Wednesday, January 16, 2019

before and after....

Last year, I mentioned an old garment several times…Uptown from Knitwords # 24
I had tried it on last February. It inspired me and got me out of my knitting funk but when I put it on again later in the spring, I thought, ‘oh the shoulder pads are too much’, and I put it away again.
Before Christmas, my knitting friend talked about it because her fashion consultant told her that long, floor-length dusters were very much in current fashion and she thought she might give it a try. I coached her on changing the shape slightly, suggesting she maybe take the shoulder/sleeve sizing of Tumbleweed from #53 (2010, fitted, set-in sleeve) to update Uptown.
When I was debating the neckline and collar for Becca (the black lace cardi), I took my Uptown out again to gauge how that collar/front bands might work but decided it would be too heavy and overpower the more delicate lace. I took a really good look at it again and realized the collar/bands were ingeniously knit from the centre back down so to take it apart and shorten the armhole from the shoulder would be entirely doable.

In the ‘before’ photo – notice how the sleeves are too long and sloppy looking and the coat hem is virtually touching the floor, and it looks too big in the shoulders, like I'm wearing someone else's coat. What I did – took off the collar/front bands, removed the sleeves and undid the shoulders. Found my original lace pattern. Took apart the shoulders and unravelled the Back to the back neckline and then removed another 10 rows, to shorten  the armscye, redid the back neck and shaped the shoulder, following the schematic for Tumbleweed. Took me four tries to find the exact row to match up the lace patterning. Removed the same number of rows off each of the Fronts, reshaped the shoulder to same as the Back and rejoined the shoulders.
For the Sleeves, I debated unravelling them right back to the cuff and rehanging. That way I wouldn’t have to find the exact row, but I had trouble finding the ends to undo the cuff so ripped back to about 4 inches up from the cuff so it would open up wide enough and rehung it. Felt like a rockstar when I got the exact row on the first try! Reknit the sleeve using the same yarn of course – I knew the kinks in the cotton would even out with ironing and a laundering would take care of any little extra glitches. I used the same stitch size/tension for the reknit because technically the Bonita cotton is mercerised and does not shrink. Not really true but it worked – even with the first pressing, I could not spot the row where I reknit from. The re-made
sleeve is the same length as the old one from the underarm to the cuff, but it is quite a bit narrower at the underarm, taking it in about one inch on each edge, resulting in a more fitted sleeve cap. Got the second sleeve completed with the same ease, reinforcing my legend-in-my-own-mind status!

Got it all put back together without even taking the buttons off! Notice on the 'after' photo, the sleeves are the correct length and the overall length of the whole garment is more to my liking, showing off my new Fluevog saddle shoes perfectly!
After fessing up about my paranoia of over-stocked shelves, I go and take something apart and alter it – what the heck is that all about?
Why did I do it? Because I could!

1 comment:

Helen Fox said...

I admire your patience.