This week’s project is Kwik Sew 4069, a fitted turtleneck long sleeved tee. While the fit on my black turtleneck isn’t perfect, after a few pattern changes, it’s a lot better than the first striped version. I may still have some fit improvement if I do an FBA, but the fit is now very close to my ready to wear tee shirts from Land’s End.
I tried drafting my own tee pattern a few years ago based on my full bust measurement, and the armholes were a mess. I had terrible wrinkles at the armholes as well as other problems I still can’t figure out. Maybe these armscyes are also too wide? It was a shame because that sweater fabric was so nice. At the time I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know what it was or how to fix it.
I did get a good fit from a vintage pattern I made from 1976 called the Lady Tee Shirt, but I couldn’t find where I had stashed that pattern!
I really want a fitted turtleneck anyway, so I decided to jump in the knit tee shirt sewing pool again. During the holiday sale, I picked up Kwik Sew 4069 for three dollars. The first version I made was from some tissue weight striped cotton blend and the second version was a poly ponte knit, both bought for 2.50 a pound at Micheal Levine’s Loft in DTLA. Total cost of fabric about one dollar or so! Yeah…. that’s pretty insane. Come to LA and visit it sometime!A quick search of others who had made this pattern revealed that most had wrinkles and bagginess around the bust. The truth is, many commercial pattern armholes are just too long. I’m not sure why this is , but a too long armhole is just not nice looking. I had the same problem with last week’s project, a woven linen shirt.
I’d also read reviews that complained the pattern had more of a cowl neck than a classic turtleneck. So before cutting out the pattern, I raised the neckline two inches at the center front. I also had to remove two inches from the width of the turtleneck collar pattern. I held up my store bought turtleneck to see how high it should be.
I sewed up Kwik Sew 4069 according to the measurements of my dress form and tried it on her to see if there are any fit problems in the pattern itself. Before I start fitting to my own body, I need to know I’m working with a sound and well drafted pattern. It shouldn’t be that way, but with the amount of poorly designed patterns out there nowadays, this is a step I’m now adding to my muslin making. Because I can’t build on a flawed foundation.
My form has perfect measurements and match those on the envelope so in theory, the tee shirt should have fit her perfectly. But it didn’t. As I suspected from comparing the pattern to a ready to wear t- shirt I have, the armholes were too long in both the front and back. That’s what causes that bagginess in the area. So I had to fold out an inch in both the front and back. The sleeve also needed to be made smaller to match the smaller armholes, too.Then I had to make sure the armholes were balanced. The back armhole needs to be 1/2 inch longer than the front. Mine were exactly the same. So I added 1/4 inch to the back and subtracted 1/4 inch to the front. it was time to sew up another t shirt muslin at this point.
The armhole is a lot smaller now.
So based on all the problems in the sleeve drafting of Kwik Sew 4069. I can’t recommend this pattern unless you don’t mind fixing the droopy armscye. Which isn’t really too hard. You just fold out the inch in both the sleeve and the front and back bodice.
But why didn’t the designer notice this mistake so I didn’t have to do it? So annoying. If it doesn’t fit the perfect dimensions of my form. it won’t fit anyone correctly.I still have some folds at the arm. I’ll have to do an FBA next time. But I’ll wear this top anyway, because I doubt anyone but other sewing maniacs like me will notice. And even if they do, who cares? I made it!
PS If you already read a similar post on Bloglovin’, it was because I accidentally published it before it was finished.