bias.

The green polka dotted shirt is made from a higher quality cotton interlock. The blue and white striped shirt is made from a cheap cotton jersey. The pattern calls for the neckband to be cut on the bias, then sewn together on the ends and folded the long way. I initially cut the green neckband on the bias, but double the width (5.5” instead of 2.75”.) It totally didn’t work. I could NOT stretch the neckband enough and the part that I actually DID stretch was all warped, i.e., the folded edge had ripples that I couldn’t smooth out. I ended up cutting the neckband off, then recutting a piece of the interlock on the cross grain the same length as the pattern piece. It was MUCH more stretchy than the first neckband and went on just fine. That’s why the neckline is so much wider on the green shirt than my ahoy matie striped shirt.

A tip for applying neckbands that require stretching…

Excellent tip for attaching annoying stretchy neckbands that are smaller than the neckline… the scoop neck shirt requires the neckband be stretched as it is attached to the shirt.. that way it lies smoothly to the body instead of being all wavy and drooping away from the body. I really wanted to pin it well, so I could serge the seam without cutting off my finger. My wonderful new boss, Nikol (remember her?) helped out by holding the neckband and neckline stretched out together between her hands (similar to the classic knitting assistant pose for winding balls of yarn from hanks of yarn.) Then I pinned while she stretched – when she let go everything was nice and smooth.

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