Focus on Fit: Applying Measurements

Two weeks ago, I walked you through taking your measurements. This week, we’re going to explain how to use those measurements. Below are the body and sleeve schematics for the Lodge Pullover from Love of Knitting Winter 2016. This pullover is worked back and forth in separate pieces, so it’s easy to see the dimensions of each piece.


The bust measurement, A, is the actual finished width of the sweater at the bust. Since this sweater is worked in pieces, it’s only half the finished circumference; for the smallest size, the finished bust circumference would be 34 ½”. This information will also be at the top of the pattern, as well as the amount of ease shown as worn in the photo. You should select your size based on this measurement, taking ease into account.

Ease is the difference between your measurements and the sweater’s measurements. Depending on the sweater style and your fit preferences, select a size with more or less ease. For example, making a bulky, fitted sweater like this one, I’d choose a size 1–2″ larger than my bust circumference. For a loose-fitting, drapey sweater, I might go for a size up to 8″ larger than my bust circumference. A lightweight lace sweater, on the other hand, usually benefits from a bit of negative ease, so for that, I would select a size 0–2″ smaller than my bust circumference.

The waist and hip measurements, B and C respectively, work the same as the bust measurement: multiply each number times two to get the finished circumferences for the sweater. A little positive ease is always a good idea for the waist and hip sections; unless you’re going for a super-fitted Sweater Girl look, make these sections at least 1–2″ larger than your measurements.

Hahn Body Green Body Schematic copy

The sleeve schematic gives finished widths for the wrist and upper arm. Because the sleeve will be sewn into a tube, you don’t have to do any math: the measurements on the schematic are the same as the wrist (I) and upper arm circumferences (M). The sleeve length from the wrist to the top of the shoulder is a combination of two measurements, the length to the underarm (J) and the length of the sleeve cap (K). Add those two measurements together for the total sleeve length.

These are the six key measurements you want to check before beginning your sweater. You can also adjust the length to further customize your fit; this will be discussed next week. These six basic measurements are a great starting place for making your sweater a perfect fit! Over the next few weeks, look for additional ways to use schematics and measurements, such as sweater length, to flatter your body type.


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