I've got to be honest--- I hate altering patterns.The internet has been a huge help in this because back before there was so much information on the web (You Tube, bloggers, etc.) there were books, but you had to own them. I can't say much about this though because of my young life....But I have to say, there is one book that I am so glad I found: Palmer Pletsch's Real Fit for Real People. This book has real people and real situations that I really help me! Pamela's Patterns are based on many techniques taught by Palmer Pletsch.
So first things first. Measure your high bust and full bust. This pattern is sized by your HIGH bust measurements! See diagram in the directions for an example of high bust. If there is less than 3" difference between your high bust and full bust, use the basic front pattern. If there is more than 3" difference, use the darted front pattern. I was right at a 3" difference and decided to go with the basic front. This was not a good decision for me. I should have used the darted front. So if you are right on 3", opt for the darted front. (Of course Pamela mentions if you're on the fence to try the darted front...I didn't listen and I wish I did!)
If you feel as though your armholes are usually too long for you, you may need to alter the armhole size. I'm not even going to show you how to do this because Pamela has an excellent video on how to do this.
Next thing you will want to do is choose your neckline. There are four different options included in this pattern--- a scoop neck, jewel knit, jewel with a keyhole front and a scoop with a keyhole back. Plus, if you own Pamela's Patterns, "The Perfect T-shirt" or "New Necklines and Sleeves for the Perfect T-shirt", then you can use any of those with this pattern too! If you choose the scoop neckline, keep reading. If you choose any of the others included with this pattern, you can start cutting out your pattern according to the directions!
Cutting out the scoop neck is REALLY easy. First, find the pattern piece that is marked for the scoop neckline. It should look like this:
After cutting out your bodice pieces, keep the front bodice folded. Lay the Front Scoop Neck Template over the neckline, lining up the shoulder and front fold.
Cut off the excess fabric above the line.
There you have it! Now you're ready to sew!
A few tips from Pamela on cutting knits:
Don't spend a lot of time trying to get everything lined up and square. Many times selvedges are not straight. Knits are forgiving and do not necessarily have to be laid out as accurately as woven fabrics.
Make sure the greatest stretch goes around your body.
Don't let knits fall off the edge of your cutting table. They will pull and drag the fabric into different shapes.
If possible, cut the fabric using a rotary cutter and use pattern weights to hold the fabric down. It saves a lot of time and is much more accurate.
Pamela has created a fantastic list of 10 Tips for Making a Beautiful Knit Garment. You can find a printable sheet HERE.
Ten Tips for Making a Beautiful Knit Garment
1) Check out fabric before you buy. Make sure it has good recovery. If it doesn't, don't buy it!! (We talked about selecting fabrics in THIS post.)
2) Cut out your knits with a rotary cutter and weights. Your cutting will be much more accurate.
3) Good thread and needles are essential. Use a high quality thread and stretch needles. (Do not use ballpoint!)
4) Use stay tape on shoulder seams to keep them from drooping. (We will talk more about that next time!)
5) A 4-thread serger stitch is the best for seams. Use a little differential feed to keep the fabric from stretching.
6) Always press armhole seams into the sleeve using a dressmaker's ham. Don't let the iron actually touch the fabric -- use the steam, heat and your hands to do the work.
7) Check your fit as you sew. Don't assume it will fit the way you like! Adjust your pattern to make the next garment even faster to make.
8) Three ways to hem knits: - slight zig-zag stretch (width 1.0, length 2.5) - 4.0mm double needle (stitch length 3.0) - coverstitch with a little differential feed. TIP: Be sure to lighten the foot pressure if possible!
9) Block necklines and hems. Without this step, they will look stretch. Invest in a good iron and point presser/clapper.
10) Don't be afraid to play around with the style. Knits are ever so forgiving!
Cut out your pattern and please share your questions with us! Pamela will be able to answer your questions too, just give her some time, as she's not sitting watching the blog as people post! The next post will be shown on Monday, February 9th. We will talk about stay tape and do a little bit of sewing!