Do you have problems adjusting a garment for yourself? You’re not alone, in fact, when you are knitting a garment for yourself you will almost always have to make some adjustments from the pattern to fit your shape.
Patterns are written to fit a standard set of body dimensions but we are all unique so everyone will have some tweaking to do to get the perfect fit.
In today’s post, I’m going to walk you through adjusting a pattern for your body shape so that you can have the garment that fits and flatters you.
Step 1. It’s all about dimensions.
To start with you will want to take your body dimensions in all the locations that are relevant to the pattern. This is easiest if you get a friend to help you out as that way you can ensure that the tape is straight! If you’re unsure how to take your measurements, I have a blog post on knowing your shape here.
I’ll start with an imaginary person to give you an idea of how it would work. The knitted piece you want to adjust should be very simple for this to be done easily, ideally in st st.
Next, I’m going to give you an idea of how to take ‘ease’ into consideration and then how to convert the final size you want in different places to the pattern size you’re looking for. The most important piece of information we now need is gauge along with your measurements.
Gauge: 5 sts and 8 rows = inch.
Bust: 35 Inches
Waist: 30 Inches
Hips: 36 Inches
Shoulder to mid-waist: 16 Inches
Step 2. Add Ease
You now need to decide how much ease you want at each point. This will depend on the style of the knit, your own personal preference, and the weight/patterning of the knit.
This is easily the hardest part and where we loose most people so let’s take this slowly together:
Let’s assume for this situation we want 2 inches of ease at each point, this means that our finished measurements needed will be:
- Bust: 35 +2 = 37 Inches
Convert this to stitches:
New bust measurement x Gauge stitches i.e.
37×5=185 stitches. Let’s make it 186 stitches for even number.
2. We now do this for the waist following a similar manner:
Waist: 30 inches +2 inches = 32 Inches (New waist measurement with 2 inches positive ease)
Convert this to stitches:
32 (new waist measurement) x 5 (stitch gauge) = 160 stitches
3. And so on for the Hips:
36 +2 = 38 Inches
38 inches x 5 sts = 190 stitches
4. Moving to Shoulder to mid-waist:
Measurement is 16 Inches
NOTE: This has no ease, it is the exact length.
What we do need to know for adding increases and decrease though is how many rows that is:
16 inches x 8 sts (row gauge) = 128 rows.
And there you have it. That’s all the information we need and now we can move on by adding this new information to our pattern.
Step 3. Add to your Pattern
Now, what you will need to do if you are combining this with a pattern is view the schematic and match the bust/waist and hips to the closest stitch count on the graphic.
If one or two numbers match but the third one has a big difference you will need to alter the increases and decreases so that it comes closer to your size.
If the pattern has set-in sleeves you should also take the shoulder width into consideration, even adjust the bust if necessary so that the shoulders fit your shoulder width comfortably.
If you’ve done a KAL with me before there are hints and tips given with this modification to help you with fit. These techniques can then be used to help you convert any future pattern you work on.
You can always find information on our currnet KAL here.
And there you have it. My three-step method to adjusting a pattern for fit. I hope this helps!