Thursday, July 28, 2011

Knit Tops A Plenty - M6036

The topic of this post is to review M6036. But the underlining subject is to discuss some of the issues related to fitting my DD’s torso. Over the past few years, I tried to figure out which adjustment would best resolve the pulling cross the upper chest area. I tried making a broad and square shoulder adjustment. But that didn’t completely resolve the issue. This year I made a muslin out of some cheapo knit. While fitting the t-shirt, I realized she also has a pigeon chest. Dah.., This means her collar bone and (rib cage) chest area is more pronounced than the rest of her upper body. I pulled out my “sewing Bible”, Vogue Sewing, to see what it says about diagnosing this type of adjustment. The illustration showed the same type of pulling at the armholes that I’ve seen in RTW and a few garments that I’ve made for her.

So following the instructions in Vogue Sewing, I made the adjustments to the pattern.

The good news is the pigeon chest adjustment is similar to the prominent shoulder blade adjustment. So it’s easy to do. It’s a matter of slicing the pattern in the right place and then spread it for the needed amount of space. The bad news is there is still a problem with fitting the back torso. Because her chest is pronounced, her back is slightly concaved and swayed which creates vertical and horizontal pooling of fabric in various regions of her back. Sometimes, I’m able to fold some of the excess fabric out along the center back and across the lower back (horizontal fold), but there are instances where my method does not completely solve the problem. Suggestions are welcome.

All year long, she has been begging me for t-shirts. Finally, I sat down to revisit the fitting issues. For the most part the issues are resolved. So I made her three t-shirt using M6036. I’m still not satisfied with the fit right at fold between the chest and armhole. It hollow there.

My second issue is upper finishing of the armhole. On some t-shirts it looks bulky across the ball of the shoulder. I think that can be easily fitted by trimming away most of the seam allowance. I need to do a little more tweaking, but that’s it. Knits can be very forgiving. With right amount of stretch in a “good” knit fabric, fitting becomes less complicated. To conclude on the fitting part, I was able to produce a few decent t-shirts for her by making a few adjustment s in the front and a sway back adjustment.

Here is the rest of the review:

Pattern Description: MISSES' TOPS: Close fitting, pullover tops A, B, C, D, E have rounded or scooped neckline; top A has purchased lace appliques; top B has contrast flowers; top C has front ruffles; top D has appliques cut from lace fabric; top E has neckline ruffle.

Pattern Sizing: X-Small to X-Large

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? The basic t-shirt yes. But as for the embellishment, I didn't do any. I wanted to get the t-shirt fitting down pat.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yep. I just glance at them.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the embellishment options. I use them later. No dislikes.

Fabric Used: Sweater knit from Walmart; jersey knit from Vogue(Evanston) and JoAnn's. All of them had a fair amount of stretch and great recovery.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Most of the alterations are discussed above. Other changes:

Added some rushing on the sides of two t's.
Modified the sleeve length.
Added a neckband.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes and yes.

All photos are on Flickr.

Conclusion: I used this pattern to help address some fitting issues for my daughter (sloper).  There is nothing difficult about making the basic t-shirt and the embellishment designs could be used to spruce up your shirts.


  1. What a great t-shirt!!!! (AND from a fellow PRChicago/Vogue Fabrics shopper!!!) Beautiful! And a great work-through of fitting issues!

    Brenda (aka goal100)

  2. Awesome T-shirts!!! Vogue Sewing is definitely the sewing bible. The updated version is very good also. I wonder if adding a bust dart would help with the folding.

  3. Wonderful job on the t-shirts! Most people would be happy with this good a fit, but of course, you want perfection. And my fingers are just itching to get inside the picture to pinch and pin. What if ... To me it looks as though the sleeve should be sitting just a tad higher on the shoulder (shorter shoulder seam), and then - it needs a "dart" from the armhole to the bust, which you then remove from the pattern, essentially making a smaller sized armhole. (Then, I guess the sleeve would also need adjusting.) Try this with pins and see. Don't know if this will help, but... Do tell me to shut up if I'm butting in!

  4. The fit is excellent but if you are still tweaking, I agree with Irene that the length of the shoulder seam is a tiny bit longer than it needs to be. If you snug up the sleeve higher on her shoulder, it will slightly lengthen the armscye and this may allow the shoulder seam issue you speak of to fix itself.

  5. Lovely modern fabric......your details are very insightful....thanks!

  6. Love the fabrics and the T-Shirts look great !

  7. Good for you for figuring it out. The shirt looks very good. I think that the shoulder is a bit wide, see if you pin a tuck in it if the wrinkles go away. The other issue might be that she needs a bit more length in the armhole area, or now that I am thinking of the adjustment you did for pigeon chest, perhaps the sleeve needs a bit more length in front? Both are possibilities. These little tweeks are so hard to work out sometimes and then it hits you finally.

  8. Looks great - and this alteration will help when fitting other garments, too. It is always nice when you can figure out one more piece of the fitting puzzle.

  9. Great t-shirts! Have you checked Fast Fit by Sandra Betzina? I'm sorry I don't have any suggestions =(

  10. Nice t-shirts... My favorite is the first.... Love it.

  11. It is looking good! I join the chorus suggesting narrowing the shoulders a bit, which might give more freedom of movement around the arm and eliminate that tiny bit of remaining wrinkling. I had never seen the pigeon chest adjustment--looks exactly like the broad back adjustment I do but in the front. You learn something neweevery day!

  12. Looks like you did pretty good in figuring out her fitting issues...great job! I absolutely love that fabric on the first t-shirt, it's fabulous!

  13. Awesome T-shirt! I love the fabric on this one it is amazing!

  14. Both of these tops turned out great, and you know I'm a fan of the faces fabric, since I have it too.

  15. Nice fitting work, Cenetta. The tee shirts look great!

  16. Very nice fitting work- and I love that fabric for the top! Sounds like the consensus is that the shoulder seam is just a tiny bit too long. I had never heard of the pigeon chest adjustment before, but it seems to fit the bill here.

  17. Good work with the fitting issues - she looks quite pleased with the results and that's what counts ;)



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