Thursday, September 30, 2010

Making It Fit

The second problem that I had with my sweater-that-didn't-fit was the choice of size. My experience with creating garments had been in sewing. When selecting a size for sewing, the body measurements are listed on the pattern envelope.  These measurements do not represent the finished garment measurements, which is a totally different animal.

Crochet and knit patterns list the ACTUAL finished garment measurements. When I chose my actual bust measurement, the garment fit snug-as-a-bug-in-a-rug on my body. The difference between the finished garment measurement in a sewing pattern and the actual body measurement is called ease.

Ease gives the garment some room; it allows you to reach up and grab something from a shelf without ripping the seams. Too much ease and people might compliment you on how much weight you've lost.

Just as yarn weights vary, so does the amount of ease per garment. There are industry standards, such as close fit (very little ease), standard fit (2 to 4" of ease), oversize (way more ease). In addition to the standards, ease is a matter of personal preference -- yours and the designer's.

Ease also varies with the type of garment.  A top will have less ease than a cardigan or jacket that is meant to wear over another piece of clothing.  Socks will have negative ease so that they will fit snugly.

Hmmm, now I have 2 things to consider when working on a garment . . . gauge and ease.


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