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Forum > Fitting Woes > Tight sleeves/bodices on a knit top (sewaholic renfrew) - Adjustments? ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Tight sleeves/bodices on a knit top (sewaholic renfrew) - Adjustments?
draglines + sleeves are too tight on upper arms
cathytxtwfr
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cathytxtwfr
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Date: 11/19/13 0:30 AM

Hello, I am having fit issues again... but this time with a knit. I am using a size 14 from sewaholic patterns, the renfrew top. I searched around and I think I need to do either a 1) Broad back adjustment 2) square shoulder adjustment 3) full bicep adjustment 4) go up size, but there is only 1 size left to go up to - but I am not sure so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Many of the tutorials or tips I am finding are for wovens, but I am working with a knit. Basically there are some major drag lines at the neck and near my front armholes. The sleeve around my upper arms are very tight and uncomfortable.

Here is a photo of my upper arm if that helps:

Below are the photos (I made it 2 times) and I've circled my major problem areas.

Some notes:
Purple = straight size 14, no adjustments
White = I tried adjusting the pattern using Sunni's tutorial and while it worked for a woven jacket I made, it did not work for this knit. Another thing to note is that when i tried this adjustment, it threw off the length of fabric where the sleeve attaches to the armhole - it was too long and didn't match up, so maybe that contributed to it being too tight as I had to trim off quite a bit when attaching it.

I am using a knit that doesn't have a lot of stretch.














Any advice or links to tutorials or leads to books on this topic would be great - thanks so much in advance for any help.

Cathy
-- Edited on 11/19/13 0:33 AM --
-- Edited on 11/19/13 0:34 AM --

beauturbo
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Date: 11/19/13 2:25 PM

It is too small, on you. So if you make it again you could cut the next size up.

If you want to use the same size and same pattern pieces, next time around, I can tell how to probably fix that though.

What you would do is when cutting out the sleeve pattern piece, add an extra whole inch of seam allowance fabric just to both sides of the sleeves from the underarm down all the way to the wrist.

When cutting out the top's front and back pieces, add an extra whole inch of fabric to both of those on the seam allowances from underarms to the bottom hem.

By doing even just those two thing, now when yo sew it up, I think it will fit you. And the underarms won't be tight and rip out, and you won't be getting all that fabric pulling across the bust and the underarms.

If you do that, that way, the neck and shoulder seams stay the same, and you would effectively lower the arm hole by 2 inches, and also give yourself more fabric around the top of your arms, and 4 inches of more fabric across the bust there. And the armholes would no longer be tight. And I think all the pulling wrinkles would go away.

That is going to make your sleeves 2 inches wider, around the bust 4 inches wider and the hem 4 inches wider.

You may not need all of that, but better more fabric than you need than not enough. As you can always cut more off later.

If you do that, you can just sew front to back at shoulder seam. then sew top of sleeve caps into that. Then without even sewing up the inside of the sleeves or the side seams at all, you can just pop it over your head and try it on and see how it's going to fit. You could even baste or pin it there. If it turns out you don't really need all that extra fabric in your seam allowances when it's on you like that, then just take a larger seam allowance in those places.

That would be one very simple way to do it, with really not much measuring or calculations or anything like that at all, as it's just a knit T-shirt.

cathytxtwfr
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cathytxtwfr
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In reply to beauturbo <<


Date: 11/19/13 4:56 PM

thank you for such a detailed reply! this is my first attempt at making knit tops, so i was a bit lost. i will go adjust my pieces ASAP! thanks again

Nancy K
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Date: 11/19/13 7:25 PM

I concur that it is too tight. I like to add extra sas for in case sas to account for the great variance in stretch in different knits too.
I also think that some of her chest issue is due to sloping shoulders and part of the problem seems to be an unevenly applied neckband. Take a look at Sarah Veblen's video on the lThread's magazine site on applying a neckband. I like to baste it on first and make sure that it looks good before I serge it.

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SandiMacD
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Date: 11/22/13 7:16 AM

You have 2 things going on- one in the neck binding and the other in the bust/armscythe.

The neck binding is either too small or was not pinned well or there is too much fabric vertically between the upper bust and shoulder seam.

Yes, you do need more fabric in the bust but probably need a FBA on the size you cut or add the fabric as beauturbo suggested to the sleeve.

If you go up a size you will be adding more fabric to the shoulder areas and the shoulder will drop off more. Right now the shoulder seam looks well placed to me.

Sarah V neckline binding tutorial is really great- measuring and pinning correctly will help you prevent those neck binding wrinkles.

