Fitting the Elio Top

Fitting the Elio Top

The Elio Top sewing pattern is a fitted knit top with a faux wrap silhouette. If you've ever sewn a wrap bodice, you may know that achieving the perfect fit can take a bit of tweaking to the original design. Because we're all shaped differently (and what often varies the most is the size and shape of our busts), it's normal to require a few modifications to the Elio Top. Today, I'll show you the most common fitting techniques we use for this design.

Choose the Right Size

First, it's important that you choose to sew the right size of Elio Top. Be sure to check out the size charts and finished garment measurements of each size range. Choose the size that corresponds best with your upper and full bust measurements and grade at the bust and hips as needed. If you are between sizes, size down.

Sew a Muslin

As with all sewing patterns, we highly recommend you sew a muslin of your Elio Top before you dive into any precious or expensive fabric in your stash. Inexpensive cotton knits are easy to come by and taking this extra step will save you frustration from ruining a more expensive fabric.

All adjustments illustrated below are made to the paper pattern pieces of the Elio Top before cutting from your fabric.

 

Shoulder Adjustments

1. Narrow Shoulder Adjustment

If the shoulder seams of your Elio Top extend beyond your shoulder cap, you may need to do a narrow shoulder adjustment.

First, measure the distance the seam needs to move in order for it to sit on your shoulder cap. On your pattern piece, cut a diagonal line from the midpoint of the shoulder seam to about one third distance down the armscye. Cut another perpendicular line that connects this line and the shoulder point. Leave the pattern connected where noted below.

Pivot the outer right most piece in and overlap it on the shoulder seam by the amount the shoulder seam needs to move. Fill the empty space with paper and tape to create the new pattern piece. Smooth out any odd looking curves.

Make this same adjustment to the back bodice.

Elio Top Narrow Shoulder Adjustment

2. Broad Shoulder Adjustment

If the shoulder seams of your Elio Top are riding up onto your clavicle or the top feels too tight across the shoulders, you may need a broad shoulder adjustment. 

First, measure the distance the seam needs to move in order for it to sit on your shoulder cap. On your pattern piece, cut a diagonal line from the midpoint of the shoulder seam to about one third distance down the armscye. Cut another perpendicular line that connects this line and the shoulder point. Leave the pattern connected where noted below.

Pivot the outer right most piece out to create a space on the shoulder seam that equals the amount you measured in the first step. Fill the empty space with paper and tape to create the new pattern piece. Smooth out any odd looking curves.

Make this same adjustment to the back bodice.

Elio Top Broad Shoulder Adjustment

 

Bust Adjustments

1. Full Bust Adjustment

If the difference between your upper and full bust is more than 2" (for the B-cup size range) and more than 4" (for the D-cup size range), you may need to do a full bust adjustment. You'll know this if the neckline of the Elio Top is pulling open, exposing more cleavage than intended.

First, hold the bodice pattern piece up to your body and mark roughly where your bust apex is positioned. Draw a diagonal line from the front armscye notch to the bust apex. Then draw another diagonal line from the bust apex to roughly where you'd position a dart on the side seam. Draw a vertical line from the bust apex to the hem. Draw a horizontal line from the side seam to the vertical line. Cut all of these lines with scissors leaving them attached where indicated in the illustration.

Pivot the upper right most piece out so that it separates from the bodice by one half of the amount of additional room you need in the bust. Now pivot the piece below that down so that it's perpendicular with the left most piece. And finally, move the lower left most piece down so that the hem is even. Fill in the empty spaces with paper and smooth out an odd looking curves. At the side seam where the new wedge of fabric was added, arc the side seam to create a gentle curve there.

The back bodice will be slightly shorter than the front bodice between the armscye and waist notch, but it can be eased in while sewing.

Elio Top Full Bust Adjustment

 

2. Small Bust Adjustment

If the difference between your upper and full bust is less than 2" (for the B-cup size range) and less than 4" (for the D-cup size range), you may need to do a small bust adjustment. You'll know this if you have extra fabric pooling around the bust of your Elio Top.

