About Knit Alterations

Below you will find information about many of the different types of the knit alterations provided. We work exclusively on sweaters and other knit clothing of natural fibers. In most cases, when knits need to be shortened, a section of the knit is removed and the garment is seamlessly put back together without evidence of the alteration. Cashmere and fine knit wool sweaters especially lend themselves to this process. When done the items retain their original finish. They are just the right length! 

Of course there are other types of alteration that may be needed to have a knit garment fit properly and we provide those as well. Peruse the information below to find the type of work your knit requires. You will find our email and phone number listed at the bottom of this page. We welcome your questions. To send your items, use our Handy Form and Mailing Label.

Sweater Sleeve Alterations 
To have sweater sleeves shortened, place a safety pin at the correct length and send to us. It's that easy. Shortening sweater sleeves has been our specialty for over 25 years! We understand that you want the same finished appearance as the item now has. When the sleeves are done, they will look the same as they do now. They will just be the right length! Sleeves of knits with button openings or other such detail at the cuffs can also be shortened. Most sweater sleeves are shortened at the wrist. Occasionally it is better to shorten a knit sleeve at the shoulder. If that is the case with your knit, you will be told before the work is done. The cost for shortening sleeves at the shoulder runs about the same. 
When sending an item, if you want to include instructions that say something like, 'Shorten sleeves 2 inches' that works as well. Pricing includes tapering, if that is required to accommodate the new length. 

Pricing varies according to the size of the knit stitches and the garment construction. Fine knits, fine ribs, double knits and patterned knits cost more and large stitch knits cost less. 

The average cost to have sweater sleeves shortened is between $100.00 and $160.00. As an example, to have both sleeves of a flat knit cashmere of 8 stitches to the inch shortened and tapered is $120.00. 

The cost to shorten the sleeves of most St. John Knits is between $100.00 and $150.00. 

About Hemming Knits   
In most cases, the hems of knit pants, skirts, dresses, cardigans and sweaters can be shortened, and retain their original finished appearance. Mark the correct length in whatever way is easiest for you. You may put a safety pin at the correct length for a simple alteration. Or, attach a note that say's something like 'Shorten 2 inches".

For more complicated garments, it is best to pin or baste the finished length. This will allow for personal shaping and the correcting of a sagging hemline.

The original style and "finish" of the hem will be retained, unless otherwise requested. 

Pricing varies with the knit and the garment. Fine knits, rib knits, double knits, pattern knits and larger sizes will cost more. Large stitch knits and smaller size garments will cost less. 

Pants hemming, including St. John Knits usually run between $100.00 and $160.00. Wide leg pants or those with side slits will cost more.

Skirt, dress, cardigan and sweater hems, including St. John Knits average between $140.00 and $200.00 for medium gauge knits. More complicated pieces and fine knits will run more. They turn out beautifully and look just like they did originally. And, they are the right length!

Other Sweater and Knitwear Alterations   
There are many other types of knit alterations that we provide for a better fit.

'Picking up the shoulders' is a term that refers to two possible alterations. One is to reduce the length of the shoulder seam. (So the sleeve does not fall off the shoulder.) This can be indicated by placing a pin at the place on the shoulder seam where you would like the sleeve head to be. This will alter the sleeve length, but that is often desired with this alteration.

The other shoulder alteration is a true "picking-up" of the shoulder seam by pinning out the excess. This is done by pinching together the front and the back and pinning the desired new shoulder seam. This can tighten the neck opening if desires  and may require the collar/neckband and sleeves to be reset. 
 This is a very important alteration and can truly make all the difference in the world, as to how the garment looks and feels! Alteration departments, tailors or fitters can help with pinning this alteration.

Pricing for picking up the shoulders varies greatly depending on the garment. 
Simple jobs usually run between $60.00 to $100.00 
More complicated jobs (where a collar needs to be altered, sleeves reset, other details involved) run between $100.00 and $200.00.

Taking-in can be done to alter the sides of the garment, or  to reduce the fullness of the sleeves, or even to reduce the fullness of a collar. Pinning out the excess is the best way to indicate the alteration. Taking-in is usually done by serging the seams and produces very good results.

Taking-in pricing averages between $40.00 and $100.00. 

Neck openings and styles can be reduced (or altered as needed) to give a better fit. Pin out the excess in what ever way is easiest for you and we can determine the best way to go about the alteration. One note of caution is to be sure that the new opening will slip over your head.

Altering the neck opening can run between $60.00 and $120.00.

Please contact us if you are in need of another type of alteration. 

About Reducing and Increasing Sizes:   
There are limits to both reducing and increasing the size of knit garments. As a general rule, it is best not to reduce an item by more than 2 sizes. This is because parts of the garment will no longer be in proportion. Or, because the cost to produce an item that would be in proportion would be prohibitive. Often what is out of proportion are the neck and sleeve openings and the width of shoulders. 

Professional blocking is a permanent adjustment that will last through future wearing and cleaning of the garment. 
There are limits to increasing size by blocking. We apply 'The Two Inch Rule', which is 'Not to increase the size by more than 2 inches in either length or width'. This rule preserves the character of the yarn and knit fabric which can be damaged by stretching it more than 2 inches.
Blocking can also be used to correct sagging or mishappened areas of a garment. Blocking is only done on natural fiber knits such as wool, cashmere, alpaca.

About Sweater and Knit Repairs 
Moth holes, loose threads, snags, neck unravelling, burn holes and many other types of repairs can be done professionally with superior results.

Holes are reknit whenever possible. Reknitting is a particular skill, like "reweaving". We almost never mend a hole. If material is available, larger holes are repaired by setting a piece in. This is another skill which produces very good results.

Please mark the damaged area(s) with tape or safety pins. This will insure that all repairs are done. If the garment is in need of cleaning, it is best to have it cleaned before sending.

Prices vary according to knit and damage involved. For more information about the cost of repairs see our page on  sweater and moth hole repairs.

How to Send An Item 
To send an item, use our Handy Form and Mailing Label. It includes easy mailing instructions. You will be contacted shortly after your garment is received with the exact cost and 'ready date'. You may pay by check, PayPal or credit card. 

We do like to receive payment before work is begun on an item. If you decide not to have the work done, the garment is promptly returned to you for the cost of shipping only.

​We are here for you to answer any questions. 
Email: knitalt @ hctc .com (remove spaces)
Phone: 360-490-0255 

Copyright 2000-2024 by Knit Alteration & Design All rights reserved. Though links are welcomed, no part of this website may be copied without written permission of the owner.

                  Knit Alteration & Design                  
                                                                Professional alteration and repair of better knit clothing.

JULY 2024

Most items with minor damage are being returned within 2-3 months.

Items with several holes and/or alterations are being scheduled into
FALL 2024.

Please check out Sandy's Tips on the Home Page for ideas on caring for your knits!
Alteration and repair of these brand name knits:

Loro Piana
Dale of Norway
White & Warren
Peruvian Connection
St. John Knits
Eileen Fisher
Neiman Marcus
Bullock & Jones
Ann Taylor
Alan Paine
Peter Millar
Abercrombe & Finch
Clan Douglas
N Peal
and many, many more!