Below Zero Mods!

Below Zero Mods!

Hey, it's me Ree Nay (Renee)!

I decided to hack the Below Zero top to be a short sleeve version, that can be worn in the summer. I love the below zero, but I had reservations about buying it when it was released, because I am not a fan of having skin showing when I am wearing a sweater (If I need to wear a sweater, I'm cold; if I'm cold, I want everything covered.) (link above is an affiliate link; clicking the link is no cost for you, but I will get a small commission if you make a purchase.

I decided to make 2 different versions, although there are plenty of alterations that can be done with this top. Both alterations are very simple, and don't add a lot of extra time.

Items needed:

2- way knit fabric (4 way stretch will work as well)

Sewing machine

Serger (optional)





Alteration #1- short sleeve version of the below zero, with an unlined cowl piece. I despise lining pieces, and since I wanted to use a lighter fabric for this, I felt lining it may make it look weird (especially if you have a lighter fabric).

For full transparency, I wanted a slimmer fit, so I did size down 2 (from a 6 to a 2, keeping the size 6 hips).

So first thing you want to do, is tape your pieces together, and make any necessary alterations to the pattern before cutting out your fabric; Before cutting your fabric, you want to add some hem allowances, since some of the pieces aren't hemmed in the original version, but are in this hacked version. You want to add a hem allowance to the top* of the collar piece, as well as the sleeves. For this, I added 3/8 for the collar, and ¼ for the sleeves.

*When you are adding the seam allowance to the collar, you want to make sure you aren't adding it to the side the is going to be attached to the bodice. I made that mistake the first time, and had to re-cut that piece.

After you have added the hem allowances you can cut out your pattern pieces- waistband (2), collar (1), bodice (2)

Pin and hem your collar piece. Again, make sure you are hemming the correct part. It's the top part of the pattern piece, but when it gets sewn onto the bodice, it will be on the bottom.

Sew the bodice pieces together; since there are no added sleeve pieces, you can sew the side seam now.
At this point, I chose to add the band. 

For the collar piece construction- overlap the ends of the collar piece at the top 1 inch, baste


To add the collar piece, you want to put the wrong side of the collar on top of the right side of the bodice. Line up the notches on the bodice and collar piece. I did find the middle between the 2 notches on the collar, and mark. I lined up with the shoulder seam with the midline between those 2 notches.

Sew the collar to the bodice. 

It should look like this:

You then want to sew the seam allowance down to the neckline.

Hem sleeves.



Alteration #2- short sleeve version without collar piece (a regular off the shoulder dolman)

Step-1 put together pattern piece, and make any necessary alterations.

Step #2- cut out pattern pieces- bodice (2), waistband (2), neckband (1).  To get the neckband piece, I measured the neck opening (33 inches on a size 2) and took 85% of that, giving me 28 inches, I did not add a seam allowance. For the width, I went with 1.75 (giving me a collar width of 5/8”)

Step #3- Sew the shoulder seams, and then the bodice seams

Step #4- Add the band to the bodice.

Step #5- Quarter the neckband and the neck of the bodice. In this particular version, you don't need to mark the notches on the bodice. Sew the neckband to the bodice. Topstitch if desired. 


I hope you found this helpful.

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1 comment

Muchas gracias. ?Como puedo iniciar sesion?


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