It’s not that I want to draft patterns. I’d far rather buy patterns because the designer has already made hundreds of sometimes tiny decisions as well as the big changes on which we focus. At one time all patterns were tested and accurate. That’s no longer true but my real issue is my fitting problems. I can no longer do an NSA and BWL alteration and be assured the pattern will fill fit as the designer envisioned. I believe my new issue is the increased slope of my shoulder. If true, why is it that I can’t add a 3rd alteration (copying my shoulder line) to the NSA and BWL alterations to create a pattern which fits? Every pattern I’ve tried, I’ve had to make several test garments. I get there but not without a lot of fabric going into the garbage. So while I’d rather not draft patterns, I am moving in that direction. I’m working more and more with my sloper to create new styles and to create new slopers. Right now I’m working on a Sleeveless Sloper for Knits.
I know I’ve read and heard lectures on converting patterns designed for wovens to work with knit fabrics. I’m not a fan of the ‘make a size smaller’ procedure. I believe there are a number of small differences which add up to a nice looking and fitting knit garment. I reviewed my Craftsy Classes and finally realized the information was put forth by Judy Jackson in “Pattern Making for Knits: Essential Slopers”. Judy recommends a number of changes starting with removing 1/4″ from the side seams; then raising the bust dart, apex and vertical dart 1/4″ ; finishing by drawing the underarm of the armscye 1/2″ higher. The directions are quite detailed and I do recommend watching the class (Chapter 4 has the nitty-gritty). My summary leaves out a lot of good information which Judy shares. While I don’t agree with ‘make a size smaller’, I did think some of Judy’s alterations could be combined and simplified. Plus, I was puzzled by the fact she didn’t mention raising the waistline. At night, when DH has something on TV I’m not particularly interested in, I watch Craftsy Classes (and other craft videos). It has a secondary benefit in that I don’t leap up and try out whatever, I think first. In this case, the next morning I had recalled a method that didn’t involve the smaller size but was much simpler than the procedure Judy proposes.
I pulled out my woven sleeveless sloper. Why? Well yes I do have a basic knit pattern that will make the typical knit top I like to make and wear; and I can do a lot with that basic pattern. But I want to do more. To do more, I need to know where the darts have moved and what changes have been made to the sloper. Actually, I need to have those darts where I can manipulate them and the other changes restored so that I’m working with a blank slate. So I pulled out my just finished sleeveless sloper for wovens and copied it.
At the armscye notch, I drew a horizontal line across the bodice and then even folded out 1/4″ That takes care of moving the underarm up 1/2″ and at the same time moves the bust dart, vertical dart and any waist shaping up but 1/2″ instead of the 1/4″ Judy recommends. For now, I’m just making a mental note this may be a possible issue. The other instruction I recall said to fold out 1/4 vertically. But no matter where I put the vertical I’m going to be changing something. The question became do I want to make my jewel neck any tighter? or my shoulder narrower? Neither, so I did trim 1/4″ from the side seam as Judy recommended. AND repeat for the front pattern piece.
In less that 15 minutes, I have my sloper. Not only that, it should fit. I mean it already fit for woven fabrics. I’ve made 2 small changes to adapt for knits. I had the sudden realization I was going to want to kick myself. I’ve spent hours, days, weeks trying to reach to create a basic knit pattern. Would this work?