Knit to Fit: Do I Need Bust Darts?

The knitting pattern industry is mainly set up for women with a bra cup of A – B. If you are also 5’6″ or slightly taller you are an excellent fit for most patterns. Lucky you. If you are like me and not anywhere close to this figure profile you might have wondered if the reason the sweaters you’ve knit don’t fit is because of your knitting or your yarn or your figure. Maybe it’s the knitting industry itself.

Do You Need Bust Darts?

Why are the fronts of women’s sweaters the same size as the back? There are two obvious reasons why that should not be so.

Strip down to your skivvies and let’s check this out.

With your measuring tape, measure around your UNDERBUST.

Measure around your UPPER CHEST (right under your armpits).

 

Body schematic underbust & upper chest

 

Now measure around your Bust at the largest part.

Body schematic Bust

 

My measurements are :  Underbust:  36″       Upper Chest: 36 1/2″   Add these two measurements together and divide by two. That will give you your Torso measurement which does not include your bust.  My TORSO measurement is 36 1/4″.  I’ll round it off to 36″.  My Torso BACK is 18″ and my Torso FRONT (without bust included) is 18″.

To find the measurement of my Body Front with my bust included:

Bust measurement: 40″

Subtract the Torso Back from the Bust measurement (bust measurement – Torso Back):  40″ – 18″ . That gives me a Body Front measurement of 22″ when including my bust.  My Back is 18″ across, my Front is 22″ across at my bust.

I usually aim to knit a 42″ sweater with 2″ of ease.(EASE is the difference between the size of the sweater and the size of the body underneath it.)  A 42″ standard sweater will have a 21″ BACK and a 21″ FRONT.

Here is how my sweater fits.

 

Double circle Body & Sweater

On the Back I have 3″ of ease. On the Front I have -1″ of ease. Too much ease across the back. One inch of negative ease is OK on the Front but the sweater does not fit as I would like.

My figure needs less width on the Back and more width on the Front. How about you? How does the standard sweater with the same sized Front and Back work for you?

Deb

P.S. This can be fixed. The person who has to make the necessary modifications is the knitter. Stay tuned. I’ve not leaving you without the necessary info to make this happen.

Deb

Author: debgemmellmods

I'm a Knitter. The capital K means every day, everywhere. I'm co-owner of Cabin Fever with my sister Lyn. We have published over 100 patterns and 11 books. I'm also working on a new set of patterns for Gauge Free knitting. This blog is all about modifications you can use to knit garments the correct size and fit.

6 thoughts on “Knit to Fit: Do I Need Bust Darts?”

  1. Yup. I get it. My top has always been 4 sizes bigger than my bottom until I got old. Now I need Belly darts instead. I wish I’d known how easy it is to calculate how big the front & back should be in a grown up when I had serious Boobage to deal with. Sewing patterns talked about upper & under bust measurements & sliding darts but knitted tops never did. I’m so glad to finally learn how to make it fit right. Thanx Deb

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent description! When I first started knitting sweaters, I was thrilled when I was able to make mods to fit my pear shape. I couldn’t figure out, though, why the sweater still didn’t fit quite right, even though I’d knit to match my measurements and the schematic. It took years before I came to your conclusion that I needed more room on the front than the back. Look forward to seeing your next post.

    Karen999 on Ravelry

    Liked by 1 person

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