Pop Quiz: Fitting the common women’s t-shirt pt.2

how_to_fix_ladies_teeThanks for your many responses, quite a few of you intuited where I was going with yesterday’s challenge so we had many correct answers. By the way, that doesn’t mean anyone else was wrong. Only that solutions were inappropriate given the (admittedly undefined) context. Correcting my oversight of provided context, this was a mass market product not a one off designed to fit a given figure.

The short version answer is this shirt’s pattern was cut to optimize display in a folded position as opposed to having been cut to fit a body (that was the hint). If you’re making commodity products, that’s fine, no judgment implied. However, if you’re cutting higher cost/value goods, the front and back should not be identical in size if only in upper body length. The front upper chest should be shorter than the back because the too long upper front creates ROM (range of motion) discomfort.

Using the comparison of the photo below, you can see that the too long sleeve edge in front gets in the way of your arms moving forward. The direction (pitch) of the sleeve should match the direction in which one’s arms move.


Sure, the fabric is soft and moves readily but then that’s also a problem; it moves readily. After not much time wearing it, with constant movement of one’s arms forward, the whole shirt shifts up into the neckline and then you have to grab it to yank it down from your throat. Which is by the way, how I noticed the problem and thought to write about it. [Sure, you could blame me but I didn’t buy it but that wouldn’t have gotten me off the hook either because I wouldn’t have tried it on either. I hate trying on clothes at the store -because that means I have to go to the store and being as agoraphobic as I am, well, it’d just ruin everything. I’d rather have a poorly fitting summer weight (pajama) top I didn’t have to go through the hassle of buying. Everyone has their priorities!]

The long answer version:

Q. Is it particular to this form (or a given body) or would a manifestation of the problem be evident on other bodies? Why?

A. This problem is not particular to this body and would be evident on other figures. The problem is that the front and back tee are cut exactly the same size through the armhole length. The front bicep/armhole line should be shorter than the back. Because the front is the same length as the back, the front sleeve pitches forward; its extra length is an impediment at the armscye creating a range of motion problem. Even a sleepwear tee -which this is- should have unfettered range of motion.

With respect to the hint I left (a review of a children’s pattern making book), I intended to refer to the concept of cutting a pattern to enable it being folded neatly. This seems to be more common all the time. You need to decide whether the appeal of your products favor display as folded or whether your products will be cut to enhance the human form.

This particular item wasn’t exactly a commodity product but it was a lower cost item amid the range of products offered by this retailer (a push manufacturer). Considering the disposable income of their average customer, I suppose this item would be akin to commodity pricing. I couldn’t find the style on their site but based on prices of similar items, I’m guessing it was about $25 to $30. [Mr. Fashion-Incubator usually leaves the price tags on my gifts because he knows I care more about keeping up with the market than I do about the cost of things he buys me but either he or the clerk was unusually thorough this time.]

If you’re shopping for a gift for somebody who is picky about fit and want to minimize this problem, lay the garment as flat as you can. If you can make it completely flat with no bubbles, this is not the shirt you’re looking for.

Q. What problems does the fit represent if this figure had arms?
A. The range of motion -more specifically- the primary ROM was impeded. If you have my book, this is discussed in Fundamentals of Fit pgs 163-169 but specifically 166-168.

Q. Is the vast majority of what is wrong with it, fixable without darts?
A. Yes. Shortening the front upper chest and cutting the sleeve to match it, would have helped with respect to comfort.

Thanks for your participation everybody! If you dissent or have questions, feel free to leave them in comments.

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