FF: From Scratch, II

Happy Friday! You all responded so very well to our first CustomFit sweater post, and the beta-tester sweaters popping up everywhere are so amazing, that I thought I’d make something of a regular series of these “From Scratch” profiles.

So this week for Fashion Friday, let’s look at Kim and her CustomFit sweater. I asked Kim to tell me a little bit about her style desires, fit issues, and her sweater. Her comments are in quotes throughout this post.

Kim’s style desires, in her words, are:

  • “I want to look longer and more balanced. Less round and squat.”
  • “I have a shape. I want to enhance the curves I have.” (Amy here, going on record as saying that Kim actually has a gorgeous shape, rather than just “a” shape!)
  • “I like and look best in simple shapes with something special and a little different. Touches of ornamentation that highlight the piece.”
  • “If it’s not comfortable, I won’t wear it. I need fabrics and shapes that can be dressed up for professional events and teaching, but that I can wear in my small town.”
  • “And I want sweaters that make others want to knit sweaters! When it looks right on me, others believe it’s possible for them too.” (Amy here again: I love this. Kim is such a wonderful sweater ambassador, and it feels so amazing to wear a sweater you love.)

Given those desires, Kim’s fit issues are:

  • Her shoulders are “…relatively narrow compared to width of [my] bust. The whole width of my torso at bust level is visually significantly wider than the rest of my torso.”
  • [I have a] “…long torso, short legs and short arms.”
  • [I’m] “…plus sized AND petite, requiring rapid and drastic shaping in order to show any shape at all.”

Kim went on to add that “it’s really the alternating and extreme narrow/wide/narrow/wide/narrow curvature of my body. It’s curvy, but not smoothly and they aren’t easy curves to knit for.”

Now, Kim is another case of “modifications really help“. She’s got a whole whack of sweaters that look great. And yet…

And yet…

This sweater is better.

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Pattern: CustomFit. Relaxed fit, 3/4 sleeves, mid hip length, V neck.
Yarn: Indigodragonfly Merino Sock. Colorway? Special, one of a kind, as fabulous as Kim.
Size: Kim’s. Everywhere.

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So let’s start by talking about shaping, which is Kim’s most challenging issue. Working waist and bust shaping independently on the front and the back of the sweater go a really long way toward sweater nirvana…

…but as it turns out, when you need to shape more than ~every 4th row in one place? The fabric starts to bias and look a little strange.

CustomFit handles this by placing additional dart lines whenever shaping every 4th row isn’t enough. For Kim’s sweater, she needed double lines of darts for the shaping. So CustomFit figured that out, and put them in.

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It handles bust, shoulders, armholes, and biceps independently. So Kim gets a great fit everywhere.

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Again, CustomFit knows how to fit all of you. So Kim’s sweater fits perfectly, everywhere, without Kim 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.

It’s still so amazing to me that the best sweaters are also the easiest sweaters. I’m thrilled with the way Kim’s sweater turned out.

  • I love that even though the fit is relaxed and it’s clearly not tight anywhere, Kim’s curves shine through.
  • I love that Kim looks comfortable in all of these pictures. She glows.
  • I love that Kim didn’t need to change anything, or fiddle, or stress about everything working. She just knit.

Kim loves it too. She wanted me to add her thoughts on the sweater, so I’ll share them with you here:

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[Here’s] what I noticed when I first tried on the finished sweater that has NEVER happened before:

The fronts fall straight down, exactly where they’re supposed to fall. Even with modifications, there’s always a bit more of a “split” at the widest part of my hip (high hip). Not here.

The front shaping exactly follows the curve of my body. It’s looser fitting, but you can see the curves! It gives me a waist from all angles. Not just the back.

Sleeves: I finally understand how sleeves are supposed to fit. These follow the shape of my arm, but aren’t too tight and aren’t too loose. The shoulder sits at my shoulder.

I’m not sure it’s possible to be more thrilled with a sweater, but I bet Kim will try. Like many of the beta-testers, she’s already cast on for her next CustomFit sweater.

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We are so, so excited about sharing these sweaters with you. Until the next installment in the “From Scratch” series, which will be 2 weeks from now, keep an eye out on Rav for the customfit pattern (which we expect to be adding soon), and don’t forget that if you want be among the first users, you should join the newsletter.

