Let’s say you have a pattern for a sweater with a straight body. You’ve worked your sweater from the bottom up and to accommodate your figure, you have worked increases between your waist and your bust, making Vertical Darts to add extra width at the bust.
Now things get interesting. You have to work decreases to get back to the correct number of stitches for the upper chest and the shoulders on your pattern. How and where can you do this? Here are three ways.
OPTION 1: You can continue the princess lines straight up to the shoulder.
Keep the markers used in your Vertical Darts in place and work a decrease before the first marker and after the second marker as your work up to the shoulder.
If I was doing this option I might consider making the princess lines prominent. They would form strong vertical lines from the bottom edge to the top. A couple of stitches beside the markers could be worked with twisted stitches or with a purl stitch on either side to delineate them. This shaping could also be worked along the outside edges of a centre panel of textured or lace stitches. As a short person, I think any vertical line is a good design feature.
OPTION 2: For a sportier model you can work the decreases quickly on an angle toward the body-sleeve edge.
You have seen this idea many times in sports clothes where the side panel is in a different colour, usually darker or brighter so your eye moves along the curved line adding visual shape to you and your garment.
Another benefit of this model is that the decreases are done quickly (every other row) making the upper chest smaller for a better fit.
OPTION 3: If you are working in pieces, you could decrease the extra bust stitches away as you work the shaping for the armhole.
Work the darts, adding extra width to the body at the bust and work straight up to the armhole. Work the armhole shaping as written and then continue to work the decrease shaping, extending the angled line until the number of stitches across the upper chest matches your pattern.
DONE. You will have a nicely shaped sweater which fits your unique figure.
Thanks for reading,
Cabin Fever No-Sew patterns
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