Perfect Crochet Sweater Sizing is something we all want – there’s nothing worse than finishing a beautiful crochet top and realizing it doesn’t fit!
Lindsey Stephens is an expert on crochet tech editing, sizing, and grading, and makes many of us designers look good. So I’m excited to have her share her knowledge on sweater sizing here on Moogly!
Disclaimer: This guest post is copyright Lindsey Stephens, 2019. Used with permission.
Lindsey Stephens is a near-fearless crafter with a passion for making things. You might already know her as the crochet and knit designer behind Poetry in Yarn. Lindsey spends her time crafting 24/6 (no crafting on Shabbos*).
She shares her expertise, with her signature wit and humor, on her website www.thelindseylife.com. Lindsey also works as a technical editor for crochet and knit patterns, as a website manager, and is a mom of two.
After working on scarves and shawls and maybe even hats, everyone decides to make a crocheted garment.
When you crochet a garment, like a vest or a sweater, you have to decide what size to make. The quickest way to do that is to look for the bust or chest measurement.
What is the bust or chest measurement?
The bust measurement is the circumference of the garment at the bust. If the front measures 20 inches wide at the bust and the back also measures 20 inches at the bust, the garment’s bust measurement is 40 inches.
Many patterns will state the bust measurement upfront. For kids and men, they tend to call this chest measurement. So a kid’s sweater pattern might say something like:
Chest: 23 (25, 27) inches
That means the smallest garment is 23 inches around at the chest. The next size is 25 inches around, and the last size is 27 inches around.
If the pattern states the width of the chest, then you just have to multiply by 2 to get the garment’s chest measurement. So, if the pattern says “19 inches wide at chest” then the total measurement around the chest, also called the circumference, is 38 inches. That’s 19 x 2.
(The stickler in me has to point out that the measurements in a garment pattern are useless if you don’t match the stated gauge.)
Picking a Size
Using a tape measure, you can measure around your own chest, to find your chest circumference. Keep in mind that is your body’s measurement. You probably don’t want the sweater to be the same size. You want some room to move and, if you’re like me, maybe hide a love handle or two.
Wait. There’s More!
So once you know what bust size to choose you’re done, right? Not quite. When designers make garments they need to use a lot of body measurements. Sometimes as many as 5 or 6 different measurements can factor into designing one garment. Where do they get all those numbers? Designers refer to standards charts, like this one from the Craft Yarn Council.
These charts provide the body measurements that designers turn into garment measurements. It’s a complex process. That’s why I wrote the ebook Body Basics: A Primer on More than a Dozen Body Measurements for Knit and Crochet Garment Design. I wanted to simply the process by making it clear which measurements matter.
The Craft Yarn Council chart says a woman with a bust of 36-38 inches, will have an upper arm that is 11 inches around. However, each person is unique. So if your bust is 38 inches around, you might find that your arms are only 10 inches around. That can influence what size you make or if you make adjustments to the pattern as you go.
If you really want to understand how crochet garments fit the body measurements, check out Body Basics. You’ll learn about ease, cross back, armscye, and so much more. Plus, there are designer tips for when you’re ready to tackle making your own garment designs. Use coupon code MOOGLY for $5 off (expires 8/18/19).
What do you think? Ready to tackle your next sweater pattern with a little more confidence? Be sure to follow The Lindsey Life on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for more amazing crochet, crafts, and knitting! ♥