Monday, October 3, 2011

Knit to Fit?

Recently a group of us designer types were discussing the fit issues that come up while writing patterns. Glenna made the comment that ready to wear clothing has trained the buying public to accept poor fit. I've been thinking about this ever since she mentioned it and I think she has a valid point. Virtually no one is a standard size. We can get closer if we shop in the appropriate size range (petites for me) but even then I still have to hem things. I often choose styles like 3/4 length sleeves to get around this problem. I also avoid cuff details as they can make it impossible to shorten sleeves. Sometimes I choose trousers knowing that I will only be able to wear them while wearing shoes with heels if I don't want to take the time to re-hem.

Many people don't even think about making changes to their clothing. When watching What Not to Wear, I notice that many of the contributors on the program have never bought clothing intending to have it altered. They either accept the fit as is or don't purchase the item. It comes as a major revelation to them that they can change an item once it has been purchased.

I've always been amazed that some knitters will spend months working on a garment but never take a few minutes to compare their measurement to the schematic details. When I was sewing and taking classes, every instructor I ever had, spent more time on fitting adjustments than on any other skill that they were teaching. Sewers seem to just assume that correct fitting will require changes to the basic pattern but knitters often totally skip this step and give up on making garments after being dissatisfied with the results.

Kate's theory is that some knitters have a disconnect between their knitting and seeing their projects as clothing. Clothes to them are something you buy, not what you knit. Knitting is entertainment, craft, or a hobby. 

It's very interesting to me to try to understand how others see this issue and to work towards developing patterns that fit well and give knitters enough information to make adjustments where they are required. 

What do you think? Do you spend much time assessing patterns for appropriate fit?

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