Monday, November 27, 2023

Frankensteined Frankie Polo

I’ve arrived at a place in my sewing where just about every pattern I see asks me what I’m going to do to change it.  It’s like a compulsion.  Sometimes, the change is minor and sometimes, like with my sweater coat, it’s nothing like anyone intended but it was exactly my vision.

Love Notions recently released the Frankie Polo and I like the split neckline.  I also like the knit bodice and sleeves with a woven collar and placket.  My first attempt was a mess and I won’t be sharing pictures or wearing it in public.  As I suspected, the neckline was too big and deep for me and there were other issues with the size I foolishly chose.  I wanted to make a fleece top for winter riding and thought I should go up from my usual size but I did  not need to!

I thought for a while about what to do.  I knew I could go down a size but that wasn’t going to fix the neckline.  I’m never a fan of Henley or polo shirts with plackets that go too far down the chest and looking at the examples on a lot of people, it just wasn’t going to be what I wanted.

Then I looked some more at the drawing of the pattern and realized it is a very boxy fit.  I kind of like a top that goes in at the curves, sometimes, so I thought about the whole thing some more and this is where the wheels get spinning so fast they either come flying off and someone gets knocked out or we fly right up to and A+ and I’m a genius. 

Could  I somehow shorten the length of the placket?

What if I shorten the placket AND mash this with a pattern that I know fits me pretty well, the Panama Tee.

First, I had to figure out how to shorten the placket.  This was one of those moments when some other being took over my body and I somehow did exactly what I wanted.  If only it was always this easy.  This v sits more where I wanted it.  Nothing choking me but also not at all revealing or wanting a stitch to keep the bottom closed.

Once I knew that would work, I had to figure out how to transfer the neckline to the Panama Tee Dress pattern that is pretty tried and true for me.  The necklines are really different in the front and different enough in the back that I knew I had to change both.  This also meant using the sleeves for the Panama Tee which I was happy about because with this fabric, I wasn’t going to have enough for the sleeves in the Frankie Polo but the Panama Tee sleeves are smaller so it was going to work!

I took both fronts pattern pieces and lined them up at the shoulder to see what I could do.  I drew both of them onto one paper, in different colors so I could keep the lines right and cut out my new front.  For the back, I only had to change a little bit but I did the same process.

Then I worried about the collar.  I figured there was no way the collar would be long enough because my new neckline seemed a little longer.  I wasn’t worried about the placket because since I shortened it, the original Frankie Polo pattern piece was plenty long enough.  But that collar.

I cut out one collar piece just to try it, once I put the front and back together.  I was amazed that it fit, I got right to work.


And then I got completely carried away with cuffs😂. The collar and cuffs came from a button down shirt that I made and stopped wearing.  My initial hope was that I could just take the collar and transfer it but that didn’t work.  Then I saw the cuffs and got really excited but quickly realized I had already, inexplicably, cut off one of the cuffs and it’s long gone.  I started from scratch and I’m pretty pleased with the detail!  They can fold back or stay as they are.

This fabric was in a mystery box from Surge Fabric Shop so I have no idea what it is.  I suspect there’s polyester in there.  But I like the stretch and drape and this tomato red is one of my favorite colors and it’s really hard to find.

I like this enough that I want to make another one but it’s not really my style.  I could easily make too many of these and it would be weird.  I wore this and couldn’t stop thinking all day that I was able to make this come to life in exactly the way I wanted it to be.  This is the danger of sewing because now I think I can just mash any patterns together to make magic and oh, I could not be more wrong!