Download a Free Guide for Shaping

One of the advantages of crocheting your own tops and sweaters is the ability to modify them to flatter your figure. Need a little more room in the bust without affecting the circumference of the waist, or, like me, is there always too much fabric at the hips? Modifying a crochet pattern can seem intimidating, but with a little instruction and a few tips, you can modify any crochet top for a perfect fit. Here is an excerpt from our newest free eBook to get you started.

Top to Bottom: Shaping Part Deux, China Doll, Queen  Anne's Lace Blouse, Ripple-Lace V-Neck Top, , and Cubist Asymmetrical Cardigan.  


In a group of fifty-seven or more randomly selected people, there is a greater than 99 percent chance that two will have the same birthday. But you'll probably never meet another woman with your exact body measurements. So how can you crochet a flattering garment from a pattern that cannot possibly offer shaping to fit everybody?

The suggestions [in this article] are meant to help you fine tune the fit of a sweater from a published pattern. The accompanying pattern, China Doll, involves shaping with a seamless, top-down approach, using a shell-stitch pattern, but the techniques are applicable to other garment constructions as well as to all plain stitches and many stitch patterns.

Start with the Best Size

The first and most critical decision you make when embarking on a garment project is which size to make. A sweater hangs from the shoulders; the parts that need to fit well from the start are the neck, the shoulder width, and the depth to the underarm. When you choose the size that fits you best at these points, the garment will not only hang properly from your shoulders but will be easier to adjust for the rest of you.

For most bodies, this means choosing the size that is closest to the measurement above your bust, under the arms, rather than the measurement at the fullest part of your bust-in other words, your bra band size. If you want a close fit, allow for minimal, zero, or negative ease; for a looser-fitting layer, you add the appropriate number of inches for ease. Ease refers to the difference between your actual body measurement and that of the finished garment. . . .

Hopefully, examining the way patterns can be tweaked to flatter your unique figure will open up a world of potential for your crochet garments.

– Doris Chan

I already use many of these great tips for modifying my own crochet garments. Download Customize a Crochet Tunic, Blouse and Pullover: 4 Free Crochet Patterns for Women Plus Shaping Guide today and learn to modify and shape your garments today.

Best wishes,

P.S. Download How to Crochet Sweaters: 5 Free Sweater Patterns from Crochet Me for more free crochet patterns for women, and find more patterns perfect for modification.

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Shaping, Fit, and Blocking
Toni Rexroat

About Toni Rexroat

Toni Rexroat is the Online Editor of Crochet Me. Outfitted with several crochet hooks and surrounded by bins of yarn, she has been the assistant editor for Interweave Crochet magazine as well as PieceWork, Interweave Crochet’s sister magazine. She was born and raised in a little town in Wyoming where she was exposed to wool and other fibers at an early age, and began crocheting in her early teens. Enjoying a wide variety of fibery hobbies from crochet and knitting to sewing, she is determined to learn to spin so she can crochet with her own yarn.

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