Fitting the Un-Fitted


Right. This is a bit weird but we’re going to run with it. One of the most versatile and therefore frequently worn things I’ve made this year is my off-white version of this shirt. It’s a dropped shoulder, loose fitting v neck that seems to match nearly everything in my closet, but I’ve struggled with whether or not it ‘fits’. And whether I care.

When I originally posted the shirt, I made some noises about all the drape of the fabric and the wrinkles – trying to decide what was and what was not a ‘fit issue’. Merry commented and said she’d learned that crescent shaped drag lines generally mean the wearer needs a Full Bust Adjustment – in some of the pictures in that post, you can see the lines originating at my chest, pulling down and to the sides in a crescent shape.


It took quite a long time to choose fabric for my next rendition. I eventually settled on this delicious teal and grey striped merino, and decided to experiment with the suggested FBA. I slashed and added about 3/4″ at the apex (measured off the original shirt), and then removed the bust dart that resulted from this adjustment. When a shirt is designed to be loose like this, fitting questions become quite arbitrary and I think it’s easy to get to the point where you can’t see the forest for the trees. Is this a good wrinkle? Is it a bad wrinkle? Who, ultimately, is the judge here?


Is my face betraying that it’s a bit too cold out for shorts these days?

Here are some comparison photos of the first and second shirts:

From the front view, all you can really tell is that the amount of drape in the fabric makes a pretty noticeable difference in the way the shirt hangs. I’m wearing the same bra, standing in the same spot in all these photos.

The side view is more telling. I would argue that my FBA did, indeed, get rid of the crescent-shaped wrinkle/drag line in question. So I guess that experiment was a success. I’m still kind of on the fence about the amount of time I dedicated to thinking about fit adjustments on this shirt though. Interestingly, my sleeve-lengthening between #2 and #3 seems to have removed those armpit wrinkles, which I didn’t even notice until I was editing the photos…


My main struggle with this shirt was in fabric-wrangling. After pre-washing, the fabric had a pretty intense bias going on, which made cutting on grain nearly impossible. I ended up folding it corner-to-corner, misting it with water, shaking it all around, and then ironing it into submission. I’m fairly certain this process took longer than the actual making of the shirt, but at least my stripes line up…


Jon says that with the exception of the wide v neck, this shirt looks like something I found in the menswear department. He’s not wrong. I used to love shopping in the men’s section (back when I still bought clothes) so I’m not exactly sad about it – it’s cozy and oversized and low key and I wear what I want.

I was a good scientist and didn’t make any changes besides the FBA for the teal striped version, but I definitely see a limit to the number of dropped-shoulder tees I need in my wardrobe (I do want to make one more in a maroon type color, but I haven’t found the right fabric yet.) That said, I was by no means done with experimenting.


Meet the Succulent Crop Top!


My life is full of plants because our apartment is pet-free. I wish the lemon tree would meow back, just once.

This fabric, you guys. I was at Spotlight for a zipper and when I spied this amazing cotton/spandex cacti print on a sale table, I just couldn’t resist. I needed it, like a plant needs to photosynthesize. I’ve been so good about not impulse buying lately that I decided I deserved a treat. This, for the record, was the same shopping trip that I found the Shark Typo Fabric. (PS this fabric also has printing flaws, so if you’re picky about your prints, Spotlight is 0 for two…)


Look what a cutie she is! This is my biggest echeveria and she is so happy and big!

I knew I wanted another loose fitting dropped-shoulder tee, but this time I decided to chop off some length! I’ve been a bit reticent to make cropped shirts because I feel like they won’t be as versatile in my wardrobe, but I’ve been living in my high waisted Gingers; showing them off with either tucked in shirts or my signature Woodstock crop top. It was high time to add some more cropped shirt options to my arsenal.


Is it weird that I just want to go around showing people this hem? Yes? Well I’m doing it anyways.

So: I removed about eight inches from the bottom, and converted it to a split hem with some subtle high-low action for good measure, and finished the hem with some very pretty mitered corners.


Why yes, the insides are as pretty as the outsides, thanks for asking! I do love a good mitered corner.

Perhaps most noticeably I widened the sleeves. This was mostly just a variation I wanted to try – I was thinking one step closer to a kimono-type sleeve. Interestingly, although I wouldn’t label it a kimono sleeve, it seems to have nearly eliminated the armpit wrinkles present in the first two versions! Plus, I definitely prefer this sleeve to the first two. I must say I’m pretty happy with it!


It hits just at the waistband of my high waisted pants, and the flow action is on point. I think if I were to wear this to work I’d put a tank on underneath it – although that’s less about modesty and more about my desire to stay warm in that air-conditioned ice box we call an office. I’m pretty sure at this point I could wear fleece onesie pajamas all day and as long as the work got done, nobody would care.


Have a look at that perfectly executed v-neck. Yum.

I know I’ve said before that I generally dislike remaking the same pattern again and again – but so long as I’m making changes to each subsequent rendition I definitely do see the merit in it. My problem – as winter draws near- is that these loose fitting shirts are difficult to layer under my current cardigan selection, so I’m thinking I’d like to make some kind of cocoon or bat-wing style top layer – something that won’t impede the sleeve action, but has more insulating qualities than a floaty t-shirt. My problem is I’m a bit worried about me/my outfit becoming engulfed by anything overly large and full. I think that project’s going to require a bit of thought and a lot of sketching…



5 thoughts on “Fitting the Un-Fitted

  1. Merry Pinbender says:

    First the compliments! Love both shirts. As always beautifully sewn, mighty miters girl! (and I sawed wood mitered corners before I learned to sew. Grandfather was a carpenter before power tools.)
    Second, I am thrilled and relieved the FBA wasn’t a disaster. I had a brief moment of panic when I read you had followed thru on my comments, ( I’m a sagittarius, which is zodiac for open mouth insert foot, ankle, knee, other foot…) and you are a much more accomplished seamstress. Whew! Now I’m curious how you widened the sleeve.
    I’ve decided to risk throwing out that if you are worried about layering you could slim down the waist a bit but, I suspect those sleeves are what you’re thinking of. I think your fabric choices would work well.
    Last, I’m keeping busy playing where’s Waldo with your fabric misprint on my phone screen. Ha ha
    Always, Merry

    • Kat says:

      Hi Merry!
      Thank you so much! And yes – the FBA worked out magnificently! I did do some other research before hacking into my pattern, but it was definitely the right thing to try! Since you asked, I widened the sleeve by cutting it into thirds and adding 1″ between each third, and then cut the front and back pieces across about 1/3 of the way up, added the inch, and evened out the armsyce curve… it’s not really too specific of a sleeve so I kind of made it up as I went.
      I was thinking of the sleeves for my top layer – although decreasing bulk around the waist would probably help balance the proportions a bit. Mostly my problem is that when I try to wear my current cardigans, the big wingy sleeves get caught up in my armpits and that’s no good at all!
      I don’t know if you’ll be able to see the misprint.. it’s a series of yellow splotchy dots underneath one of the cacti every third time… I didn’t notice until the shirt was finished so one of them’s right on my chest! It’s hardly noticeable and I’ve decided I love the shirt too much to ditch it for that reason. Let me know if you spot it!
      Lovely to hear from you as always 🙂

  2. Janet Rodgers says:

    I think the FBA did the trick! I love the striped version (sorry Jon) and absolutely adore you wearing your beloved plants! Gorgeous……

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s