Monday, July 17, 2017

Should you knit your Front Bigger than your Back?

My answer to this question is absolutely yes, if it gives you a better fitting garment. 

It's the difference between what is sometimes referred to as refined fit vs. standard fit or simple fit. In the sewing world refined fit refers to making the front bigger than the back of a garment. Some of us have bigger fronts. If the garment is the same measurement on both front and back the fabric will be stretched horizontally across the torso on the front. It may hang loosely on the back. If the garment is pulled horizontally on the front it cannot stretch vertically to create the extra length needed for a curvy bust line or tummy if the fullness is lower down. Knitting patterns normally have equal sized fronts and backs. Read this old post here on how to change to refined fit.

I knit my own garments this way and years ago I knit a vest for my Dad to accommodate his fuller front and very flat backside. When you don't adjust this way you end up with a garment which fits around the body circumference but has side seams pulled towards the front of the body. They may hang straight but be pulled forward or they may be pulled forward only where the body protrudes appearing to be crooked at the sides even when knit straight. At the same time the shoulders may be too large because the size knit is based on the bust measurement.

Paprika patterns has a great post here on how the shaping changes for a no dart pattern to accommodate a larger bust. Step 7 is essentially what I am doing when I knit for myself. The front is larger in the torso area but the shoulders and armholes are a smaller size.  I'd like you to notice the side seam is slightly extended at the armhole. I do this by casting off some of the extra stitches I added into the front. I get rid of a few more in the neckline making the number of stitches on the shoulders match at the front and back.

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