Fitting my self-drafted T-shirt block

Close-up of sleeve head

A little while back, I spent an evening revising GCSE geometry by making a close fitting T-shirt block or sloper. And this week I finally got around to running up that toile (insert Kate Bush soundtrack) to see if it fits.

Sort of, is the answer. Here’s version one in a scarily bright mint green single jersey I’ve been avoiding using for anything else because of its poor recovery. I didn’t bother adding the sleeves or finishing the edges because I wanted to get the fit through the bodice right first.

It’s just about long enough, which RTW T-shirts almost never are. And it’s got the right shape overall. But it’s too tight for my taste and it also needs more room at the bust – the underarm wrinkles are a dead giveaway. Compare it with the best fitting of my RTW T-shirts, from tall girls’ mecca Long Tall Sally.

So I tweaked the pattern a little to add a teensy bit more ease (1/2″) and followed this Cashmerette tutorial for a simple FBA for knit tops. Jenny’s method adds length to the front bodice rather than width, making the front longer than the back. You then ease the extra length in at the side seams between the waist and the armpit to give more room at the bust.

Here’s version two, in the  mint jersey again. As you can see, it’s pretty much indistinguishable from V1, so I’ve clearly been too timid with the adjustments.

So, some more adjustments to make. (And I’ve run out of mint jersey, dammit.) For the next and hopefully final toile, I’ll:

  • add another inch or so of ease widthways
  • lengthen below the waist by 1/2″
  • scoop out the neckline, even for the block pattern
  • try adding short sleeves.

Wish me luck!

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