I love it when a knitted garment has waist shaping. Not every garment requires waist shaping, of course, but they’re definitely a necessity if you want that trimmer look.
The traditional method of waist shaping involves working decreases and increases at the side of the garment. Although it’s quite possibly the most popular method of waist shaping (I have used it in my patterns), it is realistically more suited to hourglass shapes, which rules out many of us.
It is thought that women’s body shapes generally fall under five categories with others a mixture of these body shapes.
Pear: Hips are larger than bust, and waist gradually slopes out to the hips.
Inverted triangle: Bust is large, hips are narrow and waist is not very well defined.
Apple: Hips are narrow compared to the shoulders; waist is larger than bust and hips.
Rectangle: Straight hips and body line. Shoulders and hips roughly the same measurement with little waist definition.
Hourglass: Bust and hips are essentially the same size; waist is well defined.
The beauty of waist shaping is that you can modify the waist shaping in a given pattern if it does not work for your body shape. This blog post by Amy Herzog walks you through an alternative shaping method for sweaters and how to work it into pretty much any pattern you’re making. I’m an inverted triangle and Amy’s suggested method is one I will be incorporating in my patterns going forward.
Do you know what body shape you are? Let me know in the comments.