Style vs fit

This post is part of a personal blog project to Find My Style. Please read the first post for an overview of what I’m trying to do and what kinds of comments I’d like. Thanks.

Sorry for the radio silence and the delay in approving comments.

In the meantime I decided to make a sleeveless top using the Sorbetto pattern from Collette.

The first thing I had to grapple with was which size. My hips correspond to the size 18 measurement and my bust to the size 16. Thinking about Amy Herzog’s writing about fit, and her view that we should use the upper torso measurement and then adjust the bust because that allows for variation in overall bust measurement for people with the same breadth of back, I would be more like the 12.

The pattern notes said that there was not much ease so I initially went with the size 18 and then picked out and recut the top part to the size 16 lines and darts because that was too big.

However, there is still some gaping in the armhole above the bust and one of my friends suggested that could be the shoulder and/or the upper back curve. She passed on advice from a sewing teacher of hers to pick the size based on shoulder measurement and adjust the bust, which is more or less what Amy H. says.

Pondering this, I realize that if I did this I’d be adjusting the pattern to make the size 12 top part gracefully extend into size 18 hips. Ignoring the front, where I’d obviously add width and length for my breasts, the back would end up very A-line. My upper torso measures 40″ and my hips 48″.

Hence the title of this post. The style of the Sorbetto is relatively straight with some waist shaping. It is not an A-line top. Do I adjust the Sorbetto in this way? Do I look for A-line styles?

Of course, there is always the issue that this pattern is a very basic top pattern, the value of which might be that I don’t have to draft the whole thing from scratch. But I think there is still a useful question here.

Am I looking for a particular range of styles and then making minor adjustments to suit my own unique body? Or am I adjusting everything?

And if I’m doing the latter, how does that affect the final outcome.

5 thoughts on “Style vs fit

  1. I want to preface all this by saying that I hope I am sticking to your comment guidelines, but I’m not taking time to go back and reread them again now. All comments are made with the utmost respect and with sincere good wishes for your happy sewing/dressing life πŸ™‚

    I can’t see the darts on the picture of the finished top, and there’s no pattern schematic that I can see, so I don’t know how the top is shaped, but it looks pretty boxy to me. The best way I know to deal with editing for size is to use styles with princess seam lines, because they give you more opportunities to adjust the pattern at the bust or the waist or whatever.

    You ask:

    “Am I looking for a particular range of styles and then making minor adjustments to suit my own unique body? Or am I adjusting everything?”

    I would say to the second one, yes, you’re adjusting everything if you want it to fit you well. If you don’t mind about fit, then you don’t have to adjust, but in my experience (which I admit is limited) all commercial patterns will need to be adjusted to achieve a custom fit. Some more than others, and you can find a range where the basic sloper the designer is using underneath the pattern more closely resembles your shape, so the need for editing is reduced, but it won’t go away. Basic styles that you can fit and make over and over again with subtle adjustments seem like good candidates to me.

    And to the first I would say, yes, I would look for a particular range of styles, and those styles would include princess seam lines, because those allow for the most opportunities to adjust fit. On a top with a back and a front, you have four edges (the left front, the right front, the left back, the right back) to adjust to alter the fit for size and shape. You’re pretty much going to get a boxy top. Two piece front (which it appears this top might be? or is that front fold a faux detail?) bumps you up to six opportunities. Still pretty boxy. But a top with princess seam lines front and back will give you TWELVE places where you can adjust for fit. All of a sudden, vavoom! Curves in the garment in the places where there are curves on you! That is a lot more ways you can alter the shape of the pattern pieces and do so in smaller increments at each seam allowance (although of course you won’t do all your adjusting at the seam allowance, some of it you’ll do by cutting and swinging portions of your pattern pieces out, etc.). Say you’re making a 2″ adjustment at some point, divided by 4 = 1/2″ per seam allowance which is a big chunk to add or subtract somewhere. 2″ / 12 = a little less than 3/16″, a much smaller sliver to alter an area by.

    Good luck! πŸ™‚

    If you can fit a basic princess seam line top for yourself, you can play around with necklines, sleeves, collars, any other kind of decorative detail, and you can have about any kind of top you want built on this base that you fit yourself for once. Adjustments for shoulder slope and upper back curve will go a long way to making that fit a good one.


  2. Pingback: Red buttoned sleeveless | Tricotomania and more

  3. Pingback: Sorbetto finished | Tricotomania and more

  4. Been reading a book I had on my shelf about principles of pattern drafting. Now Andrea S. comment about pinching out that sagging into a dart makes more sense. Because I can then MOVE that dart somewhere else. Not on this version, obviously, but I could use that principle to adjust the pattern to not sag there.


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