Monday, June 3, 2013

Altered Knit Top

This design started out as this top I purchased at the thrift store with the idea in mind to use it for the top of a jacket.  I have tried before to make a jacket/coat using sweater and t-shirts for gores for the bottom of the jacket.  I didn't think the end product was very flattering for me.  Too full of a skirt.  So this time I was going to try a different technique. Something I should add is that this top has hook and eyes down the center front as the top closure.  A huge pain.  I could of taken it out and put a zipper in, but I was too lazy.  I will probably wish I had taken the time to do this though.

This top was a little too large so I started by first putting darts in the back of the top to help shape the top.

I pieced the bottom of the jacket using t-shirts from the thrift store in a gore shape.  The first gore I designed was too full.  Would of made the bottom way to full I thought so I kept cuting the shape of the bottom part of the gore so the bottom would not be so full. 

I put four different color threads on my serger and used serged seams on the piecing on the right side of the fabric patchwork and then I did the serged seams on the back or wrong side of the bottom for piecing the side seams of the gores together. I liked the look of this. I also thought at this time I might of made the bottom of the gores a little too small.  Perhaps just a not quite as much ease as it needed.  I can fix that if I think that is going to be a problem.

This is what I ended up with.  Ok but it needed something else. Some PUNCH ! 

For decorating the top of the jacket I again used t-shirts from the thrift store for the appliques.  The nice thing about t-shirt knits is that they don't ravel.  I free form cut the flowers and stitched them on with #5 pearl cotton and a sharp needle with a big eye for the heavier thread.

After I got the appliqued flowers done, I pinned the skirt back on the top and tired it on to see what I thought.  Frankly, I liked the oufit both ways.  One just as a top and the other as a jacket.  I was torn.  I sent the pictures out to several friends to let them vote which design they liked the best.  I thought there would be a clear winner, but there wasn't.  Actually I thought that the design with just the top would be the big winner, but it wasn't. 

What I decided to do right now is just save the shirt bottom, and use the top just as a top.  Here in Arizona this summer, I can use the top for going into air conditioned places where it is too cold for me.  Also I will be able to wear it in Colorado and Wyoming when we visit my kids later this summer.  I can always attach the skirt this winter or put the skirt on another top if I decide I want to keep the top as a top. 


  1. I like the skirt and top together better. I like that skirt a LOT, but the shorts and top are ok too.

    Verry cool work, either way.

  2. Well done, Maggie, as usual. I like the top better with the shorts.

  3. Adorable, my friend! I love everything you do!

  4. Thanks so much for sharing your thinking as you worked through this project--I love seeing how you tried various options along the way. Fabulous results, too!

  5. You could take a pair of knit pants with elastic waist, cut them several inches down from the the top, and attach the patchwork skirt. The top part would be a skirt yoke. I think I like them as separates, not permanently attached. Nice job!