Fiddling with Size While Rome Burns…or Falls to Ruin, or…um…Something Like That

I’m pleased to report that this top survived multiple reduction surgeries to emerge in wearable form! Thank goodness, because I just love this floral-and-roman-ruins fabric.

Baggy Roman top
My cat is not impressed with my handiwork. The only way she could appear more disdainful is if she were wearing a beret and smoking a Gauloise.

It started off as Burda’s Keyhole Batwing Blouse (05/2015 #111) but you’ll notice my version doesn’t really look anything like it, starting with the fact that there’s no keyhole anywhere to be found.

Burda 05/2015 #111 Long Blouse #114 Joggers

Burda’s version is incredibly long. My first mod was to shorten the pattern pieces by 10 cm/4 inches at the hem but once I sewed it together I shortened the bottom even more.

The next thing I discovered was that at least two of me could fit inside the shirt. So, I resewed the side seams to remove at least 10 cm/4 inches from each side of the top. After that it was still very baggy on me but at least it looked like it was meant to be a baggy top, rather than looking like I borrowed my obese great-auntie’s muu-muu.


Next I realized the neckhole was a giant gaping maw. Bra straps just hanging around in public like nobody’s business. No way was I going to add a keyhole to this already precariously revealing over-sized mess. As I looked at myself in the mirror, thinking this was destined for the ‘donate’ bag and feeling rather sorry for myself, I started pinching and pulling and stabbing with pins at the neckline and I was all like, “fuck you, neckline!” and came up with a total hack.  This is the kind of hack one might do when one has no idea how to sew or how to remove existing seams to properly resize something. Because I was too irritated to do anything properly at this point! But this non-sewer’s hack actually turned out looking alright: I ended up gathering in the front of the shirt on either side of the neck at the shoulders, and folded the shoulders down over the gathers and stitched. Turned out looking sort of like epaulettes while adding some nice drape to the front of the top. Triumph! So fuck you, neckline! 😀


Has that ever happened to you? That moment when you realize the neck opening has already been cut way too big? What do you do?


This top might look nice with a tie-belt as shown in the pattern photo, but for now my preference is to wear it tucked in.


If you’re curious about the fabric I wrote about it in this previous post.


I also notice in the last two photos that the zigzag stitch I used on the arm and back seams is kind of obvious — the seam doesn’t have that nice neat look you get when using straight stitches. Normally I would have used my serger on those seams, but no word of a lie I was just too damn lazy to rethread my serger from black thread to beige thread. So zigzag it was.

What is your go-to method of sewing seams on knits? Serger? Zigzag? Twin Needle? What do you find works best?

Thanks for reading!

6 thoughts on “Fiddling with Size While Rome Burns…or Falls to Ruin, or…um…Something Like That

  1. Yes to the keyhole problem. It’s not been a problem with just bra straps for me, but with the whole dam bra showing. My sort of solution was, after doing the seam binding treatment, to hand sew the two sides together, binding to binding up as far as I needed. It *kind of* looks like a deliberate bit of detailing.


    1. You are exactly on my wavelength, Felicia. Passing something off as possibly looking like a ‘deliberate bit of detailing’ is just my style! LOL


  2. Wow, that fabric is amazing! it’s so hard to find that a pattern is twice the size you expected it to be, then to adjust it into something wearable. I know. I’ve been there :). You succeeded fabulously.


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