FF: From Scratch

It’s no secret that I’m passionate about helping women feel stunning in their clothing.

I live for that moment when someone comes up to me, clearly loving the way they look. I’m thrilled that so many of you are telling me that Knit to Flatterand the classes (in person and online) and the blog are helping you love the way you look, it makes me glow.

But I have to say.

There’s a limit to how far modifications can get you. I don’t mean that in a negative way, because modifications can definitely get you really, really far. But as the very first batch of CustomFit sweaters come into the universe, it’s clear that from scratch? Is better.

So this week for Fashion Friday, let’s look at Jackie and her CustomFit sweater. Jackie’s style desires are:

  • She’d like to look curvy: Increase the apparent size of her bust, decrease the apparent size of her waist.
  • She likes simpler, tailored pieces without a lot of ornamentation.
  • She wants them wearable. Both in terms of style (smart casual), and in terms of practicality (she has little kids). Nothing too tight, nothing too demanding, nothing too delicate.

Given those desires, her fit issues are:

  • The combination of broad shoulders and a smaller bust. She’d like her shoulders to be comfortable in her clothing, without bagginess in the bust. This is a pervasive issue for Jackie in pre-designed clothing.<
  • A fundamentally straighter shape, all around. She just doesn’t have a ton of variation in inches (hip/waist/bust) to play with, to create the appearance of those curves. (Particularly if she wants to be able to eat a big lunch without it showing.)
  • She has a long torso, and long arms. When knitting pre-designed clothing, she’s constantly adding inches everywhere.

So let’s be clear about one thing: Modifications can help. We have lots of compelling photographic evidence of Jackie looking great in (modified) hand knits.

But she’s never had a sweater she likes quite as much as this one.

jackie-alpha-3

Pattern: CustomFit. Average fit, 3/4 sleeves, low hip length, V neck.
Yarn: Woolen Rabbit Frolic, in color “Blue Moon”.
Size: Jackie’s. Everywhere.

jackie-alpha-9

Let’s start by talking about Jackie’s first fit issue: The combination of broader shoulders and a smaller bust. Jackie’s upper torso is a couple of inches larger than her bust, which you can kind of see here. It’s very, very tough, even when I’m the one doing the modifications for her, to get a fit that feels comfortable in the shoulders and is snug through the bust. It requires a fair bit of math, and at some point you start wondering why you aren’t just redesigning the whole thing.

CustomFit treats shoulders and bust differently, and figures out how to match them both.

jackie-alpha-5

And it figures out how to insert shaping so that Jackie’s curves are maximized.

jackie-alpha-2

And it does all of that, with the right length, with the right arms, with the right amount of ease, with the right everything, without Jackie ever having to take a single note or make a single calculation or change a single thing. It was built, from scratch, for her body, instead of retrofitted.

jackie-alpha-6

jackie-alpha-7

jackie-alpha-8

Jackie has been signing this sweater’s praises to me for weeks now, and I finally understand.

This is the easiest sweater she’s ever knit.

Comments

  1. Lucy says

    Since I share the broad shoulders/smaller bust figure with Jackie, I am thrilled that you are highlighting ways to work with this figure type, one which I’ve not seen discussed anywhere else. Many, many thanks.

  2. dianelynn says

    OMG….that is fabulous! I can’t wait to plug my info in and get started…I’m another with modifications like mad….wahoooooo…..a whole new way to knit!

  3. Alyssa Fedorchak says

    I can see why she loves it – she looks fantastic! And the huge smile is a great detail, too.

  4. says

    It looks great!! I am so excited about your custom fit sweaters as I have the opposite problem from Jackie. Smaller shoulders and larger bust. It would be so nice not to have to do the math. :)

  5. Wendy says

    I can hardly wait for it to be available! I don’t want to start another sweater for myself until I know I can knit it to fit properly – without having to do the math myself. I just want to sit and knit!

  6. Greta says

    Oh my gosh, just take my money now! By which I mean: wow, this looks wonderful and if there is any way at all that you could squeeze in one more Beta tester I would love to be involved!

  7. Jessica says

    Jackie – Your sweater looks stunning!!!

    I cannot wait to finish my own Custom Fit sweater now. If the fit is half as good, I’ll be a very happy knitter.

