Debbie: Which Style Is Best For Her?

Interweave Knits Winter 2008


Shoulders narrower than hips

Long torso

Waist is closer to bust than hips (high waist)

Amazing smile!

all sweaters from issues of Interweave Knits magazine
Knitting Gallery - Manchester Jacket Debbie Knitting Gallery - Victoria Yoke Pullover Debbie

Manchester Jacket
from Knits Winter 2008
Gallery page to come 12/10/08

Collar draws attention up to face
Collar lines also widen neck and shoulders
Double-breasted jacket minimizes bust
Flared hemline flatters hips

Victoria Yoke Pullover
from Knits Winter 2008
Gallery page to come 12/10/08

Neck and yoke detail bring interest up to face
Row of buttons literally "points to" her smile!
Longish sleeves bring eye downwards
Shorter length balances silhouette
Tiny hem detailing does not overwhelm hips
Strong color and smooth fabric compliment her strong, pretty features and fluffy hair

Knitting Gallery - Ropes and Picots Cardigan Debbie Knitting Gallery - Blooming Cardigan Debbie

Ropes and Picots Cardigan
from Knits Winter 2008
Ropes and Picots Gallery page

Textured "stripes" keep eye moving
Sleeve stripes widen shoulders
Hem ends at widest part of hips
Small scoop neck in proportion to shoulders

Blooming Cardigan
from Knits Winter 2008
Blooming Cardigan Gallery page

Collar widens shoulders and frames face
Bobble panel also widens shoulders
Bobble panel stronger than ribbing, so distracts from hips
Bobble panel at sides adds vertical interest

Knitting Gallery - Dainty Pinstripes Pullover Debbie Knitting Gallery - Climbing Vines Pullover Debbie

Dainty Pinstripes Pullover
from Knits Winter 2008
Gallery page to come 12/10/08

Wide, horizontal neckline widens shoulders
Raglan sleeves emphasize narrow shoulders
Vertical stripes lengthen torso
Wide ribbing at hips draws attention there

Climbing Vines Pullover
from Knits Winter 2008
Climbing Vines Gallery page

Vine design brings eye upwards
Scoop neckline frames face
Narrow ribbing at hips does not add bulk

Knitting Gallery - Braided Pullover Debbie Knitting Gallery - Elinor Tunic Debbie

Braided Pullover
from Knits Fall 2008
Braided Pullover Gallery page

"Collar" widens shoulders and frames face
Vertical ribs at sides bring out curves!
Diagonal detail balances overall shape

Elinor Tunic
from Knits Summer 2008
Elinor Tunic Gallery page

Neckline in proportion to her shoulders
Smooth lines lengthen torso
Hip detail sits right at hips


Knitting Gallery - Folded Cowl Tee Debbie Knitting Gallery - Flutter Sleeve Cardigan Debbie

Folded Cowl Tee
from Knits Summer 2008
Folded Cowl Tee Gallery page

Pretty cap sleeves widen shoulders
Scoop neck also widens shoulders
Delicate detail at hip and sleeve balance each other

Flutter Sleeve Cardigan
from Knits Spring 2008
Flutter Sleeve Cardigan Gallery page

Wide neckline enhances upper torso
Sleeve detail helps create balance
Buttons and waist detail help create curves
Flared hem skims hips in a good way!


Here are some questions to consider as you look at these photos:

  • How do you think the garment compliments each woman's individual body type and personal style?
  • Which body type would this garment look best on?
  • If you wanted to knit a sweater straight out of the magazine, with no pattern adjustments except for sleeve and hem length, would this be the sweater for you and your body type?
  • Would it fit your personal style?

Leave your thoughts in the comments!


Some links you  might find helpful:

Measuring yourself and your clothing

About positive and negative ease

Measuring tutorial with photos



Knitting Patterns

107 thoughts on “Debbie: Which Style Is Best For Her?

  1. I agree about the Braided Pullover. It looks best on Debbie.

    I also llike the Victorian Yoke sweater, but would put in more positive ease and make it a little longer for her.

  2. the braided pullover is the best looking on her. i think though, it’s because she seems to be standing up straighter in that particular picture. i also think that if she had a better bra on there would be several of the sweaters that would be flattering on her.

  3. I like the sleeve detail on the Flutter Sleeve Caridigan, which I think brings out her personality the best — although others like the Manchester Jacket and Braided pullover and Victoria Yoke as suggested by others would also work for her but not take her over the top. I also think Debbie should change her glasses to a stronger frame. But that’s me.

  4. victoria yoke is perfect for Debbie, though the Braided Pullover is close second ( the sleeves seem a tad long)…and the Braided Pullover is a gorgeous elegant design.


