Perfect Fit: Butterscotch Cardigan Gallery

Toni RexroatNo two women are built exactly the same. We are each unique, special, and wholly unlike any other woman on earth. Normally I would say this is a blessing, but when it comes to creating perfectly fitting garments it can be a curse. Most crocheted garments are designed to fit the industry created normal woman, who we all know is not normal at all. Her bust to waist to hip ratio and sizing allows her to wear anything and look fabulous in every garment. Like I said, she is not normal at all.

Today I would like to introduce you to four women, myself included, whom I would not call normal, but who each face their own challenges when trying to create a truly personal fit in crocheted garments. Our bust circumferences range from 34" to 36 ½" as the garments I have access to all have about a 34" bust. I hope by exploring our own challenges and possible solutions to garment fitting, you can formulate ideas for modifying your own crochet garments.

Together over the next 2 weeks we will look at 4 garments and determine the modification each person would need based on their particular body. So let's meet our 4 "normal" women.

  • Sharon at 5' 8" is taller than the average and this has a great impact on fit in her garments. Her back length, from the base of her neck to her waist, is 16 ¼" which makes many garments too short placing the bust and waist shaping too high.
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  • At 5' 5 ½", still slightly taller than the average, I have the opposite problem. My height is primarily in my legs; my back length is only 14 ½". For me the bust and waist shaping are always too low. But my biggest difficulty is the fact that I have an abnormally large underbust measurement when compared to my actual bust measurement. If a garment is fitted at the underbust I generally need to make a full size larger than my bust measurement, which leaves too much fabric at the actual bust line.
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  • Sarah may be only 5' 1" but her back length is 16" which means that despite her overall height, she still finds many crocheted tops too short. Sarah also has an hourglass shape; she frequently has to add extra decreases or darts in the waist shaping. Finally Sarah must pay special attention to the sleeves of her garments. Her upper arms measure 13 ¾", much wider than normal for her size.
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  • And finally Erin. She has the largest bust size of the four of us at 36 ½", but her waist and hip measurements are pretty comparable to us. This means that in order to create a garment that fits in the shoulders, arms, waist, and hips, Erin needs to make about a size smaller than her bust measurement. But in making a smaller size the fabric pulls too tightly across the chest.

Hopefully you have identified a particular problem you also face when creating a crocheted garment. If you need information on finding your own measurement, see my earlier newsletter Get the Right Numbers.

Now let's take that information and look at the Butterscotch Cardigan.



Height: 5' 8"

Upper arm: 10 1/2"

Bust: 35"

Underbust: 29 1/2"

Waist: 29"

Hip: 38"

Back: 16"

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While this cardigan fits perfectly in the sleeves, the length is obviously too short. Sharon needs to add probably at least 3 inches, moving the bust shaping and waist down. This can be done quite easily by simply increasing the length of the rows. Sharon might even like to go up a size to give her a bit more room in the bust, though she doesn't want more fabric around the waist.
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Height: 5' 5 1/2"

Upper arm: 10 3/4"

Bust: 34 1/2"

Underbust: 30 1/2"

Waist: 29 1/2"

Hip: 37"

Back: 14 1/2"

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I really like the fit of this sweater. The pattern may run a bit short in the back as the bust and drawstring waist seem to hit a pleasing point for me. The style of this cardigan is a bit shorter but you could increase the length as for Sharon above. I personally would add a few more rows to the length of the sleeves.
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Height: 5' 1"

Upper arm: 13 3/4"

Bust: 34"

Underbust: 29 1/2"

Waist: 29"

Hip: 37"

Back: 15 3/4"

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The cardigan ends just above the hip on Sarah. I would add about another 2 inches in length, without altering the placement of the bust and waist shaping. For Sarah the biggest problem is the sleeves. When choosing cardigans, Sarah has 2 choices. She could either stay away from any cardigan with a fitted sleeve, but that eliminates so many wonderful garments. She could also increase her hook size through the upper sleeve or add rows or short row shaping through the sleeve with special attention to the upper arm.
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Height 5' 8"

Upper arm: 12"

Bust: 36 1/2"

Underbust: 31"

Waist: 29 3/4"

Hip: 39 1/2"

Back 15 1/2"

Erin would also benefit from adding about 2 inches of length to the cardigan. This cardigan really illustrates Erin's difficulty with garments fitting in the waist and bust. You can see that there is plenty of extra fabric around the drawstring, but the bust is obviously too tight. Erin could remedy this by adding short row shaping at the bust.

I would love to see modifications you have made for the perfect fit. Add your pictures to the member photo gallery.

Best wishes,

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