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Nancy K
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Date: 11/22/13 11:26 AM

I now that this is not a popular solution for knits, but I like to use a dart. Though recently I have started using a different method.
I decide how much ease, or negative ease I want in the bust and cut the pattern for that size. I then slice across the bust point, mine, not the patterns, since it is always lower, and add enough length to go over my bust and not hike up in front. It's about 1" for me. Then I ease the back into the front If you don't have much stretch in the length, I'd use a dart instead. Of course, this is dependent on the amount of stretch in your fabric. You can determine this and figure accordingly. I always add in case sas to the side seams.

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cathytxtwfr
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Date: 11/22/13 12:01 PM

I've been working hard! Here are attempts #3 (white) and #4 (gray). I followed the video for the neckline for both of these - i dont think ive perfected it yet but im making progress!

Some notes:
#3 white: I followed beaturbo's advice and added 2 inches to the sides and arms. While it is very comfortable, I think it just looks too big on me. The scoop neck is lower because I messed up on my first attempt and rather than unpick I cut it off and started a new lower one. The draglines are still there but they don't "pull" or feel uncomfortable anymore - and if i pull down on the shirt they disappear slightly, but come back as soon as i raise my arms again.

#4 gray: i ran out of fabric so i made this one from a XXXL Men's tshirt, which is why I don't have cuffs or a waistband, there wasn't enough fabric. I did a double folded over hem with a twin needle instead. But that's okay, my goal is to perfect the fit on the top and for the armholes first. This one has no draglines but the shoulder seams "drop off" I think. Also I tried to taper the sides with a curved ruler to make it more fitted at the waist and hips like Attempt #1 and #2 but it still balloons out.

SandiMacD, I will try your advice for the FBA for my next attempt. Do you have a tutorial/video you recommend trying out?
NancyK thank you for the dart advice and I will keep it in mind but first I want to try to find a dartless solution - ill def try it out if i cant seem to get anything to work after a few more tries though!

Thanks again! I am slowly but surely getting there...










Marie367
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In reply to cathytxtwfr <<
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Date: 11/22/13 1:58 PM

Fitting oneself can be so difficult. I am not an expert at all but I think you were alot closer with your first two tries. This is meant to be a close fitting top. These last 2 attempts are obviously too big. Did you pick a 14 based on your upper bust measurement? I think the first 2 were too small and you need a little more width across your back and across your chest. Adding to those 2 places might fix the sleeve issue. Adding to the side seams just adds fabric there and that is not where you need it. I see on your pattern in your first picture that you seemed to have added to the sleeve pattern. Maybe I missed it but is there a reason why you didn't use the pattern as it is? If this were me, I would use the 14 neck and a 16 in everything else. Use the sleeve as it is on the pattern. Someone on here pointed me to the the New Mexico Extension service-they have simple drawings of basic alterations (they also have all kinds of cool tips for other issues too). alterations
Do an FBA and maybe a broad back/round back-keep in mind that you may only need a little. I would agree with the post about maybe adding a dart too. If the neckline is too big after those adjustments, that is fairly easy to fix. After adding to the front and back, see where the sleeves are-they look close in the first picture.
Then look at some of the reviews for this pattern-some of the recent ones have the same lines as you. HTH

cathytxtwfr
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cathytxtwfr
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In reply to Marie367 <<
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Date: 11/22/13 2:33 PM

I used the pattern as is for attempt #1, the purple one. The altered pattern was for #2, the white one.
I will retrace the pattern for your 14neck/16everywhere else advice.
Thank you for the link, I think I will try one of the broad back/ wide back/ round shoulder/sloping shoulder alterations - so many to choose from! Definitely something I will print out.

Fitting myself is difficult but I really don't mind this because I wear t-shirts a LOT so it will be worth it once I figure this out!

Plus this forum is very helpful and full of good advice. Thank you!

cathytxtwfr
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Date: 12/9/13 1:57 AM

Hello everybody, just an update for anybody who cares...

In the end I did this: neckline, armhole size 16 graded to side size 14:


then armhole slightly lowered:


which resulted in this:


Wrinkles are still there BUT I do not care as they are nice and LOOSE - the previous wrinkles were very restrictive. So as long as they are not tight I do not care too much. Thank you for all the help and advice!!

I wrote the full story (with all 7 renfrew muslins!) here: http://cathywu.com/journal/kalali/2013/12/09/sewaholic-renfrew-designed-in-canada-made-in-usa-worn-in-taiwan/

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