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I am considering making something where the sizing is based on bust size. Well in the one pattern the dude is 34 and the next size is a 42. I am a 39. I am wondering do I just deal with it being too small or too big. Or just keep keep looking for something in my size.

This would be my first garment. Any tips,tricks and advice are greatly appreciated

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I'm not great on sizing but if you like the pattern, could you  just go up or down a hook size?

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You can do a bit of math and gauge fiddling to get close to the size you want.  I've never seen a pattern with such a wide gap in sizes, they are commonly more like 4" apart, like 32, 36, 40, 44 etc.  Unless it's something really loosely fitted.

 

Also, depending on the pattern, you will have to decide if you want the pattern to fit exactly across the bust, a little tight (negative ease), or a little loose (positive ease).

 

I am going to make up some numbers, to illustrate the math.

 

The pattern should give the gauge, usually over 4" or 10mm.  Let's say the gauge is 16 stitches = 4" across, so each inch is 4 stitches, and each stitch is 0.25  inches.  (I'm ignoring the row gauge for now).

 

So, for your pattern with my made-up gauge:

34" = 136 stitches

42" = 168 stitches

 

Back to the gauge swatch, and your choice of yarn.  If it were me, I'd aim to follow the directions for the 42" size since it's closer to what you want, but tighten my gauge and maybe select a yarn on the finer end of the spectrum within in the same yarn weight class.  This is so you don't end up with stiff fabric.

 

Now, make a gauge swatch with a hook 1 size down from the one called for in the pattern.  Measure the swatch carefully, and calculate the stitches per inch--even down to a couple of decimal places (it makes a difference when you extrapolate 4 inches to 42 inches).  Let's pretend your tension with the smaller hook is 4.25 stitches per inch, so each stitch is 0.2353* inches.  

 

168 (the number of stitches at bust of original size 42 pattern) x 0.2353 stitches = 39.53.  Which is pretty darned close to your measurement--you can see why the fraction of an inch makes a difference, the difference per stitch is only .0147 of an inch per stitch.

 

Of course you'll have to calculate with the real pattern gauge versus your own real gauge, and you may have to swatch more than once, but I don't think it would be too hard to tweak 42" down to your size.

 

*corrected typo

Edited by Granny Square

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Thank you so much for your wealth of knowledge. I will be filling your information for future use. I am considering just finding something closer to my size as 1 I can not recall where I saw the pattern (I have been scouring my collection of patterns) and 2 world like my first garment to be something easier to build up my confidence.

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No problem, I often don't hit gauge exactly the first time and have to 'do the math' when making sweaters for myself.  Sometimes I end up following the instructions for the 'wrong' size to get the right fit for me because of my personal tension and to get the fabric drape I want.

 

I just realized I made a typo - in describing the gauge swatch with the smaller hook, I should have typed "Let's pretend your tension with the smaller hook is 4.25 stitches per inch, so each stitch is 0.2353 inches.  

 

It was correctly stated as .2353 in the paragraph below, sorry if I caused any confusion.  I amended the original post.

Edited by Granny Square

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