Pamela’s Pattern 104

I came across PP 104 in my pattern stash while I was hunting for her pants pattern so I could copy that great fitting crotch. I pulled out PP104 asking myself why I hadn’t used this great pattern in a long time.  Oh, I remember!  I struggled mightily with Connie Crawford knit, T-shirt pattern to develop a block for stretch fabrics. Once the knit block was developed, I didn’t really need PP104.  Unfortunately, I’m once again struggling with knit tops that don’t fit as nicely as I’d like.  I have at this point discovered that my biggest new issue is the changing slope of my shoulders with a possible rounding back demanding attention too. So instead of continuing to develop a knit block from my woven, I’ve decided to start with this plain but nicely fitting, knit, T-shirt pattern.

Not having worked with the pattern in a long time, and given my maturing memory (which is to say I can’t remember stuff these days), I decided to re-read the instructions. One piece of advice grabs my attention.  The darted T-shirt front was developed for the person with a bust that is more than 3″ larger in circumference than their upper bust.  Pam recommends if you’re on the fence i.e undecided as to whether the dart is truly needed or not, try the darted version first.  So I select the sleeve, back and darted front master patterns for tracing.  I check the recommended sizing and then decide to compare with my woven block.  I know I won’t need as much ease in a knit garment as I do with a woven fabric, but still it’s a good place to start. I opt to trace the medium angling out to large at the hips.  I can always take it in.  Different story if I need to add more. At this time, I also fold the tissue along the upper bodice lengthen/shorten line.  I know from experience that I don’t need this extra length.

My fabric is a 100% cotton jersey. It’s not real beefy but it is thicker than a summer knit. This is a relatively new fabric to my stash and only 1.5 yards long.  I make a habit of checking’s remnants before checking out and this gem just jumped into my basket at the last second earlier this year.  It’s a deep turquoise background with black print — if that’s not black it’s midnight navy.  I both like and dislike the print. It’s lovely to look at and will disguise many ills both figure and sewing,  but I will want to center the print and match across the rows. So extra effort when I’d really like a quick test fitting garment.

I make full pattern pieces, arrange the front and back on the fabric and cut them out.  Next I copy my shoulder slope to the fabric marking with a fine point Sharpie which I tested for grin through.  I also mark the bust darts and then trim the neckline 3/4″ deepening to  2″ at center front.  I don’t want to mess with facings. I’ll be using black contrasting bands at the neck and hems, including sleeves.  I take the cut pieces to the ironing board and fuse bias tape to the front neckline the back neckline and shoulders.  I know I will need to try this on once or twice. I don’t want to badly stretch the neck.

With the first try on,


I note that the armscye is really deep, even with that 1/2″ folded out; and, as expected, is wobbling back and forth almost like flapping its wings. I see copious drag lines and drapes along both sides under the armscye almost all the way to the waist. I deepen the bust dart another 1/8″, stitch the side seams at 3/8″ instead of the 1/2″ I think is there (I’m wrong. Pam uses 1/4″ seam allowances through out); and deepen the shoulder seam 3 times  until it is 2″ deep. I’m perplexed. The first fit felt pretty good. I thought the drag lines I was seeing would all disappear with a pinch or two and the shoulder.  Instead the  4 ever deeper shoulder seams and bust darts have resulted in an awkward looking top


Instead of a few drag lines, I’ve got pouching and puffing like a severe sway back, the back neck and shoulder is now peaking over into the front and while the drag lines along the sides are reduced they’re still not gone.  I’ve taken in the shoulder seam 2″. That should be enough to correct anything…..but it looks worse.

Ah well, time for dinner


and a think.



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