Body Measurement Basics with Lindsey Stephens

Body Basics cover image

In order to design garments, you must know something about body measurements. Many new knit and crochet designers struggle with understanding body measurements, especially for body types that are different from their own.

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My colleague Lindsey Stephens realized that this struggle is real, and has written Body Basics, an e-book to help designers understand more about body measurements. See what Lindsey has to say about Body Basics. And if you decide you want to buy it, use coupon code Edie1 for $1 off the purchase price.

What made you decide to write Body Basics?

I initially sat down to write a booklet on grading, or the process of changing one pattern in one size to multiple sizes. The more I thought about it, though, I realized that the reason so many people have difficulty with grading is because they’re missing a fundamental bit of knowledge. They don’t understand all the body measurements that come in to play when designing a garment.

If you understand the body measurements, and how to turn those body measurements into garment measurements, then not only will your designs look better and fit better, but you’ll have a much easier time when you do decide to tackle grading.

Who needs to read Body Basics?

Anyone who wants to design a garment to fit a human body. Especially if you want it to fit a specific human or specific measurements.

In your opinion, what is the #1 mistake that novice designers make when designing garments?

Cross back

Crossback and Armscye. Those are the two measurements that the majority of beginning designers don’t take into account. Many of them don’t even realize they exist. However, these measurements are critical to a good fit and to determining the silhouette of the garment.  

How will understanding the concepts in the book streamline the design process?

Armscye

This book isn’t about streamlining. It isn’t about doing things faster and quicker. It’s about doing a deep dive to gain the critical knowledge and understanding to do the job well. Once you have that understanding, then yes, you’ll find that not only the quality of your design work will be better but you will be able to do the design math more efficiently.

Why can’t I just design a garment in one size and let my tech editor calculate all the other sizes?

You totally can just hire a tech editor. And you will be better able to judge the tech editor’s quality of work if you know what they’re actually doing. I’m a big fan of doing something yourself at least a couple of times before you farm it out. It makes you a wiser and more knowledgeable buyer and employer.

I personally prefer to do my own grading and then have my tech editor double-check the pattern. Why? Because there are design decisions that have to be made as part of the grading process. Should the cable be the same for all sizes? Should the button band be wider for plus sizes? Is the goal to make the waist shaping happen in 4 distinct locations around the body or just evenly around? There are no right or wrong answers, but deciding these things is part of the process of design.

After I’ve read Body Basics, what should my next step be in learning more about design?

The next step after reading Body Basics is to design a garment based off the new information you’ve learned. That’s why every Body Basics purchase includes my free Schematics Templates pdf. This is an additional pdf of over 40 blank schematics. Use these as a launching point to start your new designs. (Don’t forget to use coupon code Edie1 to get $5 off the purchase price.)

About Lindsey

Lindsey Stephens is a near-fearless crafter with a passion for making things. She spends her time crafting 24/6 (no crafting on Shabbos*). Lindsey shares her crafting expertise with her followers, who love her signature wit and humor. Lindsey also works as a technical editor for crochet and knit patterns, as a website manager, and is a mom of two. Read about her latest intrepid crafting adventures on her blog.

*Shabbos, also known as Shabbat: The Jewish Sabbath observed from sundown Friday to nightfall Saturday

To learn more about designing for knit and crochet, check out my Knit & Crochet Design Resources.