I’ve referred to the Fit to Flatter tutorials before (in this post, though the tutorials are no longer online), and the author of the tutorials has come out with a web based application which allows users to generate sweater patterns customized to their own bodies. Amy Herzog’s Custom Fit opened for beta testing a few weeks ago, and of course I jumped at the offer!
So how does it work?
Basically, you enter a detailed measurement set, choose a sweater design and it pops out a sweater pattern just for you!
In detail, you do this:
1. Sign up for a free account on the website.
2. Enter a measurement set. The site guides you through taking detailed length and width measurements of your body. You can enter up to 10 different bodies (ie, measurement sets).
3. Enter swatch information, for the yarn and stitch pattern you’ve chosen for your sweater. I found it most useful to name my swatches as <YarnName><NeedleSize>, so if I use the same yarn with the same needles again I won’t need to enter this information again. You can enter unlimited numbers of swatches.
4. Design your sweater: pick a body (measurement set) and swatch, then build the garment choosing length, sleeve type, neck type, sweater or cardigan, etc by clicking options.
5. Generate final measurements for your intended sweater, depending on the ease you’ve chosen. You can change these measurements; so if you entered your own high hip length but actually want it a couple of inches shorter for a more cropped effect, make the change now.
6. Generate the pattern: when you’ve finalized the measurements, you generate the pattern. Up to this point, everything is free – you only pay now, just before the pattern is generated (disclosure: as beta tester, I didn’t have to pay). Out pops your pattern! Full, line-by-line instructions for creating a sweater to your own measurements, using your own swatch (banish the tedium of trying to match a given pattern gauge!).
What Custom Fit Won’t Do
(Keep in mind this is a review of the early version, later features may be added)
1. Protect you from doing homework – you can swatch diligently, enter accurate measurements, generate a flattering pattern… but if the swatch was in bamboo yarn in a loose gauge, your sweater will droop after wearing. You need to ensure that your chosen yarn is appropriate for the garment you’re planning or that the swatch has been subjected to the actual weight and gravity conditions the garment will face.
2. Keep you from needing to understand your figure – the more you know what flatters you, the better it works. I know that I’m flattered by V-necks; I could generate a perfectly fitting crew neck sweater, but it won’t be as flattering as I hoped.
What do I think?
It’s great! So convenient, not to have to do the calculations to change a published pattern to my measurements!
I don’t regret having had to do the calculations previously since they helped me learn my body’s unique shape, notice that the shape proportions remained constant through weight fluctuations, and learn how to make useful garments to flatter that shape. But CF is just so convenient!
It’s like the last year of school when we were allowed to use calculators in board exams instead of log tables. Although I can admire human ingenuity which found a way to calculate (23475840950.434377 x 6568580.346346) / (4787597.791747 ^ 7) with a few simple additions, did I actually yearn to use log tables instead of calculators? Duh, of course not!
Ok, now I’ve scared some people with mentions of log tables and exponentiation. Think, instead, of early automobile days – one needed to be both driver and mechanic; but now we can drive cars without needing to understand how cars work. It’s kind of like that… while it’s good to know how to calculate sweaters for your body, you don’t need to, with CF.
I’ll be posting my two finished Custom Fit sweaters soon. Very pleased with both!