Wednesday, April 13, 2016

What Knitters can Learn from Sewers

Same measurements, very different figures

Threads magazine has always been a great resource for garment makers.

Knitters struggle with fit partially because they lack the fully detailed information which is available to sewers. There's a great online article here on the Threads site. 

Students often ask me where to find these resources so I'd like to share a few of the highlights and images here, but please do go read the article in it's entirety. The article focuses on armholes, however the bodice fitting details are very helpful for your understanding of fit.

Understanding  the terminology of fit.

"People with identical bust and over-bust measurements often fit into the same size and style pattern differently. The shape of your body depends on where you carry your flesh and dictates the shape of an armhole. A muslin is the testing ground-it's the perfect place to sort out fit issues."

This is important to your understanding. I'm a 37 inch bust but my frame size is often smaller than a 35 inch bust measurements.

"And the only way I know to successfully fit an armhole is to use a muslin."

Measuring off the body is very difficult it gives you a starting point but fitting with a garment is the only way to understand the three dimensional nature of your shape.

"A muslin tells you more than your measurements alone do."

Use your existing garments to figure some of this out. 

"Most patterns are cut too low under the arm."
If it's too big you can still wear it. Too small and you can't.
"Changing your shoulder seam is a judgment call. The seam should lie along the top of the shoulder at a place that balances the body front to back and follows the natural slope of the shoulder. The shoulder point falls on the shoulder seam at the exact place the arm and shoulder come together-at the dent that forms when you lift your arm."
I usually use the small bone which protrudes at the back of the shoulder. This way works too. 

I know most knitters don't want to go through the process of creating a fitting muslin. Understanding these fitting standards and adjustments will help you to use a more critical eye when assessing your garments and the pattern schematics. It's best to develop your knowledge slowly. I made many garments and studied pattern drafting to grow my understanding and you can too!

1 comment:

  1. There is an ancient Threads article with Deborah Newton using knit fabric rather than a muslin to test out fit. I should look it up again.