You Measured Twice, But Your Latest Crochet Project Doesn’t Fit? Maybe It’s YOU, Not the Design

You double checked your measurements, made sure to match the recommended gauge, and measured your garment as you worked to make sure your measurements matched the schematics. You even used the same yarn as the designer. You followed the pattern to the letter!
Or you made careful calculations, adjustments and adaptations like you’ve done before. You did everything you were supposed to do, but your project doesn’t look right on you. What has happened?
Many times when we crochet a garment, we believe it will look on our bodies like it looks on the model. Or at least it will look close to that. But that isn’t always the case. When considering making a crochet design, you need to evaluate the crochet pattern the same way you would if you were choosing a sewing pattern or choosing a garment off the rack.
Most sewing patterns include appropriate body types in addition to size charts. The basic four body types are labeled as cylinder, cone, reversed cone and hourglass. Other labels that you might see are rectangle, triangle, upside-down triangle and X. Another body-type that you might not see on a sewing pattern is the apple or round body type.
Cylinder/rectangle-shaped bodies have little differentiation in circumference between breasts, waist and hips. Also known as bean pole, this figure is sometimes more athletically-built.
Cone/triangle-shaped bodies are also known as pear-shaped. The figure is narrower through the shoulders and smaller breasted. There is more definition in the hips and thighs.
Reversed Cone/Upside Down Triangle-shaped bodies are often called top-heavy. The shoulders are broader and the breasts are more substantial. The hips are narrow and smaller in circumference than the upper body.
Hourglass/X-shaped bodies have substantial breasts and hips combined with a small, defined waist.
Round/apple-shaped bodies are exceptionally round in the mid-section, with the middle being more prominent than the breasts and hips. This is also known as the diamond shape.
Most crochet garment patterns don’t have these labels so you are going to have to look at the example of the finished garment and determine how it is shaped and how that shape would look on your body. Create a swatch, and look at the drape and weight of the fabric the stitches create. Will it flow over your curves? Will your narrow frame look lost in a sea of fabric? Will it be so structured and fitted that the fabric is unforgiving? Be sure you look at the bust, waist and hip measurements, along with the amount of ease included, and compare to your own measurements. You cannot just rely on the bust measurements. Also check the circumference of armholes and sleeves, and compare those against your own measurements. If the crochet pattern has a schematic, you can look at it and use the information to get a better idea which body type is the best fit.
After you’ve determined that the pattern will or won’t fit your figure type, you are going to have to be honest and ask yourself if making alternations to this pattern will cause the final product to become unflattering.
Taking the time to determine if the pattern is figure-flattering for you will save you the angst of crocheting a garment that doesn’t look good on you.