Wednesday, August 25, 2010

One Stone

This is a post about two of the three pieces of clothing I am wearing between my waist and my collarbones. And it is not about the thing that I am wearing which you can't see. So that narrows it down.

Both of these things have been done for a long time. The sweater was finished in June, and the top in July. It took me until a few days ago to block the sweater. Wow. I just admitted my gross negligence in a public place. I need a minute to recover.

The stats:
The sweater is Hannah Fettig's Featherweight Cardigan knit with US 4 needles (I think. It's been a long time since I finished!) and in Valley Yarns 2 14 Alpaca Silk. The top is New Look 6774 shortened to be a top and made from fully lined cream colored eyelet.

The modifications:
In the sweater, I moved the raglan lines in towards the top of the arm by 2 stitches on each side and cast on more stitches at the underarms. I have trouble with top-down sweaters fitting properly, being a woman of a large-ish chest. By the time the body circumference is right, the armholes are way to long and the arms are huge. There was a recently released updated pattern for this sweater which I believe does something similar, though I knit mine from the old pattern and have not read the new one. I shortened the arms to a kind of middle short-sleeved length just above the elbows, and I lengthened the body by a lot.

For the top, get ready for an in depth few paragraphs. This pattern is actually a dress pattern, but I have this love for eyelet which I couldn't put off. I was originally thinking to do the lining on the Lemon Skirt in eyelet and have it peek out under the hem, but that plan fell through so I decided to shorten the dress to make a top similar to a few others which I have in my closet. I measured one of the existing tops to get the length of the body right since this is an eyelet edged fabric and there was going to be no hem. For me this was 12 inches.
The modifications were many, and if I was going to do it again, I would do a lot of re-drafting of the pattern to get it right. I moved the front of the straps about an inch towards the center. Basically, I tried on the top with a bra and made it so the straps would cover the bra straps. I have to wear a strapless with the top, but it was useful for placement. I took about an inch overall out of the circumference of the bodice initially, then went back and took out another 1 1/4 inches out of each side of the front, tapering to the existing seamlines at the band. As mentioned above, I am a bit chesty, but whoa did this pattern overcompensate. This means that that top now fits mostly snugly against my chest but since there aren't any darts or anything, it kind of reshapes my boobs in a way that they don't go naturally. (We're talking a lot about my boobs today. I hope that's ok with you. In this context, I'm ok with some over sharing.) Note to pattern drafters - boobs are curvy. The don't stick straight out from our chests like boxes. It would be nice if there were allowances made for "the girls" while still allowing the top to provide a bit of modesty. My bridesmaid's dress for my brother's wedding was exactly the same way. Fit great across the back, but I could have fit a whole other set of boobs in the front in addition to my own.

If I were to make it again, I would do all the things I mentioned above plus one more thing. This top has a centered back zipper. What kind of sadist puts a centered back zipper into a dress that ends at the middle of the back, right where no one can reach short of those freakishly flexible circus performers? And just think of the contortions I would have had to go through if I had put in a hook and eye! Anyway, next time I'm moving the zipper to the side seam.

I'm fairly happy with both of these things, though not ecstatic, hence the long time in talking about them. The top (aside from the fitting issues which are mostly resolved) is quite sweet and girly with the lacy edging. I'm learning to love my girly side, but I can only really feel comfortable in this top if I'm in the right mood. The sweater fits pretty well, but I wish I had made a bigger size. The rolled stockinette edging means that while it theoretically fits across the bust, it rolls open, and I feel more comfortable with more coverage.

1 comment:

Kara said...

You know, both really look great. And are quite fab together!

It is frustrating that most pattern makers just don't get "the girls." I hate always having to make adjustments.