Pattern Drafting for Hand Knits

Robin over at 'How to Become a Professional Knitter' is doing a series on pattern drafting and sizing, and how it relates to knitting. Since information on knitwear grading is hard to come by, many budding designers might find it helpful: Pattern Drafting for Hand Knits, part 1 and part 2 (with part 3 forthcoming).
Different styles of patterns juniors misses petite pattern drafting grading
Robin explains how store-bought clothing sizing works, and why it may not fit the way we'd like. Basically, each category of sizes (such as Juniors, Misses, and Petites) is cut for a different body shape, and a certain 'average' woman's shape. Of course, very few women are actually 'average' shape - but the goal is to create a size that adequately fits the majority of people, even if it doesn't perfectly fit most (or even any) people.

It's good food for thought for anyone who tries to size up or down a pattern - whether it's for publication, or just modifying a pattern to fit one's self better. I've upsized sweater patterns before, and there's more to it than just multiplying everything by one number (unfortunately). As size goes up, different body parts grow in different ways, and when you get into plus sizes, women carry weight in different areas. You've probably heard of 'apple' and 'pear' shaped bodies, but it gets much more complicated than that. Some women have big bellies and small busts, big bust and a tiny waist, big arms and backside but no belly... and so on. Of course, no one can write a pattern that covers all this wide variance of shapes. So, we're left with a sizing system that works adequately well, most of the time, but not perfectly well all of the time.


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