1. Archive

A vested interest in disguising figure

I spoke recently with the designer of this lovely vest, Gloria Tracy from Santa Barbara, Calif. She's an energetic person who entered the needlecraft world with a strong background in marketing and retailing. She first worked as a freelance designer and teacher, then soon became known for her clever, innovative ideas and expansion of existing techniques.

Today she continues to design, teach and run, with partner Susan Levin, a business they call K1C2 Solutions. They market inventive designs and an ever-growing number of problem-solving devices for needleworkers.

Nancy: Gloria, did your personal experience help with the design of this vest?

Gloria: Although the design is perfect for many different figures, it works very well for anyone wishing to conceal figure flaws.

It's easy for me to think of figure flattery when I design. I'm on the shorter side and have always battled my weight. As with many women, I carry my weight in my midsection, which means waist, stomach, thighs and hips. I began to search for designs that would make me feel and look comfortable and poised.

Through trial and error, I learned that the tendency to make long garments that fall below the rear end isn't the answer. Short garments above the waist also don't work. Both lengths fall at the wrong place and bring the eyes to, let's just say, your most unflattering dimensions.

I looked around and saw that I could really fill a need in the marketplace with designs such as this vest. What I say is, whether seasonal temptations are adding inches or new resolutions are decreasing them, your "Becoming Vest" will accommodate you in becoming fashion.

Nancy: Tell us why the "Becoming Vest" is particularly good for the figure types you mentioned.

Gloria: There are three reasons that this vest is ideal for concealing figure problems. First, the length is ideal for a person who might have more tummy, as it falls below this area. And since it hangs straight, it is also ideal for someone with wider hips.

The second reason is the complimentary diagonal line of the closure. An asymmetrical closing, which I call a crisscross closure, is becoming for all body types. It is designed with adjustable ease that allows one to expand the front simply by moving the buttons. You have the flexibility of changing the dimension by up to 8 inches. Regardless of how much or little you play with this measurement, the side seams hang the way they should. I have made one buttonhole on the outside and another on the inside to help achieve the proper "hang."

By the way, this garment is meant to be unisex simply by changing the side of the button and buttonholes and is perfect for a guy who's got a little paunch!

The third reason it fits so well is that even though it expands around the lower edge, the shoulders (which don't grow and contract with weight gain and loss) remain stable. To create a well-fitting vest, this is an essential element.

Nancy: I'll just add that the V-neck also enhances the look of the vest and gives it a style that can be casual, as we've shown it with khakis or jeans. Or, worn with a blouse or shirt, it can be the perfect wardrobe piece for the office.

Where to find

the pattern

The K1C2 vest is a smart design for disguising figure flaws, and it's easy to make. The vest is made in double moss stitch using size 8 (5.00mm) knitting needles.

It comes in two sizes: small/medium (21 inches long with a back measurement of 21 inches (expands up to 30 inches in front) and medium/large (25 inches long with a back measurement of 22 inches (expands to 32 inches in front). It is made of 100 percent New Zealand tweeded wool and comes in fashionable teal, dark plum and forest green. For the pattern only: Send $2 and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to K1C2, 4756-4 Telephone Road, Box 392, Ventura, CA 93003. To order a kit for small/medium ($31.95) or medium/large ($35.95) plus $4.95 for postage and handling, call (800) 607-2462 or send to above address.

Write to Nancy Thomas, c/o the Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731.

1997, Universal Press Syndicate