Designing different garment shapes and sizes

There are many different approaches to designing and the method you choose will depend on your own preferences. However it’s helpful to have some basic idea of how to start.

This section gives useful information on designing items. It explains which are the key body measurements to take; how to calculate increases; shows standard blocks for different types of garment and gives standard sizing and body measurements to achieve a good individual fit. The basic shapes for garments include:

There is also advice about tension swatches, adapting and altering patterns and how easily and accurately to calculate increases or decreases.

Source material
Some information in this section is provided by the kind permission of Kathleen Kinder, a Knitting & Crochet Guild member. Some material was in her Resource Book for Machine Knitters in 1979, her Second Resource Book for Machine Knitters in 1980 and other books she wrote for BT Batsford. In 2006 she also adapted some diagrams and notes which she made available to the Knitting & Crochet Guild’s online group. She has generously agreed that this material can be made more widely available as part of the Guild’s website launched in 2011 and we are pleased to include this valuable information again with the latest websites updated in 2015 and 2022.

Other material comes from members of the Knitting & Crochet Guild sharing their knowledge and experience of knitting and crochet.

We have also included links to courses, tuition and workshops where we think that material is generally useful.