Monday, May 10, 2010

Tuesday's Tute: What is a "well fitting" top?

I used a knit t-shirt to draft the pattern for this top. I made it a tunic length and made the sleeves long. I also added a double gathered knit ruffle to the neckline. I have since made myself two other knit tops using this method and they've come out well. I don't happen to have photos...they get used often and seem to always be in the laundry. I've also made countless Ts, pjs, and dresses for my children. You can see many of them in our flickr group (left column of the blog). If it's knit and has's from this method and from our Easy Knit Top/Dress e-pattern. And, we're giving one away. Register for the Mother's Day Giveaway. This giveaway ends Tuesday, May 11th @ Midnight ET.
Time for the Tutorial......
When drafting a pattern for a knit top from an existing knit top, the directions often say to choose a "well fitting" top as the basis for your pattern. What exactly is a "well fitting" top, besides the obvious...we like how it fits?

Here are some tips for finding just the right top to create any look you're after. These tips deal with knit tops, I've done similar drafting with wovens and will talk about that another time.

1. Make sure the top fits you around the chest as you'd like.

2. The shoulder seams of the top should rest at the top of your arm on your shoulder, not inside where your bra strap rests and not off the shoulder.

3. Look at the neckline. Does this top have the same type of neckline you'd like to create in the new top? Changing a neckline is possible but can change the fit of the top. It's safer to choose a top with a similar neckline.

4. Is the top you have of similar fabric and similar stretch?

Things that can be easily varied are:

1. The length of the new top.

2. The hip width of the new top.

3. The sleeve length of the new top. **If you are going from a T to a sleeveless, make certain the under arm of the top is high enough to become sleeveless.

4. The sleeve width.

Something else to consider....

There are many tutorials being written about adding ruffles to a top. This can be done most of the time and the ruffles can be placed nearly anywhere. But there is one thing to keep in mind. If you place ruffles around a neckline the neckline needs to be crew or close to it. Also the ruffle fabric should be a lighter weight knit. If the neckline is a bit larger around and the knit of medium/heavier weight...the ruffle may pull the neckline down with it's weight. Putting ruffles add weight to a garment...keep this in mind when adding them to knit tops. It's possible for the ruffle weight to cause the top to hang differently than it did before the ruffles were added.

Happy Sewing!

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