Let’s Talk about Ease (McCalls 6796)

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When I started this project, I had no idea how popular this pattern was (McCalls 6796).  I just thought it was cute when I saw it on another blog.  But fitting this on my body turned out to be a real challenge.

I chose a beautiful sweater knit from Gorgeous Fabrics (sold out).  In retrospect, this knit may not have been the right choice for me – it added bulk where I didn’t need it.  But it’s beautiful!

I was really concerned about fit, as this is one of my goals for 2015.  When I read the pattern, this is what I saw:  “close-fitting, pullover top”.  Page 119 of the Vogue Sewing Guide notes that close fitting tops should have 0-2.25 inches each.  Here’s what the pattern for size 12 says, followed by the finished garment widths printed on the pattern:

  • bust 34″, 36″ finished (2 inches ease)
  • waist 26.5″, 35″ finished  (7.5 inches ease)
  • hip 36″, 38.5″ finished ( 2.5 inches ease)

That’s a lot of ease through the waist. In fact, the Vogue Sewing Guide would say that is loose fitting.

Anyway, I stitched it together as is to start.  I ended up having to take the shoulders up about 1/2 inch to fit me better there. And take the armcysce seam a little deeper (1/8 inch).  But when I tried it on, it looked like a rectangle on me and didn’t flatter at all.  So, I took it in, way in.  Better, but the style still didn’t work for me. In fact, I think I over-fitted just under the bust area.  I like it on the dress form, but not on me.  I’ll be donating it.

As for construction I did three things differently from the instructions.  First, I set the sleeves in flat.  Second, I cut the collar out on the lengthwise grain instead of the cross grain.  I wanted the contrasting effect with the ribbing.  Third, I hand-hemmed the sleeves and top, since I tend to get wavy hems.

So, what did I learn from this project?  That I’m still struggling to fit the upper body, I need to do a better job choosing fabrics that flatter my body, and styles, too.  I may try the pattern again in the future with a different style knit – one that drapes.

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2 thoughts on “Let’s Talk about Ease (McCalls 6796)

  1. Learning is always good! When I made mine I did a FBA, a sway back and I took in the waist about 2″ to get a more slender fit. I keep making them as I love it on me, but hope you find an even better pattern for you! 🙂

  2. I want to try it again, if I ever come across the right knit. But, for now, I need to finish an old project, and get started on the spring/summer wardrobe.

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