As a full-b usted woman, I need darts. But I don't like them in my knitted tops - they pull, they get little holes (yes, I'm using proper needles). They look odd (it's not my technique). I just don't think they look good.
Look what I was able to accomplish this week on a knitted shell. I DID alter the pattern to accommodate my figure, but did not perform my customary Y shaped slash and spread.
Look: a nice fitting garment without a dart and no pull across the front.
First the photos:
And look at that armhole: no gaping!
I even managed to get the same effect on the matching cardigan.
Here are the three FBA adjustments I performed after my other alterations were done (broad back and petite):
1. I lengthened the center front by about 3/4 to 1 inch. I simply drew in a triangular shaped wedge, lengthening the CF seam grading to nothing at the side seam. I did not curve the grading line.
2. I drew a curved "bump" at the side bust area on the front bodice only. I curved it out about an inch (to the next size on this particular pattern). I graded back to the seam line above the waist shaping. This bump is just for the bust area. I pinned and carefully eased the excess which was quite easy on this particular knit.
3. I used Loes Hinse's FBA technique at the neckline: Working on the front bodice piece only, I inserted a triangular shaped wedge on the shoulder, increasing at the neckline. This seems counter-intuitive but has worked splendidly for me! Loes explained that this reduces the arm gaping, and as you can see from my photo, it works! You would THINK you need to pinch out the excess at the outer shoulder, right? Not so. Doing the opposite has allowed extra bust room in the garment. Here's how:
First, extend the neckline at the shoulder seam about an inch. To do this, I marked an inch above the neckline on the front shoulder seam at the neckline and extended the neckline. Note: do this on the front bodice ONLY and not on the back.
Second, I simply used a ruler to draw a line from this new raised point to the outer shoulder seam, grading down to size.
Pamela's Pattern's have the forward shoulder built into her patterns, so I did not need to perform that adjustment. I actually think it may be a bit too much forward and I might adjust it next time. I did have to petite the pattern at the armhole 3 inches!!!!!!! That's huge - but it worked. I'm learning to follow my body and not so much the pattern.
Three simple adjustments and no FBA dart!
I wonder how well this will work with other knits.