Monday, February 15, 2010

Make it Fit

I have a secret about why my sweaters fit better than the ones other knitters make from patterns.

I always make my fronts bigger than my back. I do this because I've measured myself not as a single measurement around my bust but I've also taken a measurement from one side seam to the other. Let me recheck those measurements right now........

OK I'm back wearing my favourite bra which has a little padding and makes the girls sit up, (you do know to measure while wearing a bra right?) My full bust measurement is 40.5 inches so 1/2 would be 20.25 inches. I next measured my front only from side seam to side seam. That measurement is 23.5 which means that my back is 17 inches.

I took sewing classes for many years as well as pattern drafting and tailoring. I learned that generally when we gain weight we gain more on our front than we do on our backs. I write my own patterns from scratch so I can make all the numbers work out. For those of you working from patterns if you want to try my technique for better fit you will need to knit two sizes - one for the front and one for the back. You need to check your pattern carefully to make sure that all edges that join (shoulders and side seams usually) match. The front shoulders will need to be made narrower so the way to do this is by working extra decreases at the neckline. You may also need to add extra rows of length to the smaller back to make it match your front if the pattern gets longer with every size increase. The numbers will always be different depending on the specifics of the pattern you are using but you can work through these details by carefully analyzing the schematics and the written pattern. So let me know are any Knitters already doing this?


  1. Hallo Robin,
    yes, I do this as well, when knitting jackets, which have close fit. This procedure is quite common here in Europe among advanced knitters, although none of the patterns would mentioned this.
    My mentor f.e. who is taylor doesn't do it, but she allways makes just shoulder shaping on fronts 2cm later than for back. She explained to me that this is necessary in order to balance the total lenght of knit between fronts and backs otherwise the backs would always hang out for few cm. Actually, I saw this quite often on many projects, which had not have very close fit.

  2. Thanks, Robin, for this great sweater fitting tip. It inspired my own Knits Gone Bad blog post called Sweater Fitting Mistake--Did the Boob Fairy Ruin Your Knitted Sweater?

    I just discovered you, wish you the best in your new career and will follow your progress with interest.