First, hold the bodice pattern piece up to your body and mark roughly where your bust apex is positioned. Draw a diagonal line from the front armscye notch to the bust apex. Then draw another diagonal line from the bust apex to roughly where you'd position a dart on the side seam. Draw a vertical line from the bust apex to the hem. Draw a horizontal line from the side seam to the vertical line. Cut all of these lines with scissors leaving them attached where indicated in the illustration.

Pivot the upper right most piece in so that it overlaps the bodice by one half of the amount of reduced room you need in the bust. Now pivot the piece below that up so that it's perpendicular with the left most piece. And finally, move the lower left most piece up so that the hem is even. Fill in the empty spaces with paper and smooth out an odd looking curves.

The back bodice will be slightly longer than the front bodice between the armscye and waist notch, but it can be eased in while sewing.

Elio Top Small Bust Adjustment

 

3. Add or Reduce Bust Coverage

The bodice of the Elio Top is intended to extend down from the neckline and then wrap under the bust. If you'd like more bust coverage or for the wrap to extend over the top of the bust, you can adjust the curve of the neckline as pictured below.

Conversely, if you'd like the Elio Top neckline to have less coverage or you'd like it to scoop more dramatically below the bust, you can adjust the curve of the neckline in the opposite direction.

Elio Top Bust Coverage Adjustments

 

 

Grading the Waist

Perhaps the most pertinent fitting advice for the Elio Top is this: grade at the waist to the size your measurements correspond to in the size chart. Grading down or up at the waist will reduce the pulling you might see at the side seam where the wrap bodice intersects.

Elio Top Waist Adjustments

 

Bodice Length Adjustments

1. Add or Reduce Length between Shoulder and Bust Apex

An easy fix for fabric pooling in the front armscye is to reduce length between the shoulder and bust apex. If you can grab a lot of extra fabric near your armpit on the front bodice, you more than likely need to take length from that area. Conversely, if the top is very tight at the front armscye you may need to add length to that area.

To do this, cut a horizontal line about midway between the shoulder seam and bust apex. Overlap the pattern by the length you need to reduce or create the space needed there. Add paper and tape, smoothing out any odd looking curves.

Make this same adjustment to the back bodice.

Elio Top Bodice Length Adjustments

2. Add or Reduce Length at Waistline

The most common place to take out or add length to the top is at the natural waist line. Cut on the lengthen/shorten line. Overlap the pattern by the length you need to reduce or create the space needed there. Add paper and tape, smoothing out any odd looking curves.

Make this same adjustment to the back bodice.

Lengthen or Shorten the Elio Top

 

3. Add or Reduce Length at Hem

The easiest place to adjust the length of your top is at the hem line. Simply add or remove as much of the pattern at the bottom of the top on both the front and back bodices.

Lengthen or shorten hem of Elio Top

 

Sleeve Adjustments

1. Full Bust Adjustment

If you feel the Elio Top sleeve is too tight, you may need a full bicep adjustment. First measure your bicep and compare it to the finished bicep measurement for the Elio Top. We recommend the top have some negative ease through the bicep. Decide how much additional circumference you'd like there.

Draw a vertical line from the center sleeve cap notch to the hem of the sleeve. Draw a horizontal line that connects the underarm points. Cut along these lines keeping the pattern attached where indicated.

Pivot the top two pieces of the sleeve out so that they separate along the horizontal line by the additional amount needed through the bicep. The bottom top pieces will automatically pivot up. Add paper, tape, and straighten out the hem.

Elio Top Full Bicep Adjustment

2. Sleeve Length Adjustment

If the Elio Top sleeves feel too long or short, you can reduce or add length from the middle of the pattern pieces. Draw a horizontal line in the middle of the sleeve and cut the pattern piece there. Overlap the pattern by the length you need to reduce or create the space needed there. Add paper and tape, smoothing out the straight sleeve seams.

Elio Top Lengthen Shorten Sleeves

 

Alternatively, you can also reduce or add length from the hem of the sleeve. This is a good option if you'd like to sew the sleeves into the top first to assess the sleeve length.

Those are the most common fit adjustments we have seen with the Elio Top, but you can always email us at hello@allieolson.com if you'd need further help with fitting. Happy sewing!