some readers may recall that i made this pattern twice before in the long-sleeved version while on the hunt for a go-to thermal layering shirt. the results were far from ideal. to wit:
yep, this shirt has it all: a rippling neckband, hideous topstitching, & best of all, it’s one thousand sizes too big.
but for some reason, i wasn’t ready to give up on it. i decided to try again in a three-quarter sleeve style using some slightly more stable hot pink baby rib knit:
hey! this is a lot better! (that line you see cutting across my bust is a seam on my bra, nothing to do with the shirt.) i think i could still tweak the size & length of both hem & sleeves a little bit, but this is much better in both fit & execution than my first two attempts.
the thing is…you know how many sizes i went down to get this look? not one, not two, or even five. i went down EIGHT sizes in the shoulders. EIGHT. when i told jared this, he said he didn’t even think men’s shirts come in eight different sizes, haha.
in the interest of sharing the sewing love/knowledge, i don’t mind disclosing my measurements here. high bust: 36, full bust: 42, waist: 36, hips: 44.
the first time around, i cut a straight size 20. the pattern measurements for that size are bust: 45, waist: 38, hip: 49. (at the time my waist measurement was 40″ & my bust measurement was 45″. i’ve lost kind of a lot of weight in the last few months because i keep getting pneumonia & various lung infections & whatnot.) despite the fact that my measurements were pretty spot on for the supposed size, the shirt was like a circus tent on me. note that all the sample photos provided by the designer show a very fitted shirt.
the worst fit was around my shoulders. it was just enormous there, hence the neckband problems, & since the entire point of the shirt is the lapped neckline, the fit there is pretty important. i decided to take a chance on cutting the shoulders/neck according to my high bust & doing a cheater FBA around the bust apex, which is about halfway down the armscye in this design. this necessitated grading the sleeve curve as well, but it was all pretty easy. i cut a 12 in the shoulders & graded out to an 18 at the hem.
yeah, from a 20 my first time around to a 12!
i also staystitched the back neckline & stabilized the front neckline with clear elastic. there’s nothing in the directions about stabilizing these areas in any way, but after all my rippling issues last time, i decided to be safe rather than sorry. also, when the instructions say to stretch the neckband GENTLY in order to fit it around the neckline, they mean GENTLY. a light touch & stabilizing = a ripple-free neckline. the shoulders on this shirt fit neatly over the front bodice & i secured them with a couple of navy blue buttons.
i know people have maligned this pattern for looking like a baby onesie, but i like it. the square neckline is admittedly kind of weird on someone as busty as me, but i like the way it frames my chest tattoos. this baby rib knit is light & cool to the touch, but perfectly opaque. the three-quarter sleeves make this probably more of a spring/fall transition piece than a summer workhorse, but that’s okay. i’m planning to sew another with short sleeves in black to wear into the ground when it’s hot out.
i’m realizing that i am blogging/wearing a lot of indie patterns lately. i’m not sure why this is. i guess most of my big 4 pattern stash is dresses, & although i have several on the sewing docket, i’ve been focusing more on basic separates lately. & the reality is that the more limited selection available in indie patterns makes it a little easier to choose one when you’re just looking for a basic shirt or something. but by all means, if anyone reading this has a hot tip on a big 4 pattern for knit shirts, shorts, or jeans, let me know!