Category Archives: 5863 Summer Knit Tops


I decided to take my own advice, shared on SG a few days ago.  I’m taking a break from the Ascona pant and working on a quick and easy project; a palate cleanser. First, I “discovered” I had 2 mending projects.  One is a pair of shorts with cover stitching popping in the hem. Not at the waist but at the leg hems.  It’s not popping just where the CS meets itself and is overlapped but at several places along the way on both legs.  Odd because cover stitching by itself is always stretchy enough for knits. But I guess this fabric was the exception. An easy 5 minute fix which I’ve put off for several weeks.  No kidding, 5 minutes at the sewing machine stitching around each hem twice. Done!

The second involves this pretty red knit top completed only last week:

I suspected that neckline would be too low as well as too wide.  I fixed the too wide before finishing and wore the top one time.  I spent lots of time holding my neckline in place. Like, every time I bent slightly.  As the day wore, on the center front continued to droop in front. It forms a very pretty neckline which continued to be more and more risqué.  Another simple but fiddly repair.  Several years back, I was into making bras and panties.  I acquired some very wide elastics and I still have some.  First I laid the garment inside out on the ironing board, positioning and smoothing the neckline.  I pinned a piece of elastic in place.  Took the top off the ironing board and slipped it over Mimie (my dressform) and adjusted the elastic to be tight enough and a centered a lace repeat.  I basted from the backside. Then flipped it over, adjusted one place that had tucked and another that had slipped out-of-place. Then I topstitched the elastic. It sort of flopped around. So I edge stitched along the neckline and then top stitched (making a 3rd row of stitching) about 1/2″ away.  This secured the lace quite nicely. The lace preserves my modesty and adds a nice romantic detail.

Don’t cha think, I need to alter the pattern and make another.



5863: View B

I’ve had this knits pattern for several weeks but would not attempt it until I pretty sure of the alterations I would need.  Even, then I’m making the one that should be most straight forward first:  View B ( The black and white print).

I traced the XL and immediately made my BWL.  I’m so happy Connie marks the L/S just above the waist (also marked).  While I’m tracing, I also mark a line 1″ above the LS so that my BWL is just a quick fold.  I whipped out 1204 and quickly compared for ease and length. So then I added 1.25″ to achieve my preferred length.  Next, I aligned the center of 1204 with the center of 5863 and slid 1204 slowly upward until the shoulders just touched.  I traced the shoulder slope from 1204 onto 5863.  I retrieved my curve and aligned it with the armscye curve.  Noting the number at top and bottom, I traced a new curve which started at the new shoulder.    I can’t make the shoulder adjustment in one step. But this is the most elegant solution I’ve found so far.  After marking the new shoulder line and armscye, I trim the excess tissue.

My fabric is a cotton jersey purchased here recently when announced a clear out of their remnants.  I didn’t even know they had remnants.  Often, when I’ve ordered almost all that’s on the bolt, they just give me the rest.  Remnants are so named because they are the remainder of the bolt. Supposedly.  Also in that category are cuts that customers returned and cuts that customers refused due to flaws.  (Sometimes customers returns are due to buyer remorse. More often it is due to flaws.)  I believe this remnant was due to flaw.  Either it was printed off-grain or stretch off-grain.  Either way, I didn’t notice the flaw until I was trying to smooth out the fabric to place the pattern pieces on top.  I almost threw it in the rag drawer right then. I decided since I had reservations about that neckline, I would go ahead and use the fabric as a muslin.

Reservations about the neckline?  Well I think that deep wide neckline would be best supported by the very pigeon breasted. Except the only people I know who are that well endowed will never wear this type neckline. I am not generously endowed and am afraid that the neckline will flop about and be too revealing.  I don’t trust pattern companies to honestly show how their patterns will “work up”.

No until I sat down at the serger did I realize the pattern comes with 5/8″ seam allowances.  I should have known.  The Big4 insist upon 5/8 seam allowances. I should have known that Butterick would have incorporated 5/8″.  What that means for me is that as I serged at 5/8 along the shoulder, I cut off the bias tape that I carefully fused to stabilize the shoulder.    I don’t know if there  are facing pattern pieces.  Originally I intended to finish neckline and armscyes using FOE. I looked at the sharp corners of the neckline and decided there was no way I was going to attempt to force FOE into 90 or sharper angles. I can barely sew FOE decently on straight and gently curved edges. I had enough fabric to cut self-facings, but I didn’t want the print to shadow through.I cut neckline facings from a white poly jersey. Not wanting to make a lot of effort for a “muslin” fabric, I did not interface the facings.  Then I thought better  and both under-stitched and top- stitched the facings.  You know me, I made big facings instead of 1″ fiddly pieces. So now I had this big neckline facing flopping around.  I fused it into place and top-stitched with one of my decorative stitches. Being I used white thread, the decorative stitch just sort of blended in and disappeared.

I serge finished the edges of the IMO really cute cap sleeve. Turned up once and top-stitched.   Next I serged the side seams and boldly (probably foolishly) serged finished and turned the hem up 3/4″.

My concern about the neckline was well founded:

It did indeed flop around, exposing underwear and girly parts.  I’d already nailed everything into place and was disgusted with my lack of patience.  I knew this could be a problem.  Why didn’t I baste at least a few seams and try it on first?  My after-the-fact fix is a dead-center  2″ inverted pleat

Which not only works well, but the extra weight at CF causes the neck to dip into a beautiful point.   I haven’t worn this top more than a few minutes for pics.  I’m concerned that the neckline may be heavy enough to continue dropping at the center front. Already, I’m contemplating adding a 1-1.5″ elastic lace across the front.

I think this turned out really cute.  I’m actually hoping that the fabric flaw will not cause me heartache.  I will work on View B pattern pieces to take out neckline width and depth. Otherwise, I’m extremely pleased. My alterations BWL, hem length, shoulder slope and armscye worked perfectly!

I’d love to move onto View A or C but I’m not sure how to change their shoulder slopes.  It’s not as easy as slapping 1204 on top and tracing.  For View A  the front between shoulder and neckline has been trimmed and attached to the back.  The View C neckline has been altered to add the cowl. I was hoping the cowl was a separate piece and View A was a decorative finish.  I’ll have to think about these for a while.