When I started Butterick 5356 for the second time, I was not in the mood to use woven fabric, even for the yoke. But I did, in the name of science… with a knit, I would not have been able to tell as easily if the changes I made were right. This one is indeed a much better fit, and it’s perfectly comfortable because of that. I’ll explain what I did.
In case you missed my last post, I made a straight XXL (24-26) the first time I made this pattern (although my usual size is a 22 with alterations), and I regretted it. So back to the tracing board I went. With the yoke pieces, I traced the XL lines everywhere except at the shoulder seam. This reduced that excess width at the underarm, and it also shortened the sleeve. Leaving the shoulder seam at an XXL ensured that I still had enough ease in the upper arm. I left the neckline at XL — that, in conjunction with the larger sized (read: higher) shoulder seam, made the neckline came down a little lower. In the below pic, the purple outline represents my new cutting lines at the XL size; the part I left at XXL is pink. The green annotation shows where the underarm part of the yoke came out further on the first version… that inch made a world of difference:
And finally, I made the slight changes to the lower front/back pieces. For these, I traced an XL everywhere, widening to an XXL at the hem. This removed the excess ease from the bust area but left it at the hips. In the below pic, you can see the better fit below my left arm. (The first version is here.)
I’ve now washed and worn both of these new tops more than once, and this second one looks and feels much better at the arms/yoke. I really like this pattern now, and I will likely make it again. It doesn’t take much time at all and is a little nicer than a plain t-shirt. I think the main limitation is that it doesn’t easily lend itself to the more fitted silhouette that some prefer. As I mentioned last time, it’s definitely better with something drapey, at least for the lower part, despite the “lightweight broadcloth and stable knits” fabric recommendation on the envelope. Ye ol’ envelope… sometimes it knows stuff, sometimes not so much.
Lastly, a fabric detail shot. I made the yoke from a lightweight cotton shirting from Sarah’s Fabrics. The main fabric is a bamboo knit from Common Thread — it’s medium in terms of thickness, but somehow bamboo is quite heavy weight-wise, so that makes it drape well. It’s awfully soft, too. This is my first time using an all-bamboo knit, so I don’t know how likely it is to pill — anyone have experience with that?