FF: Dalriada

Happy Friday! This week, we’re tackling a couple of topics near and dear to many of the women in my classes, through the design I’ve just released: Dalriada. (If you want a copy of Dalriada of your very own, by the way, you can buy it here.)


One of the major activities of my classes (both in person and online) is a personalized body shape analysis. It’s impossible to tell someone’s body shape directly from their measurements, so we spend time taking pictures and then drawing on them. One of my favorite moments during this process is the identification of your narrowest point, when viewed from the front.

It’s my favorite because it’s the cause of so very many “Wow, I look great!” moments. For many busty women (and some others, too!) the narrowest point of their torso is directly under the bust. This surprises a lot of women, especially bustier figures who feel as though their chests and their tummies are inseparable. Seeing this beautiful, curvaceous spot can be both pleasing and confusing:

  • Pleasing, because it’s beautiful and curvaceous and a wonderful feature to highlight…
  • …and confusing, because how do you highlight it? This spot isn’t your waist, so shaping for it doesn’t make a ton of sense. And it comes with some risks, since clothing that’s too tight here, and then more voluminous underneath, is unflattering for a lot of women.

Dalriada directly highlights this lovely figure feature.

  • The slip-stitch rib band circles the torso part-way through the bust increases.
  • Your actual waist shaping occurs below it, avoiding the “I’m expecting!” look.
  • The sweater still curves out to accommodate your bust.
  • And the band calls attention to a narrow, attractive point on your body, effectively separating your bust and your tummy in the bargain.


This separation works, by the way, even if you’re not especially busty:


One potential downfall of a band like this is the torso-shortening that might happen if the band continued unbroken all the way around your torso. (Remember the visual principle of shortening the appearance of some part of your body by breaking it up into different vertical chunks?)

Dalraida side-steps this neatly by breaking up that under-bust band with larger blocks of texture that reach from the very top of the sweater all the way to the bottom.



This combination of under-bust detail and long, vertical panels

  • Highlights a narrow, lovely part of your figure,
  • Separates your bust and your tummy, and
  • Lengthens your entire torso.

Pretty magic, huh? Read more about the visual elements at play, and modifications ideas for various body shapes on Dalriada’s main pattern page.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s Fashion Friday! I’d love to hear about your favorite sweaters with interesting details, and I hope you have a great weekend.

6 thoughts on “FF: Dalriada

  1. Wow, you are a genius :D. Beautiful sweater.

  2. As always
    Something to think about

    Thanks for generously sharing your expertise


  3. This sweater is going in this super busty (nursing right now) woman’s queue! It’ll work even when I’m done nursing since I’m still pretty busty

  4. It is gorgeous and I love sport weight sweaters- so versatile.

  5. You are sooo right about the waist fastening. I’ve got a small bust, slender waist, and wide hips, and a fairly flat tummy. I couldn’t figure out why those open-front cardis make me look fat, but now I see the problem. I’m now looking for a pattern like Dalriada that I can use at a worsted gauge (19-20 sts = 4 inches) for a dressy casual cardi in Flicker. I’m afraid to try altering Dalraida, but I’m putting it on my Ravelry “faves” list.

  6. You just made me buy the pattern. I love it.

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