Being a full-figure, voluptuous, curvy female I can tell you how hard it is to find crochet patterns in my size. Now, while more and more patterns are being made to fit both men and women of larger sizes, it still seems that they are limiting them to the, shall we say simpler patterns. But those are almost never the patterns I like. I like the patterns that have a little shape, a little flow and a lot of style. I do understand that some patterns simply cannot be enlarged. Some patterns have stitches specially designed to hit a certain way and in a certain spot and once you add the length you need to the side you distort and misshape the design. I understand how it can be impossible to make the design any bigger. And I wouldn’t dream of ever distorting such a pattern, the artist who designed it worked really hard, and I’m not one willing to destroy another’s work.
But there are several patterns out there that can be enlarged to my 3X size without much difficulty. Luckily, I have taught myself to enlarge the patterns on my own. The best part is I can also resize them to fit my petite height. And I’m going to tell you how you can do the same. The best part is that patterns have already done the work for you; all it takes is a little addition. Follow these simple steps and you will be sure to be wearing your favorite patterns soon – no matter your weight.
The first thing you must do is identify all the ( ) brackets throughout the pattern. These tell you exactly where you will need to add stitches or how many stitches should be in that row. The bracket gives you the stitch numbers for a larger size. You will have to note the number outside of the bracket as well because this is usually the Small or X-Small size.
Next determine which sizes are both inside and outside the brackets. Compare this to the finished measurements guide on the pattern. Figure out the difference between the sizes and figure out the size you would be according to them. Some companies will make the difference between sizes smaller, and some will make them larger. For example if their finished measurements for the waist are 22 (24, 27, 31) and your waist is 49 inches then you would go up 3 more sizes.
From here it is quite simple. Figure up how many stitches have been added from one size to the next. For example: If the bracket says 5 (10, 15, 20) then you will have to figure out the difference between the numbers. In this case it is 5. (10-5=5, 15-10=5, 20-15=5) Five is the number of stitches you will have to add for each size you wish to go up. So, if you need to go up to a 3X and the pattern is sized XS (S, M, L) then you will need to 5 stitches each for sizes XL, 1X, 2X and finally 3X. That means that the pattern in 3X will need an additional 20 stitches, or 40 stitches total. (XL=25, 1X=30, 2X=35) These stitch increases may seem like a lot compared to the original pattern, but don’t worry they are fairly accurate. If it seems off to you check a pattern that is sized for smaller and larger sizes and look at the jump in numbers from the small to the 3 or 4X. You will see the same dramatic jump.
Note here that not all patterns will increase the same number between stitches. Some will look something like this: 3 (5, 8, 12). The difference here increases by one as it goes up each size. (5-3=2, 8-5=3 and 12-8=4) The sequence of numbers here is 2, 3, 4. That means that the number will increase by one between each size up. So, the next size up would be 17 (12+5), the next size after that would be 23 (17+6), and so on.
This increase in numbers is all you will have to do throughout the pattern. This will give you the basic pattern in a basic larger size.
Notes to tailor the pattern to your size:
~ To make the pattern if you are shorter or taller. Look for the places that add length to the garment. If you are shorter add fewer rows, or stick with the rows they have for their largest size. At 5’2″ I never have to add length to my garments. If you are taller don’t be afraid to add a few more rows.
~ Once you have enlarged a pattern a few times you will have an understanding of how a pattern works. You will see that stitches added during certain parts of the project make it larger in certain areas. Don’t be afraid to make it a size bigger or smaller in these areas as need. I myself often have to make the waist area a size bigger than the bust area. And I have made patterns for at times that need a larger size in the bust, shoulders, arms, or hips.
~Once you really get the hang of it don’t be afraid to manipulate the numbers to create a pattern that, for you, is the perfect fit.
No matter your size you know what you like; you shouldn’t have to be limited in your style because the pattern doesn’t come in your size. Now you have the tools to look the way you want and to wear whatever it is that you want to wear.