  5. I like the flutter sleeve cardigan. Very flattering on Debbie.
    The braided pullover is also very flattering. These are my two favorites. The folded cowel sleeve sweater is another one I like, but not as well as the first 2 that I chose.

  6. Many of us agree that Debbie looks great in the Braided Pullover. Part may also be the color wich is great for her.
    I like the Manchester Jacket (with shorter sleeves) and the Flutter sleeve Cardigan. I also think she looks terrific in the Ropes and Picots Cardigan.

  7. Debbie looks so jaunty and confident in the Victoria Yoke Pullover and the Braided Pullover. I vote for the Braided Pullover done in the Victoria Yoke red – she will be unstoppable!

  8. I love the Braided Pullover – definately the best look for her. I also love the Manchester Jacket, but I don’t care for the bunching at the elbows – it makes it look to long in the sleeve (well, maybe it was), and seems like it would be uncomfortable to have that extra fabric there.

  9. As she has narrow shoulders, I feel the victoria yoke makes her bust look a bit matronly. It may just be that the colour is so dominant it cuts her into pieces.

    The braided pullover and flutter cardigan are my favourites on her. Possibly because they both have a V shaping to the neck which helps to balance the bust and shoulders.

  10. I think the Braided pullover flatters Debbi the most. I love the style, the color, everything about it on her! The accents around the waist and the collar really draw my interest in this piece, I would love to wear it and have the ability to MAKE it. And have it fit. sigh cake and eat it too…

  11. I also think the Braided Pullover has the best look for Debbie. I also like he Victoria Pullover and it’s length. However I think it needs to either add a little more ease or go straight up from the hem to the underarm decrease.

  12. The Flutter Sleeve Cardigan draws a great visual line on her shape. The cinching, ease and length, combined with the layered effect, show her feminine curves to their best advantage.

  13. Manchester, Ropes & Picots, Braided, and Flutter look best on her.

    I just love the buttons at the neck on Victoria Yoke! Is there anything similar for us busty gals who benefit from v-necks… maybe even a crew-neck with buttons… or where else can we put buttons that looks cool?

  14. The Braided Pullover flatters her a lot, but in a different color such as the red or turquoise. But my favorite is the Flutter Sleeve Cardigan – it’s so perky and seems to go with her personality, but again, I’d change the color for her. I’ve got the same body type but bigger and those are the two sweaters I’d choose for myself. Thanks so much for the opportunity to see them on a woman with curves!

  15. Definitely the Manchester Jacket. Best proportions: widens shoulders, minimizes bust,lengthens and flatters hips so she has beautiful balanced shape. Nice color too. The Braided Pullover is too big through the shoulders, but a nice color on her. Wish I could see it from the front. Nice smile:)

  16. I really liked the braided pullover also. It has just the right shaping to complement her body. I personally would try a brighter color, but that’s my style. Debbie looks great in the color.

  17. Braided pullover hands down. It not only looks good on her, it is a beautiful sweater. I like things that are different, that is I don’t follow the crowd and the style of this sweater is different. Looks great on you Debbie!

  18. Debbie looks great in the Manchester Jacket, the Braided Pullover and the Flutter Sleeve Cardigan (which I think is the best on her as it widens her shoulders).

  19. If I were to make thje choice it would be a toss up- betreen the Braided Pullover and the Manchester Jacket. I love the way the Braided Pullover gives her curves and with the asimetral line balance her figure while the lower neck line lengthens her net and features her face.

    As for the Manchester jacket, again the looser collar frames her face while the waist emphisises her narrow waist and the flare of the bottom balances her upper and lower body.

  20. I think the braided pullover is the best on Debbie. I think this the most flattering for her figure and the color helps. I also like the flutter sleeve cardigan.

  21. Like others, the braided pullover fits Debbie the best. The color, on the other hand, is not so well suited. Reds, blues and green seem to bring out the best in Debbie’s skin tone. The flutter sleeve cardigan also seems to shape Debbie nicely.

  22. I really like the braided pull over too, but I think some of what makes it look so good on her is the pose. Overall I think the flutter sleeved cardigan would liik the best.

  23. The Manchester Jacket and the Braided Pullover absolutely shine on Debbie. The others just don’t have that “WOW” factor, not that they are not pretty. The two I chose really fit her well and flatter her body. And both styles have an air of sophistication that could be dressed up or down… a great option, in my humble opinion.

  24. Of all of this month’s options, I think the Victoria is the most flattering. All the others make her look “stubby” – a short waist is a tough one to work around.

