Fitting the Un-Fitted

IMG_1669 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?


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!


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...)


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.


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.


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.


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...