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Chic Knits
is your source for
modern hand knitting patterns. You'll enjoy making AND wearing our collection of sassy classics designed by
Bonne Marie Burns
that reflect the way you
work and live.

Knitting Patterns

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 Make It Wear It LOVE It


how to downsize a knitted sweater

Every time I start knitting a garment, the excitement of getting something new to wear is just indescribable! I LOVE NEW CLOTHES!

This creative gas fuels me along to the finish line, especially if I have an event or holiday right around the corner to wear my new design. Step on IT!

SCREECH! What's this? That fabulous pulli is hanging like a sack around my waist? OR, I followed your pattern, Ms. ChicKnits, and this sweater still gapes as bad as those drivers lookin' at a man changing a tire on the freeway...


the Template

One of the easiest and accurate ways to fix your BIG garment is to use a SMALLER garment that fits you perfectly as a template and DOWNSIZE IT. (For some more thoughts on the origins of this approach, read this article ...)

Of course, the easiest things to fix are sleeveless garments, so we'll start with a shell. After you understand how this works, you can move up the food chain to a ..... Pullover or Cardi!

Here is my favorite shell template. I've had it probably ten years - it fits me like no other. I've stopped wearing it as clothing and donated it to the ChicKnits Workshop...


Using the garment that fits you as a template, pin it to the larger garment with big T-pins, just like you would a sewing pattern. Be especially careful to place the template equidistant from both sides of the garment. As you can see, the only places that needs to be altered on my shell are the side seams.

Here is my template pinned to my larger garment. This poor shell was made from very stretchy cotton - sometimes YOU JUST DON'T KNOW how the fabric you make is going to behave until after the knittin' is done.

In this case, the fabric bloated out to GRANDE proportions and left the viewer with a goodly amount of my BRA exposed under my arm (truly not for the faint of heart!!!)


Using a sewing machine, carefully put the two knitted garments under the presser foot. I have set my presser foot to the mid position (out of left, mid, right choices). The left edge of the presser foot will travel alongside the edge of the template.

Using a closely matching thread and a mid-size stitch, sew your seam. Sