Ten Tips for Crochet Garment Design

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Last year, I posted a garment design tip on my Facebook page every Tuesday for about two or three months. I thought I would post them all in one spot on my website for easy retrieval.

1. Just because there’s a pattern and you can conceivably stitch it up with your crochet hook, it doesn’t mean that the style will automatically suit your body type. Choose the style that best fits what you like in ready-to-wear for best results.

2. When using bulky yarns, it’s always a good idea to measure the inside as well. That’s where the body goes. You can’t make a hat in fine weight, for instance, and expect a bulky weight hat to fit the same way if it measures the same.

Read more about the best yarns for crochet.

3. When deciding how much ease to put in your garment, heavier weight yarns require more ease than lighter weight yarns (see #2).

4. Allow a garment to hang for a little bit before calculating sleeves. Armholes tend to lengthen with gravity.

5. Always consider the belly circumference when making a garment. No one wants a garment that makes them look like a stuffed sausage.

6. When working on a garment, don’t weave in the ends until the garment is complete. Ripping out parts is inevitable. Weaving in ends as you go with an afghan is perfectly fine because you don’t have to try it on once you get it finished.

7. When choosing a size, remember that the number on the bra size is not the actual bust circumference. The number measurement in US bra sizes is the underbust measurement. It doesn’t include the breasts which are kind of a part of the body and should be included when making a garment.

8. Designing garments in finer weight yarns allows you more maneuverability when calculating the additional sizes.

9. Negative ease means that the garment measures less than the actual body measurement because it’s intended to stretch over the curves. The best example of this is pantyhose. Pantyhose is intended to measure less than the actual body measurement.

10. The adult front shoulder-to-shoulder measurement is about two inches different than the back shoulder-to-shoulder measurement because the clavicles curve forward.

And, most important! Designing crochet garments is easy. Writing a clear, concise pattern with multiple sizes is the challenge.

Enjoy and happy designing!