The tape measure has gremlins

A friend of mine measured me a while ago and said I should be making size 12 clothing.  My bust waist and hips are all closest to size 12.

The problem with this theory is that a size 12 is far too big in the back, hanging like a sack.  The front seems to fit fine but I think that is because the side seams are pulling forward.  The biggest problem though is the shoulders.  The size 12 is designed for shoulders that are 16″ (40.5cm) and mine are only 14″ (35.5cm wide).

Here I am in a size 10, the front looks reasonably good but notice that the set in shoulder seam is on my arm not my shoulder making the top look sloppy.  The back is worse it is hanging really badly from the neck down because it is far too wide.

So this year I am learning to make garments to fit me.  Not to fit the average size 8 10 or 12, me. When I learnt to make garments it was the 1980s dropped shoulders, baggy shapes, off the shoulder necklines were all fashionable.  I could make the smallest size and wear it with no problems.  Now I want more tailored shapes I have to learn to make them.

Issue 15 of Yarn Magazine has a great little jacket called Emma that has extensive notes so once I’ve cleared a few wips I will do this one.  In the meantime the jumper I have on the needles will be modified to include waist shaping, bust darts and narrow shoulders based on the advice in this pattern.

The pattern has 6 sizes from XS to XXL and gives the garment measurements at Shoulder, Bust, waist and high hip.

My measurements translate to:

  • Shoulder XS
  • Bust M
  • Waist S
  • Hip M

I will be starting with the M, adding extra decreases to get the waist down to the S, adding bust darts to add the extra width for the bust and then reducing for the XS shoulder.  This will be the tricky bit because the sleeve caps have to fit into the armholes.  I can see a bit of frogging involved in getting the shoulders and armholes correct but I think it will be well worth it.  The alternative it to continue living in sloppy jumpers or shawls.


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