Have a great and yarn-filled weekend!

Comments

  1. Nancy says

    I love Kim’s sweater and the great fit. Would love for you to address how to substitute yarn and still get wonderful results. I have a VERY limited budget and usually cannot afford the yarns suggested in patterns. :(
    Can’t wait to try the Custom Fit pattern

    • says

      Nancy, CustomFit builds the pattern around a swatch YOU specify. So you can pick whatever yarn you want and knit it with your favorite needles, and it’ll build the pattern accordingly. :)

      (I’m one of the software developers doing contract work for Amy on CustomFit. Hi!)

  2. Debd94 says

    OMG, OMG, this is amazing! I share many of Kim’s concerns and shape qualities, so I read this post with great interest. I wish that I had the time to be a beta tester and I hope to be an early user. This sweater is terrific and looks so great on Kim.

  3. says

    Congratulations, Kim! This looks so wonderful, Amy. You are making the best possible marketing moves – showing sweaters on women who aren’t willowy, tall, proportional models.

    Speaking of shape and beauty and looking great, I have a coworker who is plus size and petite. She is always dressed beautifully and elegantly. Seeing her outfits over the years has completely convinced me that a woman can look and dress fabulously without a model-perfect figure.

  4. Nancy N. says

    Simply amazing. Now somebody just needs to invent software that gives me more knitting hours in a day, because I want to knit more sweaters!

  5. Candace says

    Super fit! I can hardly wait to try CustomFit! Kim’s sweater is gorgeous and the fit is superb!

  6. Angelia says

    LOVE it! I can’t wait for Custom Fit – I think I’ve tried to join the newsletter 3 times (because I want to make sure I really did sign up for the newsletter). I keep envisioning my perfect sweater, that I’ll knit in several colors (and then I’ll move to Canade, so I’ll have a longer sweater season). :-)

  7. Trudy Suchan says

    “the beta-tester sweaters popping up everywhere” … is there a trick to searching for them on Rav?

  8. birgitta says

    I love the outcome of this sweater! Just perfect!!!!! Holding back my Fall sweater knitting until Custom Fits will be available, because I want also such an amazing sweater! I even signed up for the newsletter again :) Well done Kim and Amy!

  9. Leisa says

    Can not wait to try this! Recently purchased book had measurement taken ( another top heavy) and look forward to my next sweater fitting!
    Thank you Amy for doing this for all of us!

  10. Kathie says

    Kim’s sweater looks fantastic! This gives all of us with less than perfect figures great hope. I’m very pleased with my first F2F sweater but the next one will probably need some tweaking to make it even better. I’m thinking I’ll wait for Custom Fit because I want a really fantastic sweater like Kim”s!
    Thank you Amy for making all this possible!

  11. Kelley says

    I am pretty sure I share Kim’s shape. Even though I’ve sewn garments for myself for years, I’ve never finished a sweater. It’s too intimidating. I love Kim’s sweater and the way it fits her. The more I hear about Custom Fit, the more I am getting excited about knitting for myself. Thank you for not only having the vision, but acting on it.

  12. May says

    Kim looks fantastic in her new sweater. I am really looking forward to trying Custom Fit. Amy, thank you for this new (wonderful) tool.

  13. Dani says

    Just fantastic!!!!!!!!

    Does anyone already know when CustomFit will be published, I just can´t wait any longer….

  14. Christine says

    Maybe I’ve missed it (several times likely), but when is Custom Fit due to be released? Like many others I am waiting on it before I start my next sweater…

  15. says

    I would never in a million years have thought of double darts. It seems so obvious now! That sweater looks absolutely fantastic on Kim; I can’t wait to be able to try one myself!

  16. Belle says

    Do you have calculations of the side darts?
    I don’t have in eu no cf,not yet.but I like to no,please.The sweater on Kim is good looking.

  17. Leslie says

    Another great sweater! I have “a shape” I’d like to flatter too.

    I NEED this program! I’m pretty sure my first Custom Fit sweater will be the first article of clothing I’ve ever worn that will fit right.