Nine Women, One Sweater

Bertha models the Corset Pullover

As many of you have noted, the pattern photo for Robin Melanson's Corset Pullover shows the sweater on a very willowy young woman. There were several of you who pointed out that this was a rather ironic choice, given our discussions on adapting patterns for all shapes and sizes.

Here is where I confess to a certain degree of deviousness–and perhaps even to having an ulterior motive or three. Several people have assured me that the Corset Pullover is really cute, and that it would be great on Knitting Daily–but based on the photo alone, I wasn't convinced. The funny thing is that ordinarily, I love everything that comes off of Robin's clever little needles…so I decided that both you and I needed to see this sweater in person–and that it would be a perfect example for our discussions on sizing and customization.

I went and found the original sample garment in the Knits storage room (we keep some of them on hand for publicity and display purposes), only to find that the sample was a bit too small for me to try on (rats!). I therefore dragged Bertha, our shapely mannequin, out of the basement so she and I could play a bit of dress-up.

Guess what? On Bertha's 34" (86.5 cm) curvy self, the Corset really IS adorable. (Yay Robin! I should have known. I'm sorry I ever doubted you. What was I thinking?)

I went back and looked at the pattern itself, and sure enough, Robin had this note at the very beginning: "This sweater was designed to fit closely. To achieve this effect, make the size that is closest to your actual chest measurement."

Now, mind you: the sample sweater measures 35.25" (89.5 cm). The lovely Ms. Willow in the pattern photograph definitely is not wearing the Corset close to her heart, shall we say.

The Interweave Corset Gals!

That's when I went on a quest to get some photos of the Corset on several real women of different sizes and shapes, so I could somehow convey to you how this cute top might look on YOU, whether you are a lovely petite or charming larger gal. Unfortunately, the sweater here is just too small to show on true goddesses–but then, it is also too large to show on true nymphs. Hopefully, we can satisfy some of you Naiads in the middle, however.

I found nine women around the office willing to try on the sample sweater–and, more importantly, willing to share their bust measurements with you, so you could judge how the sweater looks with various amounts of ease, both positive and negative. Our oh-so-generous (and quite lovely) Interweave Corset Gals range from a petite charmer who is just a bit over 33" around, to a new momma with a 36" chest, on up to a shapely 40" redhead. With the help of Kat's HTML wizardry, I've put all the photos, plus comments on ease and customization suggestions for each woman, on a separate gallery page that includes some back and side views, as well as a couple of up-close detail shots.

If you folks find this helpful, I have the garments from the Summer 2007 issue of Knits here in the office….unfortunately, the Fall garments have already been sent out on the Trunk Show tour, but we can take a vote to pick out a few of the Summer sweaters and see how they look on the locals!

A couple of notes in response to the comments…

To our petite sisters: Several of you were worried that we might cut out the smaller sizes in favor of your larger sisters. Let me reassure you that this won't happen. Everyone, slender or plush, deserves beautiful knits that fit. As so many of you noted, changing the size range isn't necessarily the answer anyway–what is needed is more information on customizing for yourself. Everyone is different. Everyone is lovely. Everyone, no matter their size, shape, color, or personal style, is welcome and celebrated here on Knitting Daily. (You all rock.)

And finally….for Gabriele and Bust Dart Fans everywhere:

Dear Gabriele,

You have not missed the Bust Dart tutorial! The exponential growth of Knitting Daily has had the entire team working double-time just to keep up with the basics lately, so I fear we all are a bit behind…but I haven't forgotten! The document is sitting right here on my laptop, and I can still hear the chants from InternetLand of "Bust Darts! Bust Darts!" We'll have another pair of hands on deck shortly, and that will free me up to be at your service, bust-dart-wise.

Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles? Photo coming soon of the finished Bonsai Tunic by Norah Gaughan. New to the needles: Swatching for a Sandi-sized version of the Corset Pullover! Plus, about 6 inches' worth of cables for a new design coming soon to Knitting Daily.

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