This is the blue stretch fabric I bought just for testing a few knit patterns. It was a $3 nylon/lycra knit, but it has a really nice weight and I love the color. If there are any scraps leftover it will probably make a lovely swimsuit.
In the meantime, what have I made and what do I think of the results?
The pattern is McCalls 6165 and this is the under tunic. I was inspired to purchase this top by Shams' version of this same pattern, and I am happy I read about her top before making my own.
The pattern says it is close fitting, but of course it is also for stretch knits, so the stretch factor should be figured into the fit of the pattern.
I bought the Xsm-Sml-Med size because although my full bust is 37", which makes me between a Med and a Lg according to McCall's size chart, my upper chest is small and I usually cut a smaller size and do a full-bust adjustment.
When I was looking at the pattern pieces however, I noticed that the width at the bust for the under layer was listed as 37" on the size Small. Now a size small is supposedly cut for a 31 1/2 to 32 1/2" bust and a 37" top is not what I would call close-fitting. In fact I once had a 32 1/2" bust and I would have called a top that was 37" at the bust pretty loose fitting. But, I reasoned, 37" should be perfect for me with a stretch fabric. Since the top flares out from the bust-line, I figured I would have more than enough room if I cut the small without a FBA and without any other alterations. This was a muslin afterall.
Here are the final results, taken immediately after putting in the second sleeve yesterday, shortly before dusk.
(click on photo to enlarge)
As you can see, aside from the bust, this is certainly not close fitting on me and I am in no way close to a small size. But it does work. I like the high armholes and the sleeves are not tight, although they look tighter than they feel. the dimension of the sleeve is actually larger than my upper arms, but I am sure the look of the sleeve will vary with different knits. With my next top I will probably make the sleeves a little wider.
And now we come to decision time. As I said, I planned this just as a muslin. The plan was to make it again in white, to wear with white jeans and this lovely striped mesh knit I purchased from Marcy Tilton. But I don't have any white stretch knit. I have off-white. I had forgotten that. It is no longer summer anyway, and black will work just as well. I have black.
But notice how nicely the stripe goes with the blue of my test-tunic. I am thinking I may be able to wear these together.
So next up is the tank-top version of this pattern in the striped fabric. The tank top is cut smaller than the under-tunic, which seems strange to me considering how they illustrated the patterns, but I can work with that. I will make the medium.
At the moment I have not hemmed the blue tunic and I have not finished the neck edge. If I decide I am going to wear this as an actual garment I will have to finish the neck. I will not use a facing as recommended in the pattern, but I am not yet sure exactly what I will do. I probably don't have to hem the bottom as the knit is very stable and I have rather liked the unfinished edges of garments, like the Elm dress I purchased last spring. Certainly this style lends itself to unfinished edges.