Waist Shaping: Not Just For Waists Anymore

Stef M. and Tephra both brought up a concern that has been echoed by many folks: What if your waist is not the narrowest part of your torso? And a related question: What if your waist is not something you really want to highlight—but there is another part of you that you DO want to highlight?


How about some underbust shaping?

Well, we're not Waist Snobs around here. No one here says you can only use waist shaping on actual waists.

Perhaps it would help if we chucked the usage of the word "waist" for a bit and just said: Shaping. Shaping is not just for hourglass figures, nor just for those whose waist truly is their narrowest bit. Shaping is for EVERYONE—but YOU are the one who gets to say where you want your shaping to be.

I'm going to paraphrase the amazing Elizabeth Zimmermann here (I don't think she'd mind a bit) and say: Be the boss of your shaping.

Be. The. Boss. Use shaping to highlight what you like, and to draw attention away from what you don't. It's not about what any fancy TV show says you ought to wear; it's about finding out what makes you feel confident, attractive, and looking like YOU (not like whatever Hollywood says you ought to look like).

After all: You are in control of your knitting needles. (They pretty much have to obey you, since the pointy little darlings do not have brains of their own.) So make 'em make you look good!

Here's an example: If you have a large belly, and your narrowest part is actually your underbust, plus you have an attractive bustline, then who needs waist shaping? Try a bit of underbust shaping instead. But guess what? The same principles apply, no matter what you call it. You would work staggered decrease rows continuously from hem to underbust, then increase to give enough room for The Ladies. You might even consider something like the Printed Silk Cardigan. That's perfect for a gal with larger bottom half and a pretty, but smaller, bustline!


Let me know what you think! What do you think of the Knit to Fit Your Shape series? Has it inspired you to knit something you might not have otherwise tried? Is the information too hard, too soft, or juuuuust right? Your comments and feedback help me to know what you want to see on Knitting Daily, so speak up and be heard!



Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles? I'm working away on the Gathered Pullover, which spent some time in the meditation pond, and also on the Secret Project. But I've also been spinning and beading and making all kinds of crafty trouble.


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