Garments: Top Down or Bottom Up

A woman posing for a picture

I much prefer bottom up, seamed or not makes no difference to me.

The most obvious reason is that I can make much neater decreases than increases.

The less obvious but much more important reason is that the bodice is the most crucial bit of a garment. I need to get the shoulders and bodice absolutely spot on. The rest of the garment is a breeze.

I need to make changes to the bodice frequently. If I start from the top and get the bodice perfect, all it takes is some weight at the bottom from the rest of the garment and suddenly my perfect bodice is stretched out of proportion and no longer perfect.

If I’ve worked bottom up, I can take out a few inches and change the armhole height or neck width. If I’ve started from the top, I have to take out the entire project to get to the shoulders. That’s heartbreaking when I only want to make a small change to the top.

I will admit, however, that I have succumbed to the overwhelming desire from people to have top down garments. Unfortunately, it means that people have complained about having to make changes to the armhole height or neck width and they’ve had to take the entire thing out. I resist the urge to say “I told you so.”

One of my most popular garment designs is top down. It is currently in a crochet-along. I have jokingly told them that, if I had the chance to work the bodice as a normal bottom-up design, they wouldn’t have to do acrobats to get the bodice finished. It would have been completely straight forward as a bottom up.

It’s crazy what had to be done in order to make that garment a top-down. It was pure genius the way I did that bodice, but crocheters aren’t especially thrilled about it. LOL People have so many problems with it. But, that’s just the way it goes with this construction. It’s the price that must be paid to take short cuts and avoid seaming. 🙂