  25. Debbie look especially good with collars . Long sleeves together with collars works extremely well for her. It brings her face into focus. She has a beautiful smile and a chin that tells people that she is friendly.( That’s the impression I get!) I like her in the Manchester jacket and the braided pullover.


  26. It’s a toss up between the braided pullover and Ropes and Picots. The Ropes and Picots is a very good fit all over and very flattering. The diagonal band across the front of the Braided Pullover is really stunning. I know the idea is to knit without alterations, but I’d be tempted to bring the shoulders in a bit by casting off more stitches in the armhole shaping. The sleeve looks slightly gathered in the armscye, so you might get away with not even making any adjustments to the cap shaping which would shorten the sleeve a needed bit too.

  27. I agree. The braided pullover looks great. The V neck is a contrast to her round face and flatters her curves. The colour of the Victoria is beautiful but I think the neck is too high for her face again. The Flutter cardi again draws the eye down and the wide neck broadens her shoulders. She is my shape and I know those things work!

  28. I vote Braided Pullover. The Manchester Jacket is flattering but the sleeves are a little long. The Flutter Sleeve Cardigan is equally flattering for her figure but it’s a little wrinkly about the bust/armpit area.

  29. to be fair, all photos should be taken with the same background. the victoria yoke, ropes & picots cardigan, braided pullover and flutter sleeve cardigan are all very attractive on debbie.

  30. Initially, I thought the Manchester Jacket was more flattering to her figure until I saw the Braided Pullover, which just looked perfect for her. I also think the v-neck is more flattering to her rounder face. The wider collar on the Manchester Jacket only makes Debbie’s face look broader. I have all the same issues!

  31. I like the Braided pullover for the winter weather we’re having now, my second choices are all more summery sweaters. I love the Eleanor top which could be worn with a turtleneck now and as she’s wearing it in the pic during the warm weather. The salmony/pink folded cowl tee looks as though it was made especially for her, plus the color is great with her complexion, I love that one especially. And the Flutter Sleeve cardi is really cute too for warmer weather. These sweaters seem better fitted to her body shape, some of the others seem just straight up and down and they tend to make her look shapeless, in my opinion.

  32. I like the Victorian yoke pullover the best on her. The color is very flattering on her and the sweater looks like it was made for her. At first I thought the braided Pullover was the best but when I looked again I realize it had a lot to do with the pose and maybe the color. It definitely works but it does not have the same comfortable flattering effect as the VYP. Again most of the sweaters are good on her especially if they were sized for her.

  33. Manchester jacket and breaided pullover, pretty! Victoria yoke: don’t think so, knit something else for her out of that yarn because it’s the only flattering thing for Debbie about this sweater. It makes her very topheavy. Cardigans: rpoes and picots, yes, blooming no, too overwhelming. Pinstripe, doesn’t flatter her ‘hippy’ figure and shortish torso. But climbing vines, again, pretty, the neckline does it for her on that one, but the sleeves need to be either shortened or lengthened to full length. Now it looks like she just ran out of jarn or washed it a tad too hot. The folded cowl tee looks good on her too, she has very shapely arms and you’d need that for this tee, but maybe not in that sugary colour (the burgundy red of victoria maybe?).

  34. Definitely the Braided Pullover is the best shape on her – the neckline is fabulous for her. Even the colour isn’t bad, especially if she had a richer colour in the tee underneath. The Climbing Vines Pullover would be a great one too, if the sleeves were just a few inches longer to be full-length. But the Braided Pullover should just walk on home with her!

  35. 1. Braided Pullover in deep rich red
    2. Victoria Yoke Pullover as is
    3. Manchester Jacket and can we make that red too?

    She’s so cute and looks just smashing in that wonderful red!

  36. I have a hard time not being influence by the color. I think it is part of the style. So bests overall for me is Victoria yoke. The style and the color is excellent.A close second is braided pullover

  37. The Manchester, Dainty Pullover and the Elinor I find are all unflattering. Perhaps it’s the style – perhaps it’s the “fit” of the “knit” – but just don’t suit. She looks great in everything else.

  38. I haven’t read EVERY comment but I think part of what makes the Braided Pullover and the Flutter Sleeve Cardigan look so good on Debbie is the fact that both sort of visually separate the gals up top. I find that larger breasted women do not do well (in general) with the mono-bosom look and both of those tops searate the gals, at least visually. Several of the other sweaters have design elements that divide the breasts, but they are so vertical that they take away from the waist slimming that is achieved by the diagonals of the Braided Pullover and the Flutter Sleeve.

