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Archive for December 8th, 2009

A Gift Made of Transformation

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

I’m short on time to write here, but I hope photos will do instead.

I had a holiday party where the general theme is girly, glitz, and glamour. I picked one woman’s name in the gift exchange.


I just had a picture in my mind what she might like. Actually, I tried a few ideas before I figured out how to make that picture work.

First I got a cotton-lycra knit top, a bit plain but well-fitting to show off a few curves. Here I am modeling the top before I started transforming it:

Then I did something I’ve done with wool knits previously. I cut the fabric vertically. I cut straight up the front at the spot where the top slit ended, and I also cut straight up the sides of the sleeves.

Knitting generally does not want to run sideways, though it will run up/down. By cutting rather carefully on the vertical “grain,” I got edges that naturally curled under at the edges.

I then washed the piece and dried it, which encouraged those edges to roll further. I also hand sewed the rolls in place at the bottom edge of each cut.

At the waist, I cut two tiny spots on each side and hand-sewed with buttonhole stitch to reinforce those holes. I also reinforced the rolled edge with some hand stitches.

Then I got a semi-sharp darning needle with large eye, threaded it with purple satin ribbon, and sewed down each arm in a cross-laced pattern, leaving ends long enough to tie at the bottom of the sleeve. I cut some matching purple ribbon (but wider) to hold the waist together.

She liked it.