Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Simply Satisfying Sewing: A Tale of Two Pullovers

Yesterday I had the urge to do some real simple sewing, and make myself a few knit pullover tops. These are the kind that I love to wear: three-quarter sleeve, scoop neck, not too loose. So I decided to do a little experiment: draft one with PatternMaster Boutique, and one with Curves (both from Wild Ginger).

Here's the thing: PMB is really meant for drafting patterns using woven fabrics, while Curves is meant for knits. But many people do use PMB to draft knit garments (I've done it myself). I thought it would be interesting to try them both.

The first top was drafted as a no-closure blouse, with three-quarter sleeves, armscye princess darts in the front, and zero ease all around. I didn't scale the pattern for the knit fabric.

Front view:
Not bad, but a bit on the loose side, which surprised me. And the sleeves were certainly too loose (partly my fault... I really should have checked the hem circumference setting).

Back view:
The back view shows better just how loose and floppy this top is. Not unwearable, but not quite the look I was after.

This morning I drafted the same top in Curves. I used zero ease again, and specified a 10% horizontal stretch. I also shortened the sleeves and narrowed the sleeve hem circumference.

What a difference! It's much snugger, fitting just the way I like.

Back view:
It fits a lot better in the back as well. Yeah, there's a bit of wrinkling at the waist where it rides up my hip... but I don't mind that. A bit of hip ease in the next version will fix that.

I finished the hem, cuffs and neckline with a triple coverstitch, for no particular reason other than I hadn't tried that stitch before and it seemed high time. I really do like how flat it sits against my neck!

I look forward to getting a lot of wear from these shirts... although I'll probably take in the first one before adding it to my closet.


  1. Love the Curves version and the Jacobean fabric. Very flattering.

  2. The tops turned out really nice! And they do look comfy!

  3. Your triple cover stitch looks great!!

  4. Wow, the fit difference is amazing. Since I have curves, I'm going to draft my fave shoulder princess t-shirt in curves and compare it to the PMB version that I'd been using for my knit shirts up until now. -Andie

  5. What did you use for the neckline setting in Curves? It looks great on you, very flattering!

  6. Tami, I used a scoop neck with a depth of 3 and a width of 2. After much experimentation, I've found this is the combo that looks best on me.

  7. Thanks! I'm going to start from there myself. That's a good neckline for me too. The difference in the 2 tops is amazing. I liked the Boutique one until I scrolled down and saw the Curves version.

  8. I've been wondering about the Curves program - and what a difference in fit between your two tops! I may have to consider getting it, though I would be frustrated not having a cover-stitch machine/-capable machine, and I haven't really used my PMB much yet - I lost weight and have to redo all my measurements, and just haven't gotten around to that.
    I do love knit tops though... hmm


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