Friday, August 28, 2015

2015 Fall Capsule Collection: Sunny Knit Top Alterations

Here's the difference that some very simple - if very substantial - alterations can make:

StyleArc Sunny Knit Top - Size 10 UNALTERED (out of "envelope" as it were)

StyleArc Sunny Knit Top - Originally Size 10 (rather substantively altered)
What you may notice is that the pieces look largely unchanged, shape-wise. Regrettably, in the original photo (unaltered) I positioned the tunic "skirt" upside down so what you're looking at doesn't seem consistent over both photos. Trust me, the only difference shape-wise, in the skirt, is the angle of the side seam (which is much straighter in my new version).

The original pattern is 58" in circumference - reflecting itself in width and length and yielding a drop shoulder of what I assume to be ridiculous proportions. Never mind what fabric I might use to make an unaltered version, it would look like over-sized crap because there's just to much fucking "over" in this over-sized pattern, IMO.

What Did I Do?
  • I removed 4 inches of width from the centre front, vertically, from top to bottom. The net impact is that it shortens the shoulder as well as diminishes extreme over-sizedness.
  • I recut the neckline (which was messed up by the narrowing) but made it less wide on the shoulder top (i.e. more crew than boat). Narrow shoulders and boat necks don't get along. If you are slight of shoulder (if they slope or they're chubby), then stay away from the boat, as I'm sure you've already surmised. Of course, do what you like from an aesthetic perspective (who am I to judge that?) but the annoyingness of your neckline approaching your shoulder near-constantly - especially if you get cold or have boobs - is enough to tax the staunchest small-statured, boat-neck lover.
  • I took another 0.5 inch out of the side bodice from top to bottom, vertically, to "shorten the shoulder" and to remove excess size in the side zone.
  • I did the same thing in the skirt but I left the original hip circumference (40") because that works well with my measurements.
  • One thing I'm going to check, before cutting into the fabric, is that this is consistent with a couple of other "cocoon" (though on the slim end of that equation) sweaters I own.
  • While the unaltered length is stated to be 27" (way longer than I need), somehow, likely because of my mods, my finished length is 24.5". I'll cut from the hem of the fabric, if necessary, to shorten further as I experiment with my first version. I don't know if  the "skirt-meets-bodice" seam is going to be in the right place but, remember, I have depth in my front chest and that takes up length.
  • I'm considering taking an inch out of the length of the back-bodice (to compensate for the extra vertical length I require to work over my boobs). Not sure if I should muslin as is - just cuz I really don't know how this sort of alteration will play out in a finished garment of this style. 
  • I'm also considering raising the armhole slightly. That would serve to shorten the side-garment further.
As you can see, I've cut 5 inches out of this pattern's girth and I don't know what the impact of this will be on a finished garment till after I make it. My seams align and I believe I've retained the original shape. But I'm a narrow, small-boned person who cannot be swathed in 1.5 metres of fabric without looking like a sloppy lump. I'd like this to be a casual, but elegant top. And I don't believe, between my dimensions and those of the unaltered pattern, that could occur, just out of the envelope.

Of course, I'll report back after I've made this, but I sense that this will require pretty serious downsizing for most anyone, unless tall and/or wide.

Anyway, thoughts or feelings? If you've made this, or if you're great at reading schematics and understanding exactly how something will look in the end, your feedback would be most welcome. Stay tuned.


  1. I am following this with interest as I have that pattern on the drawing board. Thank you for your information about the oversizedness of this!!

    1. Hi J! I love to know that this info might be practical and useful for you. Thanks for your comment and please keep me posted on how your version pans out.