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  • Belle Stemper

Necessity Is the Mother of Invention (or Creative Thinking)

One of the most exciting and satisfying things about sewing is to have the perfect fabric (in my case, a "delicious" knit) in your favorite color (coral) AND to have found a great pattern to use!

All of this came together for me this week while I was sewing EXCEPT as I finished the knit top, I realized it was too tight!!  :(     A knit top should softly snuggle you, but this was "snug" enough to show all my middle age lumps, bumps and flat tires.

And this after CAREFULLY measuring AND taking care to only sew with the 1/4" seam allowance the pattern specified.   So my happy moment suddenly became a huge disappointment, and I was discouraged. 

Well,  of course I had to have a bit of a pity party.   After I got over that, I put myself to work thinking through the problem and how I was going to resolve it.   I looked at a few YouTube videos which weren't much help.  I knew I needed an extra couple of inches inserted into the sides.  The trick was to figure out what would look good.    Then  . . . it came to me!!!   I had enough extra fabric to cut two long strips.   I could ruche the two sides which would mimic the ruching at the neckline.  Then the strips could be sewn into the sides.  Eureka!!!

​Below are my strips after using the differential feed on the serger on both sides.   I cut 2-1/4" strips.   I still needed more gathering for the impact, so I pulled the needle threads to get the desired look.

Below is my gathered/ruched strip pinned to the side of my top.   I chose to carry the strip all the way to the bottom edge of the sleeve.   I did this for two reasons:  1.  it makes it easier to install the strip, and 2.  the sleeves were tight as well!   I also increased my seam allowance to about 3/8" to cover up any stitching from my gathers.

Here is my ruched side!

And here it is with sides folded to the front for the picture.


YAY!!!  And now I am happy again.

It's painful, but sometimes happy accidents or creative thinking out of desperate necessity produce an even better end result.  Now my top fits great and looks more interesting than the original pattern. ~ Sylvia

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