  8. says

    Yay, Jackie! And yay, CF sweater!

    Aside- golly, do I love me some of that Woolen Rabbit handdyed yarn. Kim’s a freaking genius!

  9. Tere says

    Wow, the sweater looks stunning!
    I too share the broad shoulder, small bust combo and am frequently disappointed with projects.
    I can’t wait until Custom Fit is available!

  10. says

    I’m still trying to figure out patterns to a point. I definitely need to do something like this for my next sweater. I have a large bust and normal sized shoulders. With most patterns by the time I get the bust size right the shoulders are too large and the sweater falls off of them. I love the idea of treating shoulders differently than the bust.

  11. Karen Shannon says

    You look beautiful, Jackie. Congrats Amy, you are amazing!
    What I’d like to see someday is a program that would take one of your designs a do the math to knit it in a different weight of yarn… as well as all the measurement stuff. Any chance?

    • Amy says

      Absolutely, Karen! That feature won’t be ready right out of the gate, since it’s a lot more complicated, but it’s *definitely* in the works.

  12. Elizabeth R says

    You can stop selling me already, you had me at “hello” :) My checkbook is just waiting for you, darlin’….

  13. Anne Childs says

    Hurray, Amy, and fantastic sweater, Jackie. Out of the park on this one.

    Can’t wait to try Custom Fit myself.

  14. Heidi Smith says

    Once again Amy, you hooked me on Friday’s post. I cannot wait to get to my computer to see what you’ve posted every Saturday morning. Jackie you look great and you do have curves. Love the sweater and I cant wait for Custom Fit!

  15. Dani says

    I also think this is a great design for her but in my opinion the armholes and sleeve cap need to be improved.

    Looks like the armholes are to “wide” in the horizontal direcetion (the seam should be nearer to her bust; understand what I mean?!) and the sleeve caps are to wide; maybe also to high. Especially in the third picture you can see it.

    What are the reasons for that? Wrong measurements (I´m the world champion in taking wrong measurements!) oder wrong calculations?

    I wouldn´t be satisfied with a result like that – Unraveling Alert!

    • Amy says

      Keen eyes, Dani! The armhole and shoulder *seams* are in the places Jackie wants, for her “average fit” sweater. (A choice of “close fit” in the software would pull them in from the actual shoulder, as you mention.)

      But the sleeve caps are actually wrong in this sweater, since Jackie started with a very early part of the software that had a bug. Essentially, the bind-offs at the top of the sleeve cap are too wide, resulting in extra fabric at the top of the arms. The bug has since been fixed and you’ll see another sweater next Friday.

      Now, it’s less noticeable in person (as most things are), and it doesn’t bother Jackie? But you’re right, it’s there. (I’d rip too, and redo, now that the software is fixed. To each their own!)

  16. Janet Fulkerson says

    I am an older version of Jackie. I have asked and commented so many times about this issue. Can’t wait to try this out.

  17. Liisa says

    Want! Can’t wait for this to be released to the general public. My stash is patiently waiting…

  18. Marie Roche says

    I too share the same dilemma. My cross front is 14.5 and my upper torso measures 33. This creates quite a few unsightly problems in my knitting. I either fit my shoulders and am too baggy in my upper torso or I fit the upper torso and am way too tight in the shoulders with a cap height that is too short.
    Looking forward to having this resolved!
    Thank you
    Marie

  19. Sharon says

    Ditto what everyone else has said! I’m just waiting to put my order in – soon, I hope! Thank you, thank you.

  20. jayne says

    I can’t wait. My measurements are taken and my swatch knit – just waiting to get my hands in the software.

  21. Shannon says

    She looks amazing!

    Also…wow, I can’t even begin to explain how excited I am about CustomFit. I just get more and more thrilled with the idea every time you talk about it.

    From bust, to waist, to hips, my body is made up of three different (consecutive) dress sizes. It’s really hard to find clothes that fit right AND look good – whatever fits across my hips hangs around my bust and if it fits my bust it stretches across my hips.

    As a sweater knitting newbie I’m loving your book, Craftsy class and blog for the endlessly helpful resources (and sources of inspiration) they are. Thank you!

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