Re-fashioning Paola Tops

In the past few months I have made a couple of Paola tops which for one reason or another have not turned out as I would like.

Usually when this happens I offer the garment for sale on eBay and if not sold it is put aside to go to the local charity shop. In this instance I really wanted to keep the two Paola tops for myself, so something would have to be done.

The first – a Grey Sweater Knit style Ponte from The Textile Centre finished up quite fitted with a polo (turtle) neck that was uncomfortable as it was so restrictive and close to my neck. Also the sleeves, once I had added long cuffs, made them too long. Even though I had intended for them to cover my wrists in the really cold weather, I found them uncomfortable and was forever folding them back.

The second, an Aqua-coloured Paola was made using a cotton jersey bought when on sale from Charlee Girl. The entire garment felt too big, the neckline was stretched, the sleeves too long and the hemline with the twin-needle stitching was very wavy.

For the Grey version I first cut off the collar and re-shaped the neckline to a low crew shape. Using some remnant of fabric I cut a neckband 2¼ inches wide and following my TNT method, applied this to the new shape. The sleeves were also an easy fix. I cut off the cuffs and removed the overlock seam. I removed 3 inches from the length of the sleeves before re-attaching the cuffs. Now they are exactly the right length. Whilst I had the Charcoal Grey thread on the sewing machine I took the time to take in the side seams at the hemline by approximately 1 inch each side, grading to 0 inches at the waistline.


One down, one to go.

Again for the Aqua Paola I removed the collar and re-shaped the neckline. This time into a wider, more scooped line. I used a remnant from the tropical leaf print jersey dress that I made last Summer to cut a neckband. Once again, my TNT method resulted in a great-looking neckband complete with co-ordinating top stitching.

The sleeves were each reduced by approximately 3 inches before adding a cuff, also in the contrasting tropical leaf print jersey fabric. The wavy hem was given a thorough press and it is now ‘behaving’ itself.


I have retrieved possible ‘rejects’ and now there are two new tops in my wardrobe.

This exercise has also taught me how quick and simple it is to re-shape a neckline, apply a neckband and add contrasting cuffs to a tee top. As good quality tees are readily available from High Street stores at very competitive prices, in future I might buy some and refashion to make new ‘originals’.