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Emily Explains: How to Alter Emmeline

April has been a beautiful month so far, and after the long winter we had, I really can’t complain. But springtime brings some style obstacles that I struggle with each year. The sun warms up and I’m ready to pull out my summer dresses and sandals, but the wind still has a cool breeze left over from winter. Our Fiora collection comes to mind – with a variety of garments and accessories to wear at this time of year. Fiora is a beautiful blend of cotton, viscose, alpaca, nylon and wool – making it incredibly soft and light, but warm from the wool and alpaca fibers.

I designed Emmeline to be a classic dress with a little bit of lace. I hoped it could be layered and worn a few seasons out of the year. Since most of the body is in stockinette, there are some opportunities for altering the length of the dress to create a shorter tunic or top if you prefer. Depending on your size, a classic tunic length is approximately 27-28 inches long measured from the center back.

I’ve drawn the original schematic for Emmeline below. This design is knit in the round from the bottom up to the underarms and then worked flat.


To make your piece a little bit shorter, you could omit the 6 inch section of lace at the bottom. You will have to decide if you want to use both lace patterns in the first 4 inches or just use one. After you have made the first 4 inches of lace the way you like, you can complete the pattern as written.

Here is the revised schematic omitting 6 inches of lace.


To make your piece a little bit shorter than that, you could adjust the length of stockinette around the bust. You will have to again decide how you want to use the lace at the bottom. After you have knit the 4 inches of lace, follow the decreases in pattern. Then adjust the length of knitting between the waist and the underarm. From the underarm, continue to follow your pattern to complete the piece.

Here is the revised schematic omitting 6 inches of lace & shortening stockinette section.


These are just a few options for adjusting the length of Emmeline. They all allow you to avoid decreasing while knitting the lace patterns.

With practice, making these small alterations to patterns will become a piece of cake, so you can tailor garments to your individual taste.

Happy Making!


close up of the lace in the dress



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