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Forum > Fitting Woes > How do you fit loose styles? ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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How do you fit loose styles?
Is it me or are they even harder than fitted things to get right?
meleliza
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meleliza  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/27/12 11:01 AM

I've had trouble with a number of projects that are meant to be loose fitting blouses. It just seems much harder to get right than a closely fitted bodice.

For one example, I just made S2593 in red sateen for Christmas. I chose this because I had made it before (in Liberty), loved it and didn't want to bother wit a muslin etc. I tried on my other version just to double check fit. I noticed that while it pooled a bit in my center back I didn't really mind. It was a flattering shape across my full bust if I played with the gathers to get the just right and shaping the side seams gave it just enough shape. so i started on my red version. To save fabric, I left off the neck band. Somehow in the red cotton/silk this gathers were awful. I played with it lots and running out of time, changed the gathers to pleats. Not bad, but not great. Also, the back looked just plain awful! Huge obvious puddles in my lower back! In a fitted top, I would make a sway back adjustment, but this has no seams or anything, plus it's supposed to be loose. But this was ridiculous! In the end, I added a waist seam to the back because I couldn't stand the puddles. But it's not great. Clearly, the satin finish made everything stand out more than the busy Liberty print. Also, I suppose the neck band greatly improves the flattery of the neckline. But still!

This is just my most recent example. I would love to have a couple loose fitting things in my wardrobe for those days when I feel like hiding stuff, but I have a hard time making them look good on me. How do you"fit" things that are supposed to be loose?

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Melanie

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Date: 12/27/12 11:24 AM

Perhaps the difference was in the softness and drape of the two fabrics? For the pattern you were using, the fabric needs to be softly drapey. Maybe the sateen was not soft enough.

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Date: 12/27/12 4:36 PM

It also seems important to me that in sateen you see every "mountain and valley "just in another shade of colour and very exaggerated

Sew4Fun
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In reply to meleliza <<
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Date: 12/27/12 4:41 PM

From what you have said, it sounds like a fabric issue, not a fitting issue to me. Cotton sateen, which is usually a mid weight fabric, is not something I would personally use with this pattern. There are blouse weight cotton sateens but they are very hard to come by. You want something with drape like rayon, silk crepe de shine, etc. HTH

Edited to add: while the envelope back does mention sateen as a suitable fabric they were probably thinking of a very lightweight sateen. (Sateen is a weave.)

-- Edited on 12/27/12 4:45 PM --

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Belinda. Melbourne, Australia
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DonnaH
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Date: 12/27/12 5:20 PM

I agree about the fabric - you relly need nice drape when using a loose pattern.

And you have to know which part(s) to fit - some are sized to fit at the shoulder, while others have dropped shoulders, for example.

meleliza
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Date: 12/27/12 11:04 PM

Yes, the fabric choice made a difference, however, this was a lightweight cotton silk blend and drapes nicely. It has more drape in fact than the Liberty I used. The shine factor made a difference for sure, because it showed every detail, but this is just one example. I was really hoping for some general advice.

For another example, S1879 which I made in a buttery yellow linen, I love it really, and wear it anyway because the color is so lovely and its so comfortable, but I get puddles of fabric at the center back where I would do a sway back adjustment in a fitted bodice. It's not exactly slimming, kwim?

On the other hand, I chose S6891 last summer because it had a cb seam and I could take in the back a little bit. I didn't have that circus tent effect in the back. It hung nicely. However, it does poof out in the front over my bust and doesn't go back in. I suppose that's just the nature of a loose fit - not slimming. But is that the solution? Adding a cb seam to patterns for adjustment? It's not always a possibility though.

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Melanie

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Date: 12/27/12 11:34 PM

Here's the thing. Cotton doesn't drape like rayon and silk, no matter how lightweight it is. Cotton has a certain crispness to it. It will hang from the bust in a loose style like the ones you have linked to. Rayon and some silks (eg crepe de shine and charmeuse) are more slimming than the same style in the lightest of cottons.

But at the end of the day loose styles are not slimming on some body shapes. In general they don't suit me, although I can wear a belt which helps, at the end of the day I look much better in fitted, tailored styles using cotton fabrics and the like, than I do in a flowy rayon or silk top.

I think the issues you are encountering are fabric and style related, not fit related. Loose styles suit some body shapes, tailored styles suit others.

-- Edited on 12/27/12 11:35 PM --

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Belinda. Melbourne, Australia
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NhiHuynh
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Date: 12/28/12 0:02 AM

With loose fitting clothes, I think its more the styling that makes it difficult, not necessarily the fit. I compare it to putting on a potato sack or pillow case and asking yourself how to make it look flattering.

I've made Simplicity 2593 and ended up gathering the bottom hem. This way I didn't have as much volume around the hips. And the gathers helped the shirt billow out and not collapse in. I made mine from washed silk dupioni fabric. So there is some crispness to the fabric.

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In reply to meleliza <<


Date: 12/28/12 0:03 AM

IMHO if you're used to wearing more fitted styles you're going to have a problem w/any of those patterns you've linked to unless the fabric choice is spot on and that can sometimes backfire.

I'm personally more comfortable in more fitted (not tight, fitted) clothing, especially tops. One of the things I look at on a pattern is the finished width of the top at the hemline. If it's beyond a certain point I know I won't be comfortable wearing it because I'll feel like I'm swimming in fabric. Certsin styles just do not work for me based on that fact alone.

I think you need to come up w/your own guidlines on what would be your comfort levels as far as ease and fit. Look at the patterns that you've linked to and made and check the waist and hip measurements. More importantly the waist because that's where you're complaining about extra fabric. I think you'll find that there is basically very little or no shaping from waist to hip and that's why they seem so big to you. On some styles you can change them to give a bit of shaping at the waist and some you can't without changing the style of the garment.

Is that the general advice you were looking for?

Debbie

meleliza
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Date: 12/28/12 1:05 AM

It's true, I have trouble with loose fitting things in general because without waist definition I tend to look like a sack. But don't you have days when you're feeling bloated or fat and don't want to show every lump and bump? Sometimes a little shape on the sides is enough to give the look without cling. But - even these that look nice enough from the front have that huge circus tent look at the center back without a sway back alteration. I mean well beyond gentle loose fitting is meant to have. I really think - based on trying rtw versions - that drape is only a small part of the issue. A drapy fabric would still have all that extra fabric. It would just puddle more and billow less and the hem would hang low over my but instead of evenly. In the blouse with the cb seam, i did the sway back alteration and it was still loose, but it wasn't picking up a tailwind. Maybe I'm answering my own question, and I probably do need to add a center back seam to everything.

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Melanie

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