Prior knowledge didn’t totally help in making my version of Love Notions pullover. The coordinating pullover is Love Notion’s Constellation hoodie and pullover. I made Ryan the North Star pullover first. Before reading this post, you may want to familiarize yourself with my basic t-shirt pattern and how I compare to most patterns on the market. There’s some commonalities between those alterations and the alterations I had to make to this pullover. The alterations I needed to make for this pattern aren’t different that what I have to make for most patterns. The only difference is that I had to significantly size down.
Much like Ryan, I had to size down on this pattern significantly. Let’s grab my size measurements right now: high bust is 38″, bust is 39″, waist is 33″, and hip is 42″. Based on my measurements I should cut out a size large, but wait for it. I cut out a size XS for my shoulders and graded it to a size small for my hips!!!
If I make this pullover again, I will give myself a little more room at the hips. I would need to grade up to probably a medium at most. It is ever so slightly too tight at the waistband, and I would like it a little looser.
I used the same fabric for my pullover that I used for Ryan’s version. The material is EIKE sweatshirt knit from Swafing and consists of 95% cotton and 5% elastane. The fabric does have some stretch, not a lot, so maybe that’s why we have to go down so many sizes. I tested this pattern with junky stable sweatshirt knit that I had in my stash. For a fabric that doesn’t stretch, I would cut out a size small for my shoulders and then grade the hem to a size large. I’m still not cutting out a size large for my shoulders. Weird.
I realize my blog would benefit greatly if I just made the pattern without any alterations, so you all could see all the fit issues. Time and money. Isn’t always about time and money? So how do I know I need these alterations? I know because of my duct tape sloper!
Here we go. Let’s talk about alterations. The actual pattern is in orange with some adjustments, meaning I am showing you pattern pieces that have been graded between sizes. My final alterations are in gray. For the front pattern piece, you are looking at a size XS from the armhole up. From the armhole down, I graded it out to a size S.
- Lower the shoulder seam.
- Do a ½” forward shoulder alteration.
- Widen the shoulder (broad shoulder adjustment) and neckline.
- Significantly lower the neckline.
- Lower the armhole by ½”.
- Create my own full bust adjustment since the FBA front piece was way too big.
This pattern is super awesome because it comes with two different front pieces: standard bust and full bust. I tried the full bust piece the first time, and it was comically bad. The second time I tried the standard bust and thought it was too flat for me. In the end, I drafted something in between the two.
For the back piece, I did the same thing. From the armhole, up is size XS, and from the armhole down it is graded from size XS to a size S.
- Slight forward shoulder alteration, but also move the angle of the shoulder by widening the shoulder and neckline as I did for the front pattern piece.
- Raise the back neckline slightly.
- Lower the armhole by ½” and remove the waist shaping.
For the sleeve, I am just showing you a size XS. The sleeves gave me the most trouble. For my first two attempts at sewing, I kept the cap/shoulder height as is in the pattern. The result was fascinating. The armpit was riding up and digging into me. I considered lowering the armhole even more but wasn’t sure that would fix my problem. It was funny because it was so tight that I couldn’t even raise my arms more than a few inches. Instead, I used my favorite t-shirt pattern and redrafted the sleeve cap from that. I didn’t alter anything from my t-shirt pattern.
- Lengthen sleeve by 1½”.
- Widen wrist by ½”.
- Narrow the sleeve width at the bicep.
- Reduce the amount of cap on the sleeve.
I found this amazing blog post by Helen of Helen’s Closet about broad shoulder adjustments while I was working on this post. At the end of her post, she talks about adjusting the sleeve cap height if you make a large adjustment (more than ¾”). For a broad shoulder adjustment, you will remove height from the sleeve, which is exactly what I needed to do for this pattern! Glad to have some confirmation of my alterations.
I would make more of these sweaters as they are soooooo comfortable; however, I’m trying to broaden my closet options so next up is Hey June’s Halifax Hoodie. I know, I know I’m really behind the times. I’ll catch up eventually, now that I have a solid understanding of how to alter clothes to fit my body.