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Resizing Vintage Knitting Patterns – Step 2: Your measurements

After our mathematical orgy yesterday we only have to take readings of a measuring tape today and make a few decisions, so this is not going to be quite as brain racking.

But first let’s recap the information we gathered yesterday in a table for better overview. Don’t enter anything into the empty columns yet, we’ll get there together.

Type of MeasurementIn PatternMy body measurementDesired easeMy sweater measurement
A. Width at bottom edge of body14,4"
B. Width at bust17,33"
C. Length from bottom edge to armhole12,25"
D. Armhole depth7,86"
E. Width across upper body12,8"
F. Shoulder width3,64 "
G. Length of front from armhole to neckline4,75"
H. Depth of neckline3,55"
I. Width of sleeve at bottom edge9,6"
J. Length of sleeve from bottom edge to armhole5,5"
K. Width at upper arm11,7332"

1. Ease

Please note that the measurements we entered into the table are not body measurements but depict the finished garment. However, with the information given in the pattern text we can find out how much positive or negative ease the designer has intended for the sweater.

Pattern says: To fit a 33-34 in. bust.

Measurement B. is half of the bust circumference of the finished garment. This means that the finished garment will measure B x 2 = 17.33″ x 2 = 34.66″.

So the sweater is intended to have a slightly positive ease of approx. 0.5″ to 1.5″.

Please note that ease only applys to width measurements, NOT to length measurements.

Now it is up to you to decide what you want.

Do you want to go with the intended ease? Do you want it tighter or more loose? Whichever style you come up with, enter the value in the table. You can also chose a different ease for every measurement.¬† For my version I decided to go with a negative ease of 1″ at the bust, 1″ positive ease at the waist and zero ease for the sleeves. I would also not recommend any ease for the upper body width or the shoulder width, because this will either result in a sweater with drooping shoulders (positive ease) or will pull in the sleeves awkwardly at the upper body (negative ease). My personal table now looks like this:

Type of MeasurementIn PatternMy body measurementDesired easeMy sweater measurement
A. Width at bottom edge of body14,4"+1"
B. Width at bust17,33"-1"
C. Length from bottom edge to armhole12,25"not applicable
D. Armhole depth7,86"not applicable
E. Width across upper body12,8"0
F. Shoulder width3,64 "0
G. Length of front from armhole to neckline4,75"not applicable
H. Depth of neckline3,55"not applicable
I. Width of sleeve at bottom edge9,6"0
J. Length of sleeve from bottom edge to armhole5,5"not applicable
K. Width at upper arm11,7332"0

2. Body Measurements

Now let’s get out our tapes and measure ourselves. For taking measurements wear the foundation garments you would normally wear under a sweater.

Please note that the body circumference measurements (not the sleeve!) have to be divided in half. Deduct or add you desired ease first. Example: My bust measurement is 45.3″. So the value for the last column is (45.3″ – 1″ ease) / 2 = 22.15″.

For the length measurements you can also make your own decisions. Do you want the sweater to end directly at the waist? Do you want it to be a little bit longer? How long do you want your sleeves? Enter the numbers you come up with.

Tip: if you have a sweater that fits you well you can skip the whole ease and lenght decision process. Simply measure the garment and enter the measured values in the last column of the table.

Type of MeasurementIn PatternMy body measurementDesired easeMy sweater measurement
(for body circumference values
add or subtract
ease and divide in half)
A. Width at bottom edge of body (waist)14.4"39"+1"20"
B. Width at bust17.33"45.3"-1"22.15"
C. Length from bottom edge to armhole12.25"11.5"not applicable11.5"
D. Armhole depth7.86"9.8"not applicable9.8"
E. Width across upper body12.8"13.4"013.4"
F. Shoulder width3.64 "4.5"04.5"
G. Length of front from armhole to neckline4.75"5.9"not applicable5.9"
H. Depth of neckline3.55"3.15"not applicable3.15"
I. Width of sleeve at bottom edge9.6"10.25"010.25"
J. Length of sleeve from bottom edge to armhole5.5"6.3"not applicable6.3"
K. Width at upper arm11.7332"15.3"015.3"

That’s it for today. The next step will be our gauge swatch.

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