My custom-fit vest with Dora: Measures and first alteration

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Hello there! Hope you are all doing great and that life is treating you good 🙂 This is my second post of a short series I will be doing called “My custom-fitted vest with Dora”, if you haven’t read the first one you can check it out here. Basically I am taking a new Craftsy class where you learn how to adapt a pattern to fit your measures by altering a vest pattern that uses tunisian crochet.

The last you heard of my vest was what yarn and hook I had purchased for this pattern, and a bit has happened since then. First, I did my swatch to check my gauge and see what hook size to use and what is the right tension to get that gauge. I used a 8mm hook size as recommended for this pattern but I still got more stitches in my swatch than I should so need to use a bigger hook. Since that was the biggest hook I had I am now waiting for an order for bigger sizes and hopefully I will get closer to the gauge.

I have to say I have never been fond of doing swatches for gauge and sometimes you can get away without one, but for any kind of garment it is really important, and it is the base for any alterations you might make so you must get it right.

I continued with the lessons and have learned what measures to take and how to take them, and constructed my own body schematic to help me adapt the pattern. As I mentioned I am a small petite size, so I am smaller than the smallest size in the pattern. The good thing about this is that unless I gain or lose quite a lot of weight I should be able to keep this drawing for my future pattern alterations.

Then you are taught how to adapt the pattern to fit your bust and shoulders. The instructor goes through various scenarios to help you adapt your pattern, such as being between two sizes, being larger than any size and being small but with a large bust. Even though my specific case wasn’t there, I could easily apply the logic for the case when you are larger than any size to work for me. It involves a bit of math but nothing complicated and it didn’t take long at all.

Once you have your changes to that part of the pattern you are asked to do an armhole swatch to check if your alterations actually work the way you expected. I think this is a really good idea and even though it adds to the time it takes to finish the pattern I definitely prefer to take that extra time and make sure everything will fit perfectly. I will have to wait for that hook to start this though…

I have had so much fun altering this pattern that it is really getting a bit geeky, I really enjoy the maths of patterns so it doesn’t bother me at all to pick up my calculator!

I will let you know how my armhole swatch goes and next in the class Dora shows you how to adapt length and hip…stay tuned!

x

Sol

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My custom-fit vest with Dora: Materials

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Hello! Hope you are all doing great 🙂 Today I wanted to start a series of posts about this new class I am taking on Craftsy. If you haven’t heard of Craftsy before go to my Craftsy Fair Isle Class Review for more information. After taking that class I was completely hooked with online classes so I decided to take advantage of another one of their sales and buy a new one: Custom Fit Tunisan Crochet by Dora Ohrenstein.

The whole idea of this class is to teach you how to adapt patterns to your size, especially something like a sweater. It includes the pattern for the vest on the picture above and the instructor takes you through the process of making sure that the final piece fits you just like you wanted, which could of course mean giving more ease to the pattern in certain areas and less in others.

This is such a great topic for a class, I can’t believe I haven’t seen more of these before. Who hasn’t looked at a pattern for a garment and realised that your size isn’t in the pattern? I am a petite size, it is quite difficult to find clothes let alone patterns that fit my measures so I am very excited about this class and have decided to take you, my lovely readers, through my learning process. At the end of it we will see if it worked for me or not. I have to say, if it does work, I will be forever grateful.

Now, this class is for a tunisian pattern, but don’t fear! First, the instructor does dedicate a few lessons to the basic stitches, increasing, decreasing, and everything you need for the pattern. Second, from what I have seen so far, the process she teaches to adapt a pattern can be applied to regular crochet as well, especially patterns that work with simple stitches such as dc, hdc and tr, where increasing and decreasing more or less than what the pattern calls for is easy and won’t change the look of the final piece. It might be a bit trickier for patterns that use a stitch-repeat of a certain number of stitches, but it could still work in theory.

So in this first post I would like to share with you the materials I have purchased for my vest. I will start with the yarn, the pattern calls for a worsted weight and the only one I know that I can find in the UK is the Cascade 220 Superwash. This is such a squishy yarn, I love it… I decided to get two colours and add stripes to the vest in a berry and light grey colour.

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I also decided to treat myself to some new tunisian crochet hooks. For this project you should be able use the long 30cm hooks with a stopper, but the instructor showed a few options in the lessons and I fell in love with these Knit Pro Interchangeable Tunisian Hooks.

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There are a few of reasons why I decided to invest on them, since they are not cheap. First, they are beautiful wooden coloured hooks! I believe Knit Pro sells a cheaper option for interchangeable tunisian hooks but I just loved these. Second, I have a shoulder problem and the long hooks always made one of my shoulders ache since it can become quite heavy to handle. These hooks are light and short so when you are using them only a few stitches will be on your hook and the cord will hold the rest. Finally, there are many different lengths for cords, up to 2 meters, so I am no longer limited by the amount of stitches I can fit in without the risk of starting to loose them.

So now that I have all my materials ready I will continue with the class and keep you updated on my progress so that you can see how the vest is turning out. Hopefully it will fit perfectly once I’m finished, fingers crossed!

x

Sol