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Message Board > Fitting Woes > Is this a fitting problem or construction problem? Or both? ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Is this a fitting problem or construction problem? Or both?
Knit tanks
Aleah

Aleah
Beginner
CA USA
Member since 1/9/05
Posts: 186
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Date: 7/2/09 12:00 PM

Hi All,

I've been trying to make some knit tanks, but am having some troubles. Some seems to be fit trouble and some seems to be construction trouble.

With the Built By Wendy Sew U Home Stretch Tank Girl pattern (Project #1 in the book), I can't figure out to what I should attribute the wonkiness. Here's a link to a picture.

It looks to me like the problem is partially that I didn't stretch the ribbing the right way (too much in some places, not enough in others), but also that the ribbing is perhaps too small altogether for the areas it's supposed to be binding? There was an error in the instructions, which said to cut three 2x15" strips of ribbing for the two armholes and the neckband. I discovered the hard way that there was no way a 2x15" band would cover that whole neckline, so I more than doubled the length of the band on my second attempt.

Still, I wonder if the ribbing is still too short in all areas. (That 2x15" measurement is given for all pattern sizes.) But it also looks like if I were to make the ribbing longer in all cases, the top would then be too big. This version is the small. I'm wondering if I need the extra-small. Also, I'm still nursing my daughter, so it's possible that at different times of the day I would need different sizes.

In that same photostream are pictures of the empire-waisted Simplicity 3893, which has a totally bizarre fit in the shoulders--and I have broad shoulders. The shoulders are so wide that in that thing I feel like I could share my outfit with the person standing next to me. And Simplicity 4076 (the twist version), which I had to take up slightly in the shoulders and under the arms. Both the Sew U and twist top gape a bit at the back neck unless I manually move the shoulders out to the side.

Anyways, I know this is a long post, but if anyone sees any obvious fitting issues based on my body type, I'd love to hear any suggestions...I checked FFRP, but didn't see anything I could clearly identify.

Thanks!

Rosebeee
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Rosebeee  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
OR USA
Member since 10/16/07
Posts: 613
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In reply to Aleah


Date: 7/2/09 1:13 PM

Link to pattern: Simplicity 3893

Your profile says you're petite & 5'2".

I'm also 5'2", and I have to shorten all the tops & dresses & skirts I make.

I usually have to take out 1/2" to 1" at the armhole (somewhere between bust and shoulders), and sometimes another 1/2" just above the waist (where the lengthen/shorten lines are on patterns that actually have them).

Also, like most petites, I have narrow shoulders. Some styles I don't have to do anything, but other styles I have to do a narrow shoulder adjustment. One button-up shirt I made had REALLY wide shoulders, and even though I started with my correct size, I had to narrow the shoulders a full three-fourths of an inch!!

This might be what's going on with the brown empire-waist top. Especially since you say "Both the Sew U and twist top gape a bit at the back neck unless I manually move the shoulders out to the side. " I'd look in FFRP to see if either narrow shoulders, or a narrow back look like they apply to you.

To me, the tank top looks like the straps were cut too long (or rather, were not shortened for your petite frame), and so they fit because the ribbing is pulling them tighter (and that's what's causing all the gathering/puckers).

ETA:
Here is a review of someone who made the same sleeveless version of this top as you did. And she says in her review that the top runs HUGE! So that might be part of what went on with your top.
-- Edited on 7/2/09 1:24 PM --

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Becca
My blog: rosebee.dreamwidth.org
So much fabric & patterns to fantasize about, so little time to sew!!

sewsally
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sewsally  Friend of PR
Intermediate
WA USA
Member since 8/18/02
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Date: 7/2/09 1:37 PM

I think the binding strips are too short causing the gathers.

Aleah

Aleah
Beginner
CA USA
Member since 1/9/05
Posts: 186
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Date: 7/2/09 6:07 PM

Thanks much for the comments so far!

Rosebee, I will try making the armhole adjustment you suggested and sewsally, I'll make the binding strips longer. Any thoughts on whether I should switch to a smaller size altogether, or should I just make both of those adjustments on the current size?

My shoulders are definitely not narrow--they're broad, for sure--but my back might be narrow. In other words, maybe there's just an unusually sloped jog up my sides from narrow back to broad shoulders?

Looking forward to any other suggestions...

Thanks again for all of your thoughts, Rosebeee!

Marilly
Marilly
Advanced Beginner
OR USA
Member since 7/9/06
Posts: 696
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In reply to sewsally


Date: 7/2/09 10:05 PM

I second this... it's too short overall. You should not be stretching it to the max for it to fit. I would also take the lengths they suggest with a grain of salt. Knit ribbings vary in their stretch and recovery so it's often better to cut the rib to the opening measure, fold it & 'walk' it around to see get a feel for how much shorter it should be. This video really shows a good way to figure this out without relying soley on numbers.
Threads mag knit binding video
Also, try to handle the garment as little as possible during contruction, pick it up by it's hem rather than the shoulder seams and keep it flat on a table when doing the measures. With tanks it's easy for the arm and neck openings to get stretched out, especially lighterweight knits.

sewsally
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sewsally  Friend of PR
Intermediate
WA USA
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Date: 7/2/09 10:15 PM

The top seems snug enough across the bust but very roomy in back. I would be tempted to take in the side seams for the back only or cut a smaller back because the armhole seems too large in the back too.

How does it look if you try it on with the back in front?

Lets see a photo without the binding.

goodworks1
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goodworks1  Friend of PR
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IL USA
Member since 7/19/03
Posts: 3620
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Date: 7/3/09 10:21 AM

It appears to me as though you have very square shoulders (and broad, of course, as you said) and that is probably why the tops fit better when you push the neckline out toward the shoulder tips.

So I do think you should adjust for that shoulder slope difference on any top that has wide shoulders.

But otherwise, I think you are starting with a pattern that is too large; it's especially noticeable in the back. I'd go down at least one size, probably two, and make a substantial FBA and go from there.

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