How to change the sizing of my designs for kids and pre-teens

Filed under: chezPlum Patterns,Crochet,Technique,Tutorial — May 12, 2017 @ 12:09 pm

Every once and again, crocheters will ask me how they can crochet one of my designs.. but in another size. Let’s focus today on how to do that for kids and pre-teens.

For instance, this week, Karine S. asked: “Hi Sylvie do you sell a pattern for a dancing poppies sweater in sizes 6 years and 4 years? I’m not very good at adapting sizes..”

  

So. My first answer is No, as those cardigans are only available in women’s sizes and baby/toddler sizes

BUT the good news is that it’s super simple to adapt the baby bolero to kids sizes thanks to this little “trick” I’m about to reveal now:

Most of my sweater patterns (except for the Floralie and SaperliPOPette! at this point…) are based on the same basic numbers: I have a set of 4 kids sizes and a set of 5 women’s sizes.  Rather than redoing all the math and sizing every time, I reuse those basic numbers which I’ll tweak and adapt depening on the features of each design: hood or lower neckline, waist shaping or boxy look, long sleeves or sleeveless…

It’s a bit like the “body block” which seamstresses use as starting point to create all sorts of garments…  ;-)

SO.

 

This means that you can very easily:

  • follow the instructions of a design sized for babies such as the Dancing poppies bolero,
  • with the sizing/yarn/gauge combo of another design sized for older children such as the Ermeline hooded cardigan, explained in sizes 2 to 8 years old:

In the case of Karine’s question, simply follow the 2nd size directions of the baby bolero  (= size 4 years for Ermeline) but using a thicker Aran-type yarn at a gauge of 14 sts and 7.25 rows = 10 cm/ 4 inches…

And you will have a Dancing poppies bolero to fit a 4 year old !

 

Then of course, you can also do things the other way round… like if you’d like to make an Armel hooded cardi  or a Mini Marguerite cardigan in baby sizes taille bébé… simply use a thinner yarn refering to yarn and gauge recommended for the Dancing Poppies bolero…  (note: since babies have larger heads in proportion to their body though, you might have to adapt the size of baby hoods, as I did for my Lutin Marguerite..)

Easy right ?

Then for the more adventurous, there’s also a second method which is especially usefull for some sizes I never catered for at this point: pre-teens. :-)

In this case, we’ll do a simple cross-multiplication and choose to base the sweater :

  • either on the largest size of a kids design, using thicker yarn  (but result may end up looking bulky!)
  • or the smallest of the women’s sizes (XS) using thinner yarn than recommended in pattern. I always recommend using the XS size as there’s less bust and waist shaping in this size, making it more suitable for pre-teens.

The latter option is the one “Fierdre” chose to crochet a “Léontine” hooded jacket for her daughter, since this design is only offered in women’s sizes.

In order to maximise your chances of a perfect result, here’s the simple calculation you need to  make:

(Number of sts in pattern at bust level) divided by the (bust circumference in cm)  x 10 = gauge for 10 cm
OR
(Number of sts in pattern at bust level) divided by the (bust circumference in inches)  x 4 = gauge for 4 inches

Then all you need to do is head to your LYS and choose a suitable yarn for this gauge, and follow the pattern in the size chosen (XS in this case)…

For instance, if I want to make a Léontine for my 11 yo daughter:

  • I look at the number of sts in the Léontine instrcutions at bust level (= just after separating sleeves): 118 stitches
  • I measure my daughter’s chest circumference: 69 cm (no need for added ease, crochet being very stretchy AND the final edging adding width to the front)
  • I do the calculation following the formula detailed above: (118/69) x 10 = 17,1 sts / 10 cm
  • So, I’m looking for yarn and a hook suitable to get gauge at 17 mailles per 10 cm/4 in (instead of the 15,5 sts in original instructions), and will follow XS instructions in pattern
  • Of course, as this is a top-down design I’ll also try on the jacket often on my daughter to adjust the length of sleeves and body… of alter the waist and hip shaping if needed !

 

PS – Of course, to crochet a sweater for a child in any size and using any yarn, there’s also my “SaperliPOPette ! method” … which allows you to make a boxy sweater for kids too ! Bu studing certain key points of the body morphology the sweater will end up perfectly sized for your kid: tested and approved by my mini-fashionista M. !  :-D

  

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So here goes. I hope this tutorial helped answer your questions… Otherwise feel free to ask in the comments.
And of course, do send me pictures if you try resizing one of my design in child or baby sizes  !

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