I used to be able to wear knit tops with high necklines. Sorry, no longer – no can do. Instead of tossing all my tops out to the thrift store, I figured there had to be an  easy way to convert them all to a style I would be able to wear……….recycle and save $$$$ being the name of the game!

So I experimented on my least favourite top and make adjustments to my technique so that all the subsequent tops were just great:

  1. I cut off a little on the high neck/polar/turtle section.  Don’t cut off too much as it will make your task very fiddly. You can always cut more off later if necessary.
  2. Now fold over the collar/high neck to the inside of the top & pin in place.
  3. Make sure that you use a differential feed setting on your machine or serger if you have this. Why? You want to avoid stretching the knit fabric as this will cause your neck opening to ripple and be very ugly. If you set the differential feed faster , it will feed the fabric through quicker and avoid   or reduce stretching. All of our Janome sergers have a differential feed function as well as the MC6600P & MC7700P (knob is on the right hand side of these machines near the on/off switch).
  4. You DO want to use a straight stitch or very small zig-zag stitch as you will be stitching in the ditch. If you use a serger, I recommend you set the serger to chain stitch to get the straight stitching. You do not want to be using a 4 thread with blades as you might end up cutting off your neck edge entirely and then the thrift store won’t want your top either!
  5. Stitch on the right side of the neck edge in the ditch where the collar/neck “cuff” starts. Go slowly and carefully and avoid at all costs pulling or tugging the neck opening.  Overlap the stitching a little. Trim threads.
  6. Turn garment to the inside and trim the excess turn-over to about 1/4 inch.
  7. Optional: you could set your serger to coverhem (either 2 thread narrow or 2 thread wide) and stitch from the front over the ditch stitching you have just done (OR instead of the ditch stitching). This would reinforce the foldover and have the edge inside “covered” by the interlocking of the coverhem. It would lay a bit flatter too. I did not do this step on the rust & purple tops – probably should have as the inside would look a lot neater. However, when I made these alterations, I was not thinking the blogging world would be peering at the inside of the neckline of my tops!!  The striped & black tops are neater with the coverhem stitching.
  8. Either way, the tops are just great now that I am not being suffocated. I have worn them much more than I ever would have if I had not made these alterations.







About lizafrica

I am the National Education Manager for Janome & Elna Canada (including Artistic Creative products) and I LOVE to sew! I have been employed full time in the sewing and quilting industry for almost 30 years so I bring a wealth of sewing knowledge & expertise to this blog. I enjoy all forms of sewing from quilting to sewing garments to machine embroidery and software. Pretty much everything in my life is seen through the eyes of a passionate sewer! I am constantly on the look out for fun, innovative and inspiring ideas to share with you all on this blog. I also love to read, knit , travel and spend time with my family and friends.
This entry was posted in 1200D Serger, Horizon MC7700QCP, Janome Sewing Machine, MC 11000, MC 6600P. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. marilyn RH says:

    hi liz those shoes are so additive. i want to put them on every thing. also am interested in those mittens. they would be a great ganddaughter / grandma project. keep up the good work
    marilyn RH


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