Kwik Sew is a pattern company that I think some people overlook. I assume it’s just a styling issue, because the patterns are terrific. Always well drafted and always go together well. Just focus on the line drawings! Anyway, I gave Kwik Sew 3880 a go when I was at Sewjourn last November (yes, that’s how behind I am with blogging).
The website describes this pattern as follows: Pullover tops have dolman sleeves and scoop neckline finished with self-fabric binding, and sleeves and bottom edge are hemmed. A: Shoulder cut-outs finished with narrow hems. Pattern includes ¼” (6 mm) seam allowances.
There are usually patterns with shoulder cut outs in the pattern books, but at the moment they are especially on trend. I figured that this could be a good style to try as it provides shoulder/upper arm interest while being bra-friendly. The knit was a remnant from The Cloth Shop in Ivanhoe. I love their remnant bin!
I sewed the Medium, even though my measurements suggest the Large. I find that in general Kwik Sew have plenty of ease, and often go down a size. I do always check the finished garment measurements for each size on the pattern pieces to determine which size allows for the amount of ease I prefer. This is something that I do no matter what the pattern brand. I think that the sizing is fine, but as is often the case I don’t feel especially comfortable in a garment that is relatively fitted through the midsection on me. It wouldn’t be if you had a more “conventional” shape with a narrower waist. As it is I spend all my time sucking my gut in and trying to stand taller. No body confidence if you’re doing that all the time!
I did deviate from the instructions to do the shoulder cutouts, and bound them in the same manner as the neckline after sewing together the shoulder seams. This reduced their size a little, which I think was a good thing. I prefer to not just turn and stitch on curved openings, even though it’s quite a feasible option in knits.
I think that these photos would have been better taken against a darker background – my arms blend in with the wall behind me, which makes the cutouts look weird! An interesting observation when I made this – my friend Kathryn tried it on as well. We both sew a similar size in tops, with tweaking for our different shapes. We’re also a similar height; she’s a few inches taller than me but not dramatically so. Anyway, this top was MUCH more low-cut on her than it was on me. Although I am short through the body in comparison to my legs, most of my short torso is from bust to waist, not from shoulders to bust. Whereas Kathryn is shorter from shoulders to bust, which meant that the neckline was lower on her than it was on me. There are SO many areas to consider when fitting clothing – it’s not as simple as bust, waist and hip measurement (plus height). It also made me feel better about my standard alterations – I do often remove length from garments between the bust and waist, but not above, despite having noticed others do so on their blogs. I think that for me I have been doing the right thing in that regard!
Overall I think this is a great pattern. I’m not sure that the cutout is a look for me (I prefer the more subtle arm openings in the Style Arm Rae tunic or Marilyn dress), and although I love the colours in the fabric, this top has gone into the cupboard in the spare room for someone else to enjoy. It was a worthwhile experiment, but it just doesn’t feel like “me”.