Connie Crawford Knit Top

I decided to take a break from sewing the 6PAC pieces.  I only need one more pant to be ready for summer but the time I spent convalescing was filled with on-line shopping. Which filled my stash with several Connie Crawford patterns. I’m still pumped over how quick and easy is was to fit CS1201, the darted woven sloper.   I purchased CS1204 the dartless bodice sloper but didn’t get anywhere with it. The shapes and measurements just were so far out from what I’m accustomed to that I couldn’t get beyond looking and measuring.  I thought perhaps if I started with a pattern tweaked for knit tops, needed changes would already be drafted into the pattern.  Amongst the patterns now residing in my stash is B5215

Looking at the front of the envelope, I think that View A and C are fitted which probably would work  for very stretch fabrics like Slinky. I chose to trace and use View B which I believe is semi-fitted.  I’m hoping it’s more like a comfortable T-shirt  but with armscyes that rest at the shoulder instead of half-way down my arm and a little bust and waist shaping.

I traced the XL because judging by the back of the envelop compared to my measurements, it has ample ease.  Before tracing, I was delighted to find that the petite lines were located above the waist. That’s where I need them. It was possible for me to petite by folding the originals and then trace.  Also pleasant was how the various sizes are stacked on top of each other. Instead of tracing, I cut shoulder, side and hem.  I had to trace the curves (neck and armscye) because I prefer my originals to stay original. You know, just in case I make  copies in the future I want all the lines there.  I transferred my final shoulder slope from 1204 because I think “my shoulder slope is my shoulder slope” in the way that my crotch  curve is my crotch curve. No pant is ever going to fit me until it comes close to replicating my crotch curve.  I measured the pattern bust and waist and found that I would have 1/2″ negative ease. Again that would be fine with slinky and some sweater knits. But for T-shirt and knit top styling, I prefer more ease.  At fabric cutting time, I added 3/4″ to the side seams front and back.  Then I got cold feet or sewing hands, and cut the shoulder using the pattern’s slope and marked “my” shoulder slope on the fabric.

My sacrificial fabric is 100% rayon jersey with 30% stretch.  It’s a bright blue toile on white background.  Looked much better in the on-line picture than in person so it’s perfect for a muslin.

Normally I tape shoulder seams and start stitching. But, I knew this would be trial garment. I hoped it would be as easy to fit as the darted woven sloper but know from experience that new patterns absolutely have to be tested and even TNT patterns need room built-in for adjustments.  I stay stitched neck and armscye curves but did no taping.  Using water-soluble thread in the bobbin, I stitched shoulder and side seams and did my first try on.  Which immediately told me that I needed to use “MY” shoulder slope.  I basted in my shoulder slope, tried the blouse on; looked in the mirror and decided to take pictures this time.  Can’t say I’m thrilled. With the 1201 I spent all my time adapting the shoulder slope. With the shoulder slope fitting the rest of the bodice just worked. Not that way with this drafter-for-knits pattern.

First thing I’m seeing is a armscye bust-dart forming, followed by diagonals below the bust  and some horizontals at the hip. The sleeve is not inserted (it’s not even cut at this point) which  could effect the armscye dart. A sleeve needs different ease from a sleeveless bodice. There are several changes for a sleeveless bodice which means you can’t simply remove the sleeve and successfully make a sleeveless blouse. Nor can you simply insert a sleeve into a sleeveless bodice and be successful. I know this, still I’m looking at the under bust diagonals and remeasuring.  There should be ample ease across the bust. Why is it making these lines?  I tried tweaking the shoulder slope more. That caused the bodice to rise and try to strangle me. Obviously, not the answer I was looking for.  I also tried smoothing the “dart” over to  the underarm which was better.

I’m pleased that the back has sufficient width. It’s an issue I’ve seen recently because my back is rounding. But in this pattern the width across my back is good. It’s the diagonals crossing the waistline and the bubble just above the hip which trouble me.

Seen from the side, I realize that both center front and center back  hems are rising.  Between the CB hem rising and the bubble in the middle of the back, I think it’s more likely that I need more hip ease.

I proceedto the second fitting which includes stitching the underarm side seam so that it will be closer to my body and while letting out the side seam from hip to hem to give my rear more room.

The front view is now markedly better, except for that armscye dart. However the back and side views are worse

Taking in the side seam at the underarm has created big swags running from front to back.  I thought  letting out the side seams at the hip would have helped at least a little bit.  But no, the CB is still rising and instead of a bubble there are about 3 horizontal lines.


‘Eh, enough pictures and whining for one day.  I’ll continue tomorrow.


3 thoughts on “Connie Crawford Knit Top

  1. Just my 2cents worth. I ‘think’ you need to fit with sleeves in, same as you fit pants with WB on. I’m also wondering if you’ve tried LC’s method of adding to the back should seam and removing the same amount from the front – then move the center point of your top sleeve the same amount removing from the front and giving the back more room. “Sometimes” that works for me – other times not. What I’m seeing isn’t the top too tight over the hips – it’s pulling up like mine do when I need a FBA. Since you don’t need one I think you need to try adding more to the back shoulder as that is taking from the front and hiking it up. The other adjustment that I’ve had exceptional luck with is from Robin Demming – while mine is for a FBA – it’s something to consider. I added 5/8 in to the side seams on the front only and added the same 5/8 to the front seam only on the sleeve. It helped the FBA and BTA (big tummy adjustment!!) I do better adding a back seam and making my rounded back adjustment there. I’ve done it for so many years a back seam doesn’t bother me. AND, in a print knit it’s barely visable. In fact – I have an extremely well fitting T now, thanks to Robin.


    1. Haven’t done that yet because the armscye on this pattern is longer than the front armscye. Glad you dont think it’s too tight over the hip. The hip feels ok to me but I keep getting those diagonals pointing to the hip. I have been thinking about adding the center back seam to reduce because some ease out of the mid-back. Tried a sway back adjustment but that didn’t help, So removing ease seemed like the next step but it’s hard to remove ease at the waist only on the back side seams. Being able to take some of the ease from center back might help.



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