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How can I imitate fit of RTW Tshirts?

sewsky | Posted in Fitting on

I’ve measured several different points of RTW shirts that fit me and tried to approximate those when sewing knit Tshirts. The shirts I make have horizontal folds of fabric at back of waist – other patterns without a center back seam or back waist darts have fit me in similar fashion. RTW Tshirts don’t have a center back seam or darts but fit smoothly across the back waist. Help me understand what is happening please???? I’ve been perusing several pattern alteration/fitting books from the library. I may have square shoulders, sway back, protruding tummy, full bust. I’d love to be able to quickly sew a Tshirt or turtleneck,etc. The construction is the easy part if the fit issues can be solved.


  1. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #1

    The horozontal pulls could come from 3 places. 

    You could have not enough width in the front of the T  in that area, so the shirt is pulling the extra needed from the back.  Check your side seams when you are wearing the T and see if the seamlines are sitting straight up and down.  If they are pulling forward, add a little extra to the front.  If they are pulling to the back, try adding extra to the back. 

    The side shaping may not be following your curves as well.  Check that the curves on the pattern are in the same places as your curves.  You may need to reshape the ins and outs to match your ins and outs. 

    The 3rd problem may actually be your hip and waist area.  The T may be riding up at the back because you do not have enough width  at the hem back.  Check your measurement there as well. 

    Sometimes the problem is the amount of stretch in the knit you are using in the garment.  Make sure the amount of stretch in the knit is the minimum amount or more, needed for the pattern.  Some patterns require more stretch in the knit than you realize, and not all knits stretch the same.  Check your pattern for the amount of stretch required and test your fabric first.  You can sometimes adapt the pattern by cutting it larger, but not always.  

    Threads has a great article on making a great custom fitted Tshirt, Cathy

    My computer is not cooperating today, and I can't seem to get into the Mag Index.  I seem to recall the article was perhaps even under the online stuff in the Threads Magazine.  Perhaps someone else will be able to point you there.  Sorry.  C

    Edited 11/17/2008 2:57 pm ET by ThreadKoe

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