Good morning sea turtles! Day two of Flop Fixin’ week involves a GIANT turtleneck, some scraps of sweater knit and a shirt with a new lease on life, although I’d like to point out this shirt is still being leased as the current owner is just not committed to the orange and pink stripeyness of it all. Here we have Kwik Sew 2900, a pattern I found freakishly large (observe the shoulder seams in relation to my actual shoulders. Mmmmm… love what that does to make my biceps look three times larger…) 

Friend-Laura, who has a fine appreciation for what she calls garanimal outfits, mentioned recently that this interlock looks like big bird’s legs. Too true. This shirt was another shop sample and as such, I picked the fabric and pattern based on what was in the shop, not necessarily what I wanted to wear. I previously went over how to adjust the paper pattern by using a better fitting Hot Patterns design, but that only helps me make FUTURE better fitting turtlenecks! I thought I’d try to make this shirt fit better before tossing it into the donate bag.

Once I started eyeing up the shirt, which had been hanging in the same deserted corner as yesterday’s fixed-flop project, I realized that the skirt and shirt actually coordinated! Here’s the turtleneck, post surgery…

Yay! Not perfect, but certainly something I’ll at least wear occasionally, as opposed to the original version which only saw the light of day on a dress form on the shop floor! Here’s what I did.

First I grabbed a shirt with a fit that I like. I went with my favorite stripey long sleeved T (BTW, you can see how this fits in my post from yesterday.) I laid the turtleneck out on my cutting table, smoothing as best I could, then laid the stripey T on top. You can see the difference in the sizes. I ‘traced’ the T onto the turtleneck with chalk, secured the layers together with pins, folded the turtleneck in half to transfer the traced lines to the other half of the shirt in a somewhat symmetrical manner, and then serged along the chalk line from the hem of the shirt to the cuff of the sleeve, pivoting at the underarm.

After I took a pass at the side seams, I traced the neckline in the same way. Cutting a scoop can be a bit nerve-wracking, as it’s easy to cut too deep and the fit of the shoulders will affect how wide the neckline is – it’s better to go a bit conservative and have to trim a bit more away than to cut too much and have a shirt that’s unwearable for anything other than re-enactments of flashdance cover art photo sessions.

After I cut the new neckline, I tried it on for fit. Note how wide the neckline is. You can’t really see it in the photo, but the whole back of the shirt is WAY too big. The turtleneck had kept the shirt from falling off my shoulders, but once it was gone the ridiculously ‘easy’ fit of the pattern made the shoulders super droopy.You can see how much better the shirt look through the sides and the arms, though.

To try to get the shirt to stay on my shoulders I grabbed all the extra fabric in my center back and stuck a pin in it.

You can see the still-in-progress basement floor painting project in this photo!

After I pinned out the excess in the back I took off the shirt and measured how much I had pinned out. It was about five inches total, so I made two darts centered over my shoulder blades, each removing about 2.5″ of fabric from the upper back. I’ve circled one of the darts in orange below.

Next I needed a new neckband. I didn’t have enough in my turtleneck scraps to fashion one, so I dug through my scrap bag and found a pink sweater knit that coordinated well. To make the neckband I measured the total length of my neckline – it was around 33″. I didn’t want a gapey neckline so I made the neckband about 25″ long, cut so the stretch of the fabric was the along the “long” way (if that makes sense!) I should have made it more like 28″, I think. It’s a bit on the short side, causing some wrinkles and such.

I decided to swap out the cuffs with the pink sweater knit as well so the neckband looks more intentional. I cut two cuffs for each arm, with the inside cuff about 3/4 of an inch shorter so the seam rolls just a bit to the inside. I though this made a nicer finish than regular hemming.

And presto! A new shirt rises from the excessive folds and yardage of a previously unwearable turtleneck!

Day Two of Flop Fixin’ Week

Day one: Beignet
Day two: Restyled knit shirt


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