Welcome to another post of the Chestnut Sweater and Top Sew Along. Today we will go through the fitting and choosing your size, also how to shorten or lengthen the bodice of the pattern, and... fabric options! (you were waiting for this one, right? ;) ). So without further ado... Let's start!
Fitting and sizes
So, first of all you need to take a look at the charts on page 3. There you will find something similar to this (picture below) with all the sizes offered on the pattern from 1 to 8 and also the corresponding commercial sizes, from UK 6 / US 2 to UK 20 / US 16. On this chart you will also find the body measurements related to each size, so now you just need to take a tape measure and measure yourself (with no clothes on, only underwear or very stretchy garments like a top and leggings) or ask someone to help you.
When you have your bust, hips and waist measurements, you can then choose which size would work better for you. And remember, the Chestnut Sweater has a more relaxed fit and kind of cropped feeling to it, while the top lays more at hip or lower hip level (you've got another chart on the instructions with the final measurements of the garment when sewn).
If you are in between sizes, go for the bigger one and then adjust accordingly. If what you want is to shorten or lengthen the bodice of the pattern on either option (sweater or top), here's a quick tutorial on how to do it.
To lengthen the bodice: Cut your paper pattern along the line that says 'shorten or lengthen the pattern here' and separate the two pieces like shown below, at the distance you would like to add to your new bodice piece. Make sure the distance is the same along the space between the two pieces.
Then place another sheet of paper (pattern paper or a regular A4) on the blank space between the cut bodice pieces and using cello tape or glue stick them together as such.
Redraw the line at the center fold of the piece with a ruler and also the side seam so it connects the two pieces together and you are ready to cut your fabric!
To shorten the bodice: Cut your paper pattern along the line that says 'shorten or lengthen the pattern here'. Then draw a line above the cutting line at the distance you would like your bodice to be shorter by and then stick the lower piece right at that new line using glue or cello tape.
Redraw now the side seam and make sure the line of the center fold is straight on the other side.
If you want to make your front and back pieces less wide, I would suggest size down or redraw the seam lines in between sizes. You can make a toile and test before cutting the final fabric.
Now you are ready to cut your fabric!
And speaking of fabric... That's the best part of making your own clothes, right? Or almost the best one, apart from wearing them? ;) So here are some suggestions...
For the sweater version: any medium to heavy-weight knit fabric with little stretch up to a maximum of 20%. Thick knits, stable firm knits, cable knit, knit fleece, sweatshirt fleece, sweater knits, French Terry; with a two-way stretch.
For the top version: any medium knit fabric with little stretch up to a maximum of 20% and not too fine. Interlock, double knit, ponte di roma; with a two-way stretch.
And have in mind that you can play with the pattern as you please! You can use contrasting fabric for the cuffs and the waistband on the sweater version and or the top, even choose a different print for the sleeves! Also, the Chestnut Sweater and Top is the best option if you want to practice some stripe / print matching ;) And as for the bows... well, the sky's the limit! You can choose ribbon (woven, velvet, organza, satin...) or use fabric scraps to achieve an interesting contrast. You can use lace to dress up the sweater version or a more rustic look on a top choosing some linen scraps.
So... Are you ready for some fabric shopping?
For the Chestnut Sweater
Starting from the top clockwise, sweatshirt fleece from Fabric Godmother; light mint sweatshirt from Sew Me Sunshine; teal heather grey stripe sweatshirt fleece from Girl Charlee and Twinkle grey Atelier Brunette fabric from Maçãs d'Amor.
For the Chestnut Top
Starting from the top clockwise, medium weight knit fabric with red stripes from Maçãs d'Amor; blue and white stripes knit from Un Chat Sur Un Fil; Moris Girls jersey knit from Sew Me Sunshine and Gold Glitter Aqua jersey blend knit from Girl Charlee.
Hope you are inspired now to start your new pattern straight away! :) Next post: How to assemble a PDF pattern, the CocoWawa way ;)