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Good fitting knits
Deb Fox
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Deb Fox
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Florida USA
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Date: 1/23/12 9:33 AM

Are there any pattern companies out there that actually draft patterns for knits that don't have excessive amounts of ease? I have tried several in the past few weeks, and have come away with a collection of ill fitting tops. I measure carefully, start with the size I should based on my high-bust and have everything from too tight to wading in fabric. My latest attempt was what I thought was a cute top by Butterick with pleats along the frong neckline...the back neck was to low and two wide, even after a high round back adjustment, and the bac was just to wide...it literally fell from in big pleats from my shoulders to the hem...no shape whatsoever. The front was just as bad...just loose and frumpy with too much width everywhere. I tried pinching out a little here and there, but it just looked worse and worse? I've tried Kwik-sew, the big 4 and even a few Jalie...any suggestions? I wish I could find a simple knit top that I could use as a sloper to design my own knit top patterns, since the commercial tops are just a disaster!

Thanks for listening!

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Deb: www.thinkingcouture.blogspot.com

BeeBeeSew
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BeeBeeSew
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Maryland USA
Member since 12/13/07
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Date: 1/23/12 9:40 AM

I suggest you measure the pattern pieces for finished size before you cut rather than going by the size it says to cut. You're right, many patterns have a LOT of ease and you may like your knits to have a much closer fit.
Pay VERY close attention to the pictures and line drawings. If the line drawing looks like a sack, you're going to end up with a sack. If the neck looks wide - it is. I, personally, will never sew a pattern that has only drawings on the front - no photo, no makey. In my book they're trying to hide something.
Also pay close attention to how much stretch the fabric should have for the pattern. If your fabric's stretchier than they recommend you'll likely end up with a garment that feels too large.
My personal favorite is a Jalie basic tee-shirt. They come with all sizes so you can mix and match them to fit you and they are much truer to size than the big 4.

psew
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psew  Friend of PR
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In reply to Deb Fox


Date: 1/23/12 10:41 AM

Kwiik Sew has some patterns that are for knits. Have you tried Jalie, their tops patterns are great and easy to follow.

minggiddylooloo
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minggiddylooloo  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/23/12 10:45 AM

Check out Silhouette Patterns, Peggy has a lot of free webcasts posted that highlight patterns in her collection as well as teaching you how to fit them. She has a webcast happening this evening on Jeans.

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marjoriekh
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marjoriekh
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Virginia USA
Member since 8/28/10
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Date: 1/23/12 11:19 AM

Was it the Jalies that were too tight?

I had this problem with Jalie, until I realized that their sizing was different from everyone else: The measurements for the patterns I have used have been the actual finished measurements. No guessing. This makes it so much easier than the big 4, where you have to figure out the ease with each pattern.

Determine for yourself how much ease you want at each point -- bust, waist and hip -- and cut accordingly. I had no problem once I determined that I like a slight negative ease at the bust (I'm small - chested), an inch at the waist, and 4 inches (sometimes more) of hip ease. I do my standard shoulder/neck and long-waist adjustments, cutting for this ease, and Jalies fit like a dream for me.

Can anyone chime in and confirm that this has been their experience with Jalies as well? (Or not?)

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marjoriekh

diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/23/12 12:35 PM

Are you checking the amount of stretch your fabric has? If a pattern calls for 25% stretch and your knit has 50% stretch, you need to go down one size.

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My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

MNBarb
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MNBarb  Friend of PR
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In reply to marjoriekh


Date: 1/23/12 12:53 PM

I agree Marjorie. I love Jalie patterns. I would label them modern fit; straight and fitted. They are true to the size listed but, if you like more ease, will need some adjusting.

I also agree with the importance of fabric choice, not only stretch but also recovery. I love the stretch and soft feel of rayon/lycra but it's too clingy and hangy for me in a fitted T.

Deb, I hope you find a solution to this frustration since a quick knit top offers so much sewing satisfaction.

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Barb
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Thomas Edison
"I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow." Woodrow Wilson

Deb Fox
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Deb Fox
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Florida USA
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Date: 1/23/12 1:09 PM

Thanks for all your replies. I do check the stretch of my knit, I guess I am just frustrated, especially with the Big 4, that they are not consistent with their knit patterns...I finally get one done and think I have the adjustments figured out when I go on to the next pattern, only to have it be a complete disaster. I figure that if I can figure out a knit sloper with a properly fitting neckline and back width that I could use it to design my own patterns...I've only been sewing for over 40 years...at this point I feel I should have very few wadders!

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Deb: www.thinkingcouture.blogspot.com

LauraTS
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LauraTS  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/23/12 2:13 PM

Oh, the big 4 knit patterns are nutballs. Some have a reasonable amount of ease and some have enough for Omar the Tentmaker. In my limited experience, Kwiksew patterns have the same problem, even though they are nice in other aspects. I will say that I've had decent luck with New Look knit tees - they don't tend to have as much ease most of the time, but you still probably want to go down a size if you're looking for a fitted look.

I think for a slimmer, closer to RTW look Jalie is a good bet, as is Burda and possibly StyleArc, Pamela's Patterns, and Sewaholic.


-- Edited on 1/23/12 2:14 PM --

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beauturbo
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In reply to Deb Fox


Date: 1/23/12 2:28 PM

I think it's hard for the pattern companies to even know how it's going to fit on someone, just because of all the different knit fabrics out there and different amounts of stretch on each one of them, you could choose from each time. Even though Kwick Sew even most times puts the percentage # of the recommended stretch on the back of the pattern envelope.

But if everything is always coming out way too big for you, on those knit tops, I think you probably need a smaller sized pattern, and unless you have real big bust or something, just use/cut the size that is going to make the shoulders fit right for you. So the size that would make the arm hole seam, sit on the top of your shoulder, just in the right place. If you have narrow shoulders, it might be a smaller size than you think sometimes. Then, sew the shoulder seams first, and if you do a flat construction where you set the sleeves in flat and open not sewn into a tube yet, with the side seams not even sewn together yet, then try on, and you can see just how big it's going to be. Then as long as the shoulder/armhole seam is now in the right place, and you are sewing only one long seam from hem of top, though the armhole area and all down the sleeve to the sleeve hem, in one fell swoop that way, you can just make that seam as wide or narrow as you want. You could try that. It works for me.

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