The previous tutorials showed you most of what you need to create your own Be Square Top. But, what if your creation isn't perfect? If it came out too small, there's not much you can do... Rip it out, or finish it and donate it. But if you followed my previous tip that bigger is better, here's what you can do to make bigger fit better:
At first glance, I thought the issue here was in the armhole. But, wait! I tried it on already and it fit, so how is the armhole too big for the dummy? After some measuring and moving, I realized the problem is actually in the neckline. Because I have an extra-small top stretched over a size small form and the granny stitches around the bust aren't as stretchy as the taller V-stitches, there was some resistance. Instead of pulling the top down to where it would actually ride, I stopped pulling it when the neckline was where I thought it should be... So after getting that straightened out:
Notice how the shoulder seams are too low? I didn't need to make the armholes tighter; I (mostly) needed to pull the neckline up.
I had left my stitch markers in that mark the corner spaces, so it made it easy to keep track of decreases without having to do much counting.
Although it seems like I needed to take some room out of the sleeves, the decreases are better done along the front and back. Decreasing too much around the shoulder seam will cause the sleeves to pucker.
I decreased the multiples of four (the 3-double crochet, 1-chain granny stitch) down to multiples of two (1-single crochet, 1-chain) across the bust and back.
The corner space marks the beginning of the sleeve, so that's where I stopped decreasing. Since making a few more variations of this design, I can say that I've discovered a better way: Decreasing less across the front and back then carrying the decreases a bit into the bottoms of the sleeves makes for a better fit that hugs your figure.
On this first attempt, the extra shaping still worked. I kept the stitch count the same along the sleeves with four single crochet in each space.
And notice how the stitches made a bit of a scalloped edge?
Well, I could have left the sleeves alone... The armhole hung just a bit too low, but I liked it because I don't want wool all the way up to my armpit, anyway. That scalloped edge, though... I liked it! So, I decided to copy it around each armhole:
The single crochet stitches aren't stretchy like the rest of the top, so I used that to my advantage. The problem with the fit wasn't so much the size as the stretch... And stiffening up the edge of the sleeves stopped the top from stretching too low.
I did throw a tiny decrease into the bottom of the armhole by shortening to three single crochet for the third-to-last stitch, and then just two single crochet in the last two. With that little decrease of five stitches, the armhole pulled up to the perfect place - Not to high, and not too low.
Although I wish my first attempt had been perfect and not needed adjustments, you can use my fixes if your own first try isn't how you hoped it would be. But, I do hope my mistakes help you get a better-fitting top! With the experience of things I wish I had done differently, I can give you these tips:
-Making the sleeves thinner than you want and working around them later gives you more room to fix the fit if you're a little off on the size. If you get it right the first time, then you can just work around them while keeping the stitch count the same.
-Use stitch markers for more than marking stitches! I use my locking stitch markers to pinch room out of the top as I try it on. They're easy to move to try out different adjustments, and you can leave them in to mark where you want to make a change.
-Switching stitch patterns like I did in this version may not be the best design idea. 🙁 Had I used different stitches with similar stretch, then I wouldn't have needed to make so many adjustments along the way. But please, don't let me limit you... If you have an idea for something beautiful, try it! I'm just saying if you want to keep it easy, keep it simple.
-And do remember not to use wool if you live in Florida. 😉
In case you missed the other parts of the tutorial, here's the links you'll need: