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.

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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.

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

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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

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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.