  39. I’ve tried to separate the COLOUR of the sweater (which can make a bad sweater look better, and a good sweater look dreadful) from the actual cut of the sweater. The Dainty Pullover, Elinor Tunic and Climbing Vines don’t flatter Debbie’s shape – they visually add bulk at the waist, or the neckline is too skimpy. The first 4 sweaters are such that the colours are great on Debbie, but the cut doesn’t the ideal sweater make. I agree that the Braided Pullover is the perfect sweater for her of all the ones here – the colour really flatters her colouring, the cut accentuates her curves, the length is perfect, and she looks like she loves it!

  40. second comment… As a photographer myself, I noticed that she is posed in a much more flattering way for the braided pullover so it’s hard to say what it looks like front-on like so many of the other sweaters. I know the Manchester Jacket looks nice front on so I’d probably vote for that one

  41. First choice, manchester jacket. Collars are very flattering on her Debbie (ditto the collar on blooming cardigan, but that one has too much other stuff going on for her). Second, braided pullover because of the interest and width brought close to her face. Third, flutter sleeve cardigan. Again, the lines & color contrast (with shirt underneath) widen the shoulders & bring attention up toward her face.

  42. The Briaded Pullover is my fave! The neck and waistlines are falttering, and the color is great on her. Definite “no” to the Blooming Cardi (too bulky for her smallish figure. Warmer earth tones suit her coloring better, so other sweaters might be a bit more flattering with a color change.

  43. So many like the Braided Pullover and Flutter Sleeve best, but could that be because those are the two where Debbie is posed diagonally rather than front-on? I love that you are doing this, Sandi, but it would be a far more useful exercise if the poses were consistent. My recollection of the braided pullover from the magazine itself was very different–I thought it seemed to widen the model dramatically across the front. Having a shape much like Debbie’s I’m sort of disappointed by this gallery. I am dying to knit an IK sweater but this isn’t telling me what I need to know.

  44. I like the Braided Pullover, but let’s not overlook the Ropes and Picots Cardi. The lowered neckline raises her bustline visually, proportions 1/3 above and 2/3 below to hem. The flattering narrow stripes along sleeves and up-&-down the front bring emphasis right to her lovely face.

  45. Ropes & Picots & Braided Pullover. Absolutely.
    The others are pretty & would be “OK”, but not stunning, while these are perfect on her.
    I think the double breasted Cardigan cuts her in half, shortening her torso, without giving her anything, at all. ICK
    I am definitely considering knitting these two, myself. I’ll have to alter a bit, as I’m bigger than she is & wider in the hip, but those patterns are really lovely.

  46. FAVORITE : Folded Cowl Tee. I’m the first to pick this one. I like the way the simple cap sleeve defines her shoulders, which is identified as a problem area for her. The description also says she is high-waisted. I believe the slight flare and detail at the hem pulls her waist down gently.

    LEAST FAVORITE : Dainty Pinstripes Pullover. That change of pattern at the waist does nothing to help torso in my opinion. Other models her have figures much better suited to the look. And besides, her hips are already wider than her shoulders. I hope this isn’t her sweater.

    SURPRISE: Contrary to many opinions here, I disagree that Braided Pullover is best. The combination of wide deep V collar and off the shoulder seam appears to pull her chest down to that high waist of hers and I think if it were photographed from the front it would look even more pronounced. I love the sweater, the color, the style – just not on her.

  47. My favorites on Debbie are Ropes & Picots, the Braided Pullover and the Flutter Sleeve cardigan. All are very flattering to her and minimize the fact that her shoulders are narrower than her hips. The Blooming Cardigan is just too much blooming sweater that overpowers her frame. I am not especially fond of the Manchester Jacket, but if the sleeves were shorter, I think it would work for her. Forget the Elinor tunic. She looks like she has “Minnie Mouse arms” (sorry Debbie) and who needs a wide band around their hips shouting “look at this”.

  48. Sandi, you had better watch your sweater samples carefully! Debbie could walk off with any of them. I think she should knit them all except the pinstripe pullover. Could we have a black and white gallery sometime? I would like to concentrate on the shape and not be influenced by the colors. This idea of one model and many sweaters is your best yet! Thanks.

  49. Debbie’s the only person that I thought looked good in the Folding Cowl tee when I first saw that gallery. It is still one of the best garments on her. Same deal with the Manchester Jacket; it’s not the best garment in here, but she is certainly one of the only people that can pull it off (although she would need a smaller size). Victoria Yoke and Flutter Sleeve also look very good!

  50. Debbie looks best in the Blooming Cardigan, the Braided Pullover and the Flutter Sleeve Cardigan because they all have a “V” shap at the front which narrows her face. All the others make her hips look widder and give her a dumpy look.

  51. Hi, I like the folded cowl tee, but for myself I’d want to make it longer, and with long sleeves, using the same edging. I also liked the climbing vines pullover, but would make it longer to pull away the view of the hip.I also liked the braided pullover, but would want to make it longer, which I have no idea how I’d go about doing it, as the braid is there. It would need to end a bit lower, and then the ribbing. I am a large figure.

  52. I find it both annoying and insulting that there are only positive descriptions for this issues gallery pictures. Don’t try to tell us it looks good on someone when it clearly doesn’t! That’s the benefit of these galleries. I’ve learned a lot from seeing the same person in different outfits all at once. Also the body descriptions of long waisted, etc. I find are more helpful than giving actual measurements of the women. But PLEASE do not pretend like all of them are good on all of them. That was the beauty of these galleries, to be honest about what doesn’t work on people as well as what does! Respect your readers or else you will lose them. Which, frankly, you will if the last two issues are indications of what’s to come.

  53. p.s.

    seeing the gallery pics all at once has made me think a lot better of many of the garments. As noted, in the last two issues I really didn’t like anything, but now I see that on the right person many of them look quite nice. Perhaps you should go back to using real people as models, and give differently sized models to go with the items. That certainly would make the mag more appealing to me.

  54. What an epiphany! Debbie and I have similar proportions, and without a V or deeply draped or scooped neckline, I look sooo busty because of my HIGH WAIST YET LENGTHY TORSO- which I didn’t know I HAD until I read it in your description – THANK YOU!

    The Manchester Jacket – I love this concept, but the double breasted closure blankets a ‘pea coat’ that detracts from the distinctive shaping, and kicky, retro design. Wow, who voted me critic?

    The neckline on the braided pullover is a winner. But I don’t know how those cables climbing across my curvy, ‘high-waisted and lengthy torso’ would look straight on.

    From a photographer’s perspective, the photo is a clear standout: its lighting, background, shadows) – the ropes and picot cardi and braided pullover images, though posed essentially the same, look different because of posture and camera angle that are miniscule that fool the eye.

    I’d love to see all images in the same context / pose / background, but I’m sure that’s too much work. It’s difficult to compare 2 poses side by side (e.g. folded cowl and flutter sleeve).

    I could build you a portable life-sized ‘photo box’ you could roll under a desk when not in use! But I’m not complaining- this is enormously fun! Thank you so much!

  55. I’m a little late finding this, but I have to post because I think Debbie and I have the same basic body shape, although I suspect I am taller. With narrow shoulders, low bust and high waist, if the sweater doesn’t have the right shape I instantly look frumpy. I think she looks fantastic in the Flutter Sleeve Cardigan and also in the Folded Cowl Tee. The Folded Cowl should be a different color and maybe scoop the neckline just a tad more, and it would be a knockout on her. I do see why so many are picking the Braided pullover, but really I think it is so flattering here because of the side on pose. That is always more flattering than straight on. Straight on, I think the cable and ribbing would just widen her hips, and the sweater is too big for her in the shoulders. Thanks for modeling, Debbie. I now see that I really MUST make the Flutter Sleeve Cardigan for myself. :)

  56. The Flutter Sleeve Cardigan hands down. She looks 20 lbs thinner than any other style. Second to that is the Braided Pullover for the same reason. I think the reason is because they both tuck in at the sides and have the deeper v-necks.

  57. I need to tell Debbie,Sandi, and all the models, how this project, right from the positive/negative ease concept of fitting, to fitting tips, to looking at the same sweater on numerous body types, has empowered me to get the fit and style I want. Prior to this my knitting has been a hit and miss affair(thus I supplied poor choice for me-looked great on the model discards to an assortment of relatives and friends). Since this project I have made 4 successful (i.e. turned out the way I envisioned hem)garments.I have discovered that if it looks great on Toni or Debbie- it will likely work for me with minor fit modifications, even though my actual measurements are not the same as either of theirs.
    So Debbie looks great in lots of these(I have a similar short waist, long torso- the opposite of most magazine models). I love the way the “Manchester’ looks(needs sleeves shortened for Debbie) and its wear to the office potential.
    I like the way ‘flutter sleeve’ looks so much I ordered a back issue of the magazine(makes everyone look skinny!)
    The braided pullover is a gorgeous design.
    Ropes and Picots is a great on almost everyone cardi.
    And ‘climbing vines’ is my idea of the perfect ‘wear it in the winter with jeans sweater’.
    So much knitting… so little time…
    Thank-you all for your courage , humour, knowledge and passion for knitting.
    Ruth from Canada