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This guide of 5 easy tips will help you to crochet garments that fit you perfectly every time.
Crocheting garments can be really scary. Most people start crocheting smaller simple projects. These are absolutely perfect place to start as you can practice stitches.
The secret to a lovely looking crochet garment are neat stitches. Therefore working on small projects is essential in building your skills to become confident crocheter.
Making crochet garments is often the end goal. Nowadays, a lot of crochet garment designers use innovative techniques and stitches. However, beginner patterns have still their important place for people just starting out in garment making.
Crochet pullovers and cardigans are big projects that take some time and preparation. In order to succeed you will need to follow a few steps before you start crocheting. I have put together a guide to 5 easy tips that will help you to crochet a garment that fits.
Table of contents
5 easy tips for crocheting garments that fit
Choosing the right crochet pattern
This is the first step to success! I know we all fall in love with that one beautiful make that we want to make. However, if the pattern is aimed at advanced crocheter, I wouldn’t recommend choosing it for your first garment.
You would be setting yourself up for a failure even before you start. If you have never crocheted a garment before, I would suggest a pattern that is easy to follow.
So what makes a pattern suitable for a beginner? A good place to start is a well written crochet pattern with clear step by step instructions. A pattern that tells you what materials have been used and sets the tension you should be working to (more on this below).
Good crochet pattern should have clear instructions on rows or rounds and repeats of these with added stitch counts so you can check whether you are on the right track while crocheting.
Take a look at CHUNKY BELTED CROCHET CARDIGAN – FREE PATTERN which is a great starting point. This cardigan has minimal shaping, uses basic crochet stitches and works up quickly using chunky yarn.
Body measurements and sizing
Now you have chosen your first crochet garment pattern, we need to determine the size you will be making. It is easy to be mislead by the general sizing used in store bought garments. Most good crochet designers use the standard body measurements as set out by Craft Yarn Council that can be found HERE.
You need a good tape meaure, preferably brand new. Why brand new? Because believe it or not, the plastic the tape measure is made from is actually stretchy! This means the more you use your tape measure, the more it stretches and after a while doesn’t measure accurately.
A good crochet pattern will give you the finished measurements of the garment. You also need to check the ease the pattern has been written in. This is a measurement of the difference between the size of the garment and the size of the body.
If the pattern states 5 cm positive ease, it means the finished garment is 5 cm bigger than the body measurement. This gives you some extra room while wearing your garment.
If the pattern states negative ease, it means it is smaller than the actual body measurement. It gives you tight fitting garment which works with summer tops, brallettes and other garments that look better with tighter fit.
Choosing best yarn and tools for your crochet garment
Each pattern should clearly state which yarn is used to make the garment. Your best choice is to use the exact yarn the pattern calls for. However, there are times when you need to substitute and use a different yarn.
If this is the case, you need to find a best possible match. You need to take into consideration yarn weight and thickness and the fibre content. These are important if you want to produce a garment that resembles the original as much as possible. THIS POST dives deeper into how to choose yarn for crochet garments the right way.
There is a clever website that will help you find the best yarn substitute to the yarn the pattern is asking you to use. Check it out HERE.
Next step is to determine the right amount of yarn you will need for your project. HOW MUCH YARN DO I NEED FOR A SPECIFIC PATTERN – CROCHET AND KNITTING is my guide on how to calculate the amount of yarn you will need.
Gauge swatch or tension square?
Making a gauge swatch or a tension square. Call it what you want, it is hands down the most important step before you dive into making your garment.
Some people find it a real waste of time. However, I can assure you if you go through the extra step and effort, you will be reaping in the results.
A gauge swatch will tell you exactly how many stitches and rows you can fit into certain sized square. The size of the square to measure over will be set out by the pattern, in most patterns this will be 10 x 10 cm or 4 x 4 inches.
In order to achieve a good fitting garment you need to match the number of stitches and rows to the same number the pattern calls for. You can achieve this by changing your hook size.
HOW TO MEASURE & ADJUST GAUGE ON CROCHET PROJECTS AMAZINGLY EASY is my guide which talks about swatching in greater detail and why it is necessary.
Blocking and caring for your crochet garment
You have set yourself up for success and created a garment that fits you perfectly but it slightly misshapen? Do not worry this is a normal occurrence.
As you work on your garment pieces you pull and fold them when put away which all contributes to your work looking a little untidy.
However, you can easily fix this by blocking. What is blocking? Blocking is manipulating your finished sweater into a uniform shape after it has been washed.
You can achieve this by stretching your garment into a tidy shape and pinning it until it dries. Blocking is a science itself and THIS POST explains it really well.
Now you can wear your crocheted sweater proudly! And how good does it feel to say “Ive made it myself” when someone compliments your outfit?
If you want to feel this proud over and over, you need to care for your crocheted garments! THIS WEBSITE gives you some great tips and tricks that are worth reading.
I am confident that if you follow these 5 basic steps you will be able to crochet the perfect fitting garment! I hope you will share this guide with your crochet friends that are thinking of crocheting their first garment!
Now that you are armed with all the necessary knowledge, why not check out 10 FREE STYLISH CROCHET CARDIGAN PATTERNS and choose your next crochet project.
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