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.