Easy Peasy Cowl Neck Tunic Alteration

As a general rule of thumb, it is easier to make clothing adaptive for  tube access when the garment is first created.  However, I’ve focused quite  a bit on altering existing clothing pieces rather than making something new, because, not many of us typically would have the ability, or desire to acquire an entire new wardrobe just because we now use  a tube for our meals.

This cowl neck tunic example below, is an exception to the rule.  It is quick too!

Much of my time altering the tunic shown in this example was spent reinforcing the actual fabric itself, as it is a sweater knit, and the collar part of the sweater is a very fine gauge knit.  I did not want stress on the fabric from opening and closing snaps  to distort it, or worse, create a hole.

Here it is before I altered it:

My plan was to pull the cowl part down, fasten with three snaps, and cover an access opening for meals.

I pulled the cowl down, and pinned it in place where it would be low enough to cover an opening, but not so long that it pulled the hem of the tunic up (I hoped!)


I  marked the underside of the tunic where the safety pins pierced it with white chalk to make sure the fasteners would be properly aligned.

I needed to reinforce where the snaps would go, so that entailed cutting out some fusible woven interfacing and ironing into place.


I used Pellon Shape Flex woven interfacing in black.  The small circles shown will go at each contact point of the  undersides of fabric (so six are cut out).  The larger circle will reinforce where I make the access point for my g-tube

I did the cowl part first.


As the fabric is so thin, I added a second reinforcement for the  center of each circle.  This was some french terry black fabric I had on hand, and it, too, has the interfacing fused to it.


I stitched around each circle, and over each square at center of circle, and installed  the matte black KAM snaps.


For the tunic side, I had to go ahead and create the opening before adding the snaps, because I needed to be able to put the snap pliers through the hole (too much fabric would have bunched up in the pliers to go through the neck, or from hem.

As always I double checked to make sure I was cutting through only one layer of fabric.



After the snaps on the tunic were in place, that was it!  All done.

Access closed


So, this did change the drape of the cowl.  Some cowls are  more voluminous , as they are made with larger amounts of fabric, which would most likely let the altered piece continue to look more “drapey”.  I’m pleased though, and am happy to be able to wear this tunic again.

ANOTHER METHOD  for adapting this same tunic is shown under the tab “False Pocket Tube Access”  (I owned two tunics exactly the same except for color).