The last few days I’ve been looking around and going through the knitting patterns that I own. I’ve noticed a few have patterns which we are one size only. Can you truly be an inclusive designer if you have patterns that are one size only? This also includes accessories in my opinion. The number of hat patterns that are only in one size. Generally, an adult women’s hat pattern fits up to a 22″ head. It’s not unusual for someone to have a 23″ or 24″ head. I have the same size head (a 23.5″ circumference head) as my husband who’s a foot taller than me so head size is not related to the size of the person (when fully grown). This means that I have to adapt a hat to make it fit me properly. Now, the next question is do I have the time or patience to do this. Also, for your customer do they have the skill. Some patterns require a lot of work to convert for multiple sizes. At the time of writing on the Hot Right Now page of Ravelry for hats, I could knit 12 hats out of 48 that I know would fit me. The rest for a variety of reasons I couldn’t knit and know for certain. They either say one size fits all (I highly doubt that will fit me then, as it never does!). Or if it is multisized says Adult Large. Now for some people that’s a 24″ head, for some of the patterns which does tell me a head circumference an adults large is a 22″. Then we have some others which just say the finished hat circumference (unstretched), ok how big is it when stretched? Will your 18″ finished hat stretch to fit my head, or will it only stretch to 21″. How do I find this out, oh by knitting it!
Ponchos are another item that tends to be a one size fits all. So, will your poncho fit the same on a person that has a 30″ bust and another person who has a 60″ bust? Well, we all know the answer is no. The item will not look the same as you will not get the same amount of ease. I will admit that I look at the 2 ends of the spectrum when I consider inclusive patterns. To me, it’s the easiest way to help you towards getting your answer. I’m not saying you need a poncho is 18 different sizes, what I’m saying though is to think clearly about your sizing. You may only need 3 or 4 sizes for a poncho and 2 sizes for a hat. I want you just to sit down and think about how your item would look on someone else.
For garments, I want you to think about your audience and what size they are. I checked out the average bust size and clothing size for the UK and it was a size 16 and a bust size of 36DD which means you need the average is 41”. For the US the average is a US size 16-18 which means a 44” finished bust size (including ease)! So, this should be at minimum the middle of your sizing. You should be finishing at 50” but go down to 28”. Yes, the extreme ends can cause challenges but if you can grade the rest of the pattern you can grade for these as well.
You also don’t have to do this on your own. There are many people (including myself) who will happily grade patterns for you.
This is an expense which you have to decide whether you can afford or justify the cost. You could decide to learn how to do this yourself. There are many free and paid resources out there and it is growing all the time. What works best for you will be different from someone else. If you wish to chat to me about any of the resources at all please send me a message and I will happily chat to you about my opinion or if I know something that you are looking. You can either send me a message via my contact button below, email me or dm on Instagram. I will see and respond to all messages and no question is too small or too stupid.