Madagascar V2

Rather stunned, I re-read the fabric recommendations:

Suggested Fabrics – View A & B: All drapey wovens, knits, velvets, and laces.”

I’m sorry but there is some obvious gap between the recommended size, fabric and my body. You’d think I would have been more cautious after the Ascona fiasco. Recalling the LH tops I’ve tried to fit this year, you’d think I would have at least allowed some fit insurance, but I didn’t.  Now, I looked at the blouse on me and thought “it’s drafted for knits not wovens”.  So I pulled out a jersey fabric and cut without any changes to the tissue.


Now were cookin’ with gas!  This slips easily over-head and drops into place. It even has too much ease in places. I evaluated fit and decided to increase the side seams under the arms 1″ tapering to zero at the waist. I also curved the center back in just a little more (1/4″) because it gives me a more shapely backside.  I finished the neck and armscyes with FOE. I did not trim the neckline or armscyes and that may have been a mistake. Certainly the underarm is higher and tighter than I expected

Oddly I couldn’t tell this until the garment was done.  I’m thinking had I turned 3/8″ to the inside and top stitched, it would have been fine. But this is OK.  No underwear exposure that’s for sure.

Working on that mass of fabric in the midback, I left a little side vent (2″) and added weights to the back hem

I know someone is going to look at the back views and ask “does she know about sway back”?  The reason I don’t immediately apply the sway back solution is shown in the side view.  The back hem is higher than the front. It does that when a) there isn’t enough length in back b) the hip has insufficient ease.  Every time I think I’m going to need a swayback alteration, I add 1/2″ ease to the back. The back drops into place taking with it all the mess in the center of the back and the  hem self-levels. I’m working with the weights because the shape of my butt creates a condition often called “Velcro Butt” in which the fabric tends to hang up on the back high hip. The more nap a fabric has, the more likely it is to cling up there instead of dropping into place.

However, sway back is a good observation.  I’ve known for years that my back has slightly more curve than normal. As a teen, my mother had a doctor check me.  (His recommendation was “watch your posture”.)   With my upper back also rounding (due to age), I keep expecting to need a center back seam in all my tops so I can correct my tops for both issues. So far, my solution keeps being a little more ease across the hips.

The final fit:



While not perfect, this is wearable. Anticipating a future version,  I trimmed 1/2″ from the front side seam at the underarm. I need all the ease in back and maybe a little in front. I prefer a straight center front seam.  I like having the option to eliminate it and I don’t need the extra ease to cover my B cup.  So I lined up a ruler with CF neckline and CF hem and trimmed the 3/16″ curve that extended beyond the ruler.  I curved the CB inward 3/8″. The 1/4″ I made in fitting was not quite enough. Then I added 1/4″ to the side seams from hip to them — just a smidge — for fit insurance.

I marked the pattern “Knits Only”.  I don’t think even going up to the next size would have been enough ease for non-stretch fabrics. Not on my body.  I will make this pattern many times. I love the elegance of Loes Hinse patterns. They’re always well drafted and fit together with little fuss.  Until recently, I didn’t have fitting issues beyond my standard NSA and BWL. Once tweaked for some of my individual preferences (neckline depth, length to hem etc), they are wonderful TNT’s and I made dozens. I expect to use this pattern every time I want a knit tank top.  It is that fabulous.


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