So this may be somewhat out of order but I am posting about this top first although it was not my first adventure with knits. I tackled this project after twice failing with a basic Jalie T-shirt. (One of those is wearable and I'll talk about it another time). But right now I have a lot to say about this pattern. I agree with Melissa’s assessment—it is a good one. But here’s what you have to do: first compare your measurements to those on the back of the pattern and find the corresponding size for those measurements. Now…are you paying attention? Cut out the pattern three or four sizes smaller than that [I have revised my stance on this. See here.] and you’ll end up with a super cute and well-fitting top. Seriously. My bust measurement is 39/40, putting me between a size 16 and 18 according to the pattern envelope. At the suggestion of my teacher, I cut out the 14 and it was huge. I took it in at the sides a good two inches (so four inches total!) and that seemed to do the trick for fitting through the body. Of course the neckline is still too big as you can see by the way it bunches up there. Ultimately I needed the size 10 (see, this is 4 sizes smaller than what the pattern indicates) Crazy!! But I like the top anyway and consider it a success. It’s super comfortable and pretty cute even though it doesn’t lay flat at the neckline. Oh, and it really fits a bit more loosely through the bust than it looks in these photos. Reaching your hand out in an awkward sideways position to take a photo of yourself in the mirror tends to make things pull a bit… you know.
I also think the construction technique for securing the facing to the body is really whacked. The instructions have you attach the yoke to the body first (both front and back). Then the facing to the yoke. The weird part is that now you’ve got a yoke facing flapping around inside and you’re supposed to secure it by top stitching blind on the right side where the yoke attaches to the body. Then they want you to trim away any excess fabric along that stitch line. This is not easy and really doesn’t make sense. It works much better to sew the yoke and facing together first and then attach to the body as one piece. An added bonus here is that you don’t have to top stitch, unless you want to. I hope this makes sense. Let me know if you need clarification.
Finally: don’t be afraid of a little lycra in your fabric. I have always thought it sounded kind of gross, but just a touch—2 or 3 percent—gives your fabric good recovery which will be your friend while sewing—and wearing. I have learned a lot about choosing knit fabrics, mainly that the amount of stretch and recovery in your fabric greatly affects the fit and wearability of your garment. Duh.
Alright, I’m done. Except to say that I have made this pattern in a size 10 and will be back to share that project ‘cause I need a little advice…