Story of a Pointelle Knit

Although terribly please with the fit of my PP104 jersey knit, I couldn’t be 100% sure that my pattern changes would produce the same results.  Well, I really want better than that because while I was thrilled with the fit of the back, front and left side, the right side still needs major improvement.


In addition to the horizontal pull lines, there are also 2 diagonals , one on the back the other on the front which although I can’t see it in the pic probably meet at the side seam.  So I need to test the tissue changes, restore the armscye circumference possibly addressing the horizontal pulls at the same time, and then clean up that drap on the right side so it looks as good as the left.

I marked the current tissue as “slinky”. I’m now thinking of it as the Slinky Version. I then traced a copy of the back and front of the Slinky Version; folded Slinky up and put it away.


I immediately added  2″ length at the hem.  I don’t plan to add 1″ binding to every T-shirt I make. In fact I plan to use this as my basis for many other knit tops and will want a hem for most of them.  I retrieved my armscye template (traced before changes were made to the Slinky) aligned with shoulder point and underarm seam and traced the template.  I’m particularly eager for you to be able to see the different this makes but fear that pens didn’t make a dark enough mark.  The template lowered the underarm at least 1.5″ but it also filled in along the upper armscye. I finished by adding 1/4″ to the side seam allowances. I like to give myself some room to adjust.  Not all knits stretch the same amount. When I need to, I want to be able to let out the seam just a little.


Initially I did almost the same for the back i.e added 1″ to the hem, copied the back armscye template and added 1/4″ to the side seam allowance.  I stacked the tissues, cleaned the room and went away for the night.  I like to have time to reconsider all the changes that I make. Far too often I find that success is within my grasp if I just take a little time to let my right brain and left brain analyze things.  The following day, I decided to change the back side seam.  I had traced a medium going out to large at the hip.  I opted now to trace a large along the entire side seam from underarm to hem and then add 1/4″ to the SA.

The sleeve also needed changes.  I don’t have a picture because I confused myself several times and made many more lines than there are even on the back.  Essentially, I traced a small along the cap, medium along the front side seam, large along the back side seam then added 1/4″ to the side seam allowances.  At least, that’s what I intended to do.

I cut away the excess tissue.  I made full copies instead of half pieces because I know that I will be making different fitting changes for my right and left sides. I would have made full-sized pieces eventually for working with prints and stripes so it’s not that big of a deal. When I folded out the back, I saw this interesting upward curve in the back neckline:


It’s just slight. Maybe a scant, scant 1/4″. Maybe between 1/8 and 1/4″.  It’s just enough I can see it.  I know it resulted from the last set of darts I put in the Slinky Version. They were placed just under the shoulder and intended to create the shoulder slope without affecting the length of the shoulder.

I wanted a fabric very similar to the jersey knit just used. I was hoping to minimize the issues that occur when a different fabric, different weight, different stretch are used.  Unfortunately I don’t have anything exactly like the previous cotton jersey. I did have this lovely Pointelle Knit which is somewhere between 2 and 10 years old. Bet you thought I was going to say 20! No I know I’ve purchased it since moving to SD. I don’t remember where or when but I do remember being disappointed when I realized this wasn’t going to work as a Summer Tank.  Those lace holes can be very revealing. But it will work fine for an Autumn and especially Winter garment when I’m likely to add more under layers. I don’t know if this is a blend. Pretty sure it has a cotton content. A woven fabric has a straight of grain.  The cross grain is usually very straight. Knits are different. Some are really bad at biasing. This one was slightly bad.  Enough so that I did consider tossing and choosing another fabric but then I thought it is a good test. I mean, if I totally goof this up, I probably won’t be so upset and can blame part of the defeat on the fabric. So I proceeded to struggle with and do a pretty good job at aligning stripes to cut my front and back. I had only 1.5 yards of fabric and was thoroughly planning to make 3/4″ sleeves. By aligning the sleeves stripes to each other and ignoring the body, I was able to create full length sleeves.  Since this is primarily to be a winter garment, I went with it.

I taped the back shoulders;  serge finished the side seams, and stitched the bust darts before changing the bobbin to water-soluble thread. Maybe I could have serged the left shoulders but I decided to baste the shoulders together.  On second thought, I also stay stitched the necklines.  A little late but hopefully it will help. I basted the side seams at 1/2″ and made my first try on.

For the next pics I’ll be wearing a camisole to combat both the grin through of my underwear and the tendency of the fabric to cling to my body.  I adjusted several times and still didn’t get it all correct, but I can see lots of good things.


In this back view the diagonals on the right side of my body are very clear. I also wonder if I shoulder have left the shoulder length at a medium. But otherwise, I think it’s OK>


Even with the wonky folded shoulder, it’s clear that I need to do something with the back, right side. The front however is considerably improved. There are no tight pulls from bust to side seam.

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I think the front and left-side bear out the previous observations. I’m thinking I’ll concentrate my efforts on correcting the drape on the back, right side.


It’s clear to me, that the right shoulder doesn’t just slope more, it’s actually lower.

I won’t share the next set of pics. I stitched the left shoulder seam 1/2″ deeper. When I slipped the garment over my head (after putting on a camisole), it did not settle into place. While in the first set of pics, the right shoulder folded, this set of pics the left shoulder slipped towards the back.  I did not notice this until I was carefully reviewing the pics to see why the left side had suddenly developed drag lines.  Drag lines on the right side were considerably reduced. In fact, there are none on the front or back views. They can only be seen from the side view. Oddly there are more drag lines above the bust dart than below.  I realize that I have ignore the just learned lesson that if the armscye is shortened at the shoulder it must be restored at the underarm. Oy! Vey! I take the 3rd set of pics with the right shoulder seam ripped 1/2″ at the underarm and carefully position the garment on my body.

I’m hating this garment already.  I don’t like to fuss with my clothing. This garment isn’t even complete and I know I’ll always have to wear a camisole and carefully adjust its position on my body. Add to that, this color is unflattering. It offers no contrast, actually making my complexion muddy and spotty.


I deliberately made this pic small so that you had to be ‘stepped back’.  It makes you take a bird’s-eye or overview.  I have the left sleeve inserted. Could you tell?

I look at the right side view right away because that’s where the change was made and that’s my greatest concern. I’m relieved that the most of the drag lines have disappeared. There’s still a little puffiness on front beneath the bust dart and the a little more on the back. Honestly, it could be telling me to add waist shaping. What I notice though is that the bust dart is no longer pointing to my apex


and quickly discover the same situation has developed on the left side


This is likely to be an error in the alterations made to Slinky. I cut a lot off at the shoulder seam. maybe that was the wrong place?   On the back, right-side I keep wanting to take a dart across from the bust dart line. But if I do that, the side length between underarm and waist will no longer match.  Something needs to change. But what?

The question now, though, is do I finish this garment?:

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I hate the color. Hate putting on this garment especially since I have no choice when it comes to wearing the camisole. The bust dart is in the wrong place. Period. As in whether I adjust the shoulders or not.   On the plus side, it’s the right length; maybe a little excess ease but not too tight anywhere.  I’ve discovered that the sleeve needs to be shortened 1/2″ (already transferred to the pattern!).  I’ve discovered that continued shortening of the right side is necessary. Not increasing the slope or performing a forward shoulder adjustment, but darting the right side to remove length is the correct alteration (I just don’t know the right place to put that dart).

What would you decide?



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