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Enlarging Patterns

Question:Could you tell me to enlarge a pattern I am a large women and most of the patterns I like are for smaller women. Cathy. Answer:Enlarging a sweater pattern.

It is very hard to generalize how to enlarge patterns. It greatly depends on what you want to enlarge as to how to go about doing it. There are so many factors involved when deciding whether or not you can enlarge a pattern. I will do my best to try to explain how one would enlarge a sweater pattern but by all means this is not how to do it for all patterns. This is just a guide to get you started.

It depends alot on what you want to enlarge. Clothing designs made with motifs are hard to enlarge due to the fact that the motifs are arranged in a certain way. For example, if a motif is 6" wide and you only need to add 3" to a sleeve or the body part of a sweater, well the 6" square would be to large. If you made a smaller square to add to it, it would have to be done in such a manner so that it was meant to have an accent added. To me this would be tricky.

But for other types of sweater patterns see below.
  1. First of all, take the following measurements of yourself. And write them down. These are the areas which will probably need to be adjusted. Waist, Hips, length of sleeves, Circumference of upper arm. Length from neck to the desired length of the sweater, length of side of sweater from the arm pit to the desired length of the sweater. Width of shoulders.
  2. To enlarge other types of garments that are not done in rounds or with motifs, the best way to figure this out is to study the gauge and make a swatch according to the hook you want to use. Be sure to use the hook and yarn you intend to use for the pattern you want to enlarge.
  3. Make a 20 stitch by 20 row swatch then measure the stitches and rows per inch and write them down. Then go from there with the information you learned from the swatch.
  4. Read the pattern you want to enlarge, you will need to make the starting chains longer for each separate piece. According to the measurements you took and the stitches per inch you you need. You will also have to add more rows in some areas to accomodate the increased number of stitches. Lets base this on 4 sts per inch and 3 rows per inch done with a size H hook. All in sc's.
    Then add the number of stitches required for the number of inches desired.

Image of Stitch Markers

For Example: if you are making a sweater starting at the bottom, and the starting chain is a total of 60 stitches based on 4 sts per inch for 15" wide for the front of the waist. But if you need to make the the sweater fit a bigger size, then add 4 sts per inch for each inch bigger than 15". Then do the same for sleeves.

To add more rows do the same but multiplying for the number of rows per inch needed.

You will also have to calculate for a larger neck hole as well. Plus adjust for the arm holes too so that the sleeves will fit correctly. To make the sleeves fit, you will have to add more rows to the arm hole area of the front and back.

Working with Mulitples of Pattern Stitches.

If you are working with a special pattern stitch that requires a certain number of stitches for each mulitiple (like Shells) then adjust your starting chain to accomodate more multiples. For example, lets say a pattern stitch requires a multiple of 8 chs plus 3, then you want to make a swatch with this pattern stitch to see how big it is and make your adjustments according to this. Let's say the multiple measures 1" wide and you need to make the row 19" wide, you will have to start with a chain that is. 8 stitches x19 inches+3 for a total of 155 stiches. Also you will need to measure the height of the single pattern sitch row and adjust accordingly.

I hope this helps and if you have more questions please let me know.