Now on to the real meat of this post, Jennifer Lauren's Bronte pattern.
Yes it was the dreaded, "real knit fabric behaves differently than the muslin fabric." Sewing Goddess, why have you forsaken me? Sewing Goddess said, "Snitch please, you know what you did wrong." Oh yeah, was it muslining in a different weight knit? Or was it using a wild print that made the fitting problems hard to see? Was it both things? It was both things. My gut then yelled, "I told you not to do that, but did you listen? NOOOOOO. Think you're smarter than me? Nobody's smarter than me!"
Ok, Ok, you two. I get it, I screwed up this time. Excuse me while I don the ribbons of shame to figure out what my fitting problems are. My gut yelled again, "It's your forward shoulder, like I told you the first time. What are you deaf?" God, why is my gut a surly old man? Dude needs to mellow out. Anyway my gut was correct that my forward shoulder was a good place to start. Long story short, I had to flex my brain muscles and knock out a few more muslins before figuring out the entire fitting problem. More on that in the fitting section. Let's look at pretty pictures first.
My final version is in a lovely royal blue bamboo knit, a little darker in real life. The white polka dots are 3 dimensional ink that's been painted on. Kind of like 80's puffy paint, but a little classier. (Please tell me that some of you also had a puffy pant stash.)
The shoulder detail and I are still having a torrid love affair. Ahhhh look at the cute flower buttons that were in the stash. Not knitting baby sweaters in a timely manner finally paid off. There were only 5 on the card so I put 4 buttons on the top instead of the suggested 6.
Bronte from Jennifer Lauren Vintage I made a combo 12/14.
Polka dot bamboo jersey from Marcy Tilton, but you can get it a few bucks cheaper for Harts. Harts also has this fabric in a number of other colorways.
Here's a breakdown of my fitting problems with a little photo assistance.
So what's causing all of this? It's combo of a forward shoulder and a hollow chest. The shoulder juts forward causing the back length to be too small, which in turn pulls the front up. Meanwhile on the front, the bust fullness is low, which causes pooling of the fabric near the underarm.
To counteract these fitting problems, the back pattern piece needs to be lengthened at the neck and armscye. The front pattern piece needs to be shortened only at the armscye. On my frame the armhole felt like it was the correct diameter. That told me that the same amount needed to be added/subtracted to the back/front to retain the diameter. To determine that amount I did the following...
-Unpick the basting on shoulder area so that the top and back were unattached.
-Tried the shirt on and moved the back overlap backwards until the drag lines on the front disappeared. Then pinned it in place.
- Took off the shirt and measured the distance between the back shoulder notch and the tip of the front neck binding. On my muslin that measured 1.5" With that information it was time to move on to the pattern adjustments.
How to Adjust Bronte for a Forward Shoulder and Hollow Chest.
Start with a forward shoulder adjustment to the back.
1. Draw a line across the shoulder overlap. I used the shoulder notch as a guide for my placement.
2. Cut the pattern apart on the line
3. Insert paper to make the overlap portion longer. I added 1.5" to my pattern. Tape the other part of the pattern on and use a french curve to true up the neckline.
4. Trim off the extra paper and the back piece is finished.
5. The back neckband needs to be lengthened to match the change made to the shoulder. Cut it in half on the center fold line.
6. Add double the amount added to the back. So for my band I added 3". Draw in a new center line and the back neckband is done.
7. Draw a line perpendicular to your grain line across the upper part of the pattern. Because the excess seemed to be pooling near the underarm I placed mine near the bottom of the armscye.
8. Draw another line parallel to the first at the distance that being removed. For my sample it's 1.5".
9. Fold the pattern so that the two lines touch.
10. Add some paper to your armscye and use a french curve to true up the seam.
11. Cut off the paper and all the pattern edits are done.
Note - You can also do a forward adjustment to the sleeve. Tutorial for that here. I was lazy and skipped this step, figuring the knit fabric would disguise the problem.
- I neglected my sway back adjustment again. Wow, denial on that fitting problem runs deep.
- This jersey is lighter weight than than recommended by the pattern. That does lead to some "draping" in the front.
- I used my normal 1/4" seam allowance rather than the suggested 3/8".
"Is that a fancy onesie?"
My Final Thoughts
Had to work for this one, but it was worth it in the end. Besides if everything goes well you don't get to bask in the "successfully triumphed over fitting problems" warm, fuzzy feeling. Ahhhh feels like velvet.
I found the Bronte pattern to be well formatted and the directions well written. It's a nice beginner pattern construction wise and not having to do a circular neckband insertion was a welcome change of pace. I'd recommend it to anyone who like vintage influenced looks.
Now don't you guys worry about that abandoned Lillestoff Bronte, I got plans of it. Muhhhhaaaa *Rubs hands together evilly*