I had wanted to take better ones but I also didn't want to put off posting about this new top I made. So, I had to make do and I hope you can still kind of see the clothes in these shots.
A couple of years ago, I bought this fabric, a black cotton jersey with that 'loop' texture at the back and very little stretch, on sale. I made a top from it. It had kimono sleeves and a collar and it seems like I didn't blog about it or post it on Burdastyle. At least, not in a place where I can find it now. That garment was OK... The fabric was comfortable but its lack of stretch was less than ideal for this design. The leftover fabric just stayed in my stash for years. Until last Saturday, when I decided to deal with it once and for all. Using up just about all of it, I made this:
A loose-fitting sweater. The bodice is completely straight, with a wide but shallow scoop for the neckline. Its back hemline curves down by about 5 cm. The sleeves have a very low sleeve-head and they taper towards the hem.
Simply said, it's a sack-shaped top.
I've never had many of those. There is usually plenty of wide stuff in RTW but most of my sewing is more fitted. It can be nice to have a bit of variety though. And I found myself struggling to make nice combinations when wearing my more fitted trousers (like these, or my new jeans). And most of all, this fabric is perfect for a design like this!
In my experience, the look of loose-fitting clothes can depend enormously on the fabric you use. My lovely twice-made wintercoat is very wide and that works because the wool fabric has quite a bit of body.
It worked the first time:
And maybe even better the second time around.But there was also a time when I decided to use a striped sweater knit to make a cardigan with those same lines... A thinner fabric, with a softer hand. It didn't work at all. Where the coats with lovely pieces of soft sculpture, the cardigan with just a baggy sack. In the end I took it in quite a bit which made it wearable. It's not pretty but it is very comfortable which is why it still has a place in my wardrobe as a warm extra layer to snuggle up in on cold days.
You see, with "loose-fitting" anything, it's all about the interaction between the fabric, the design and your own body. The bulky fabric of the coats allowed them to have a life of their own, just hanging from my shoulders.
This new sweater of mine has to play a more subtle role. Like a game of hide and seek with points and curves. In a thicker fabric, my body would end up really looking like a rectangle. And if I tried to make up this same pattern in a more stretchy and drape-y jersey, I would just repeat the cardigan fiasco... But for this fabric, I think I got the fit spot-on.
Some people wear shapes like this a lot. Sometimes to obscure parts of their body they are not happy with, sometimes as a statement. Sack-like clothes can be used to say things like "I don't do obvious sexy dressing, I'm more creative, more clever than that". A bit snobbish? Maybe, but is it really more so than the "if you've got it, flaunt it" approach?
It was never my style but can't help but admire the look of confidence it has on those who wear it well.
So far, I could only ever make that kind of look work for me in coats. For a long time, it was my working theory that, with my A cup, there just wasn't enough there between shoulders and hips to make that game between garment and body work. Now, I'm starting to wonder if it is just all about the dimensions...