Off the rack, I wear a Petite Size L. I've had this pattern for a long time, but never made it until now, mainly because of fear of fitting issues in working with knit. My list of I DON'T LIKE includes I don't like too tight, too loose, all of that; and I don't like to have to do major alterations to patterns. I'm lucky because except that I'm petite (5'3" and shrinking), I normally can sew a Size 16 from any of the major pattern companies, with good results. But what is now opening doors for me in my sewing adventures is the application of body measurement, comparing them to actual finished garment measurement, taking into account pattern style, i.e., fitted vs. loose, moderately fitted, etc., and also fabric weight, body and stretch. When all is said and done, any pattern can turn out well, with the right choice of fabric and a good-fitting pattern.
Lately I've had success. I have finally mastered Christine Jonson's Cross Your Heart Tee for a proper fit. Mind you...I actually sewed three sizes before I got proper fitting results. First, I cut out a Size 14 - a tight stretch all around. Then I tried a Size 18 - too big, especially at the shoulders, around the chest, and around the cuff. Finally, determined to see if I could do anything with this pattern before tossing it, I cut out a Size 16 and made the following modifications: I did not alter front or back pattern pieces but sewed a 1/2" seam at the side and underarm, instead of 5/8". Before folding and sewing the cuff into a barrel as the instructions indicate, I cut off 5/8" on one side edge, to tighten up the circumference of the arm band for a tighter fit. How did I manage to cut out three different sizes from one pattern? CJ's paper patterns (like most) comes in multi-sizes, nested within each other. I lifted each pattern piece of the size I was working on, using tracing paper. My only "I WONDER" now is... Will those other Christine Jonson patterns that are in my pattern stash be less of a formidable fitting challenge now that I've nailed this one? We'll see. More CJ pattern attempts ahead in my future.
ABOUT CHRISTINE JONSON PATTERNS: Why I keep trying: They are easy to sew. For the most part, especially the jackets and some of the tops, design is classically simple. The professional touch, making them really "wow" is in the finishing details, i.e., seam finish, hem finish, topstitching and those kinds of things that take time but are worth the bother. And of course, using a better quality knit fabric is key. Weight, stretch and body, all so important!