Usually I’m the queen of casual knit clothing or activewear. Lately, though, I’ve been really into fit and getting the fit right. As I make my journey through my 40s, my body seems to be changing. While my weight hasn’t really fluctuated much (I always go up and down about five pounds), the shape of body body has been changing. My calves have gotten larger over time (weird?) and my big ol’ booty seems to be getting lower? Larger? More prominent? Not by much, mind you, but enough that I notice when I’m making something or fitting something. So, this is still casual wear and it’s still a knit, but I’m trying to get the fit right and that includes my swayback and my baggy back thighs I get when pants fitting. I’m going to do this, people.
So the pattern is a t-shirt dress. Simple and straight forward. The pattern is a t-shirt dress with a one-piece front and back. I knew I would need a swayback adjustment because that’s one of my fitting challenges. The gray/white version was the first version. I cut the back as two pieces and did a small 1/2” swayback alteration. Other than that, I left the pattern alone. Well, I take that back. I added one inch above the bodice because I’d do that on all patterns (pretty much).
Here’s the side view although I’m not completely turned in the gray/black version. Oops. My second version is the black/gray version. On this one I made another swayback alteration of 1/2”. I also slightly narrowed it through the waist and gave myself a tiny bit more room in the hips. I found that one the gray/white version, I felt like the skirt portion was getting caught up on my hips and it would pull up slightly as I walked. I also lengthened the hem by two inches and pegged it by several inches at the bottom. I felt like that gave me a better silhouette than just ending at the widest part of my hips. You can see in both dresses I’ve got some pooling above my butt. More swayback alteration needed!!
Okay, I swear that the gray/black one fits better for real in the back. But in this picture, it looks worse. I am going to make this again and take one more swayback wedge out further up my back. See how the gray/white one is tight on my hips?
Why so much work on a simple t-shirt dress? It’s a great wardrobe staple and I’ve always one that fit well. I think these are the quintessential travel/work/casual outfits. You can wear them with flats, boots, tennies, anything.
Here are the changes I made for future reference (for me!):
Version #1 (white and gray)
- Add 1” above the bodice.
- Cut back as two pieces and do 1/2” swayback adjustment.
Version #2 (black and gray)
- Add 1” above the bodice.
- Cut back as two pieces and do TWO 1/2” sway back adjustments.
- Narrow the waist about 1/2” on each side.
- Add about 1/4” on each side for hip room.
- Add 3” to hem.
- Taper hem by 2” on each side (for a total of 4” total circumference).
These are the same fabrics. They are a thin, cotton knit. There is not much stretch across the grain and none with the grain. I wanted that on purpose because I actually wanted a good fit and not to rely on the stretch to get a good fit. I also have this in two other colorways. Yes, I horde fabric. :)