Accurate Body Fit Measurements for Designing Garments

Accurate Body Fit: Measurements for Designing Garments

Hey Knitters,

The first step to a correct fit of a knitted garment is to take appropriate and accurate body measurements. When knitting that special design, it is important to take measurements of every part of your garment. For example, if you are knitting a vest you want to measure the width and length of the back, front, underarms, neckline and/or any waist or armbands before you knit the first stitch.

To establish a well-fitted garment you have to know something about the “fit” of a garment. You do not want a sweater to fit too snugly to the body or too loose that it droop off the shoulders. In most knitting patterns the fit is already built into the pattern. When creating your own garment the fit consists of adding an extra inch or two. Moreover, the fit sizes range from close fit to oversize fit of a person’s body measurement.

Start the procedure by measuring the bust and chest. Measure the body length from the top of the neck down the center of the back to the waist. Then measure from the center of the neck along the arm to the cuff of the wrist with arm slightly bent. If you want a very close fit (small) measure the body’s actual bust/chest size. However, if you want a close fit, add 1-2 inches to the actual bust/chest size.

Thus, knitting a sweater for a two-year-old child, whose chest measurements are 21 inches add 1-2 inches for a close fit. For example, the math for a close fit is 21+1=22 inches or 21+2=23 inches. On the other hand, you might want to knit an oversize sweater (3 xs) with an actual bust size of 52-54 the math would look like this 52+6=58 inches or 54+6=60 inches. A list of additional measurement fit is listed below.


Fit for standard size—bust/chest +2 or 4 inches

Large—bust/chest+4 or6 inches

Oversized—–bust/chest +6 inches or more

Standard fit size in knitting—(S, M, L, XL, and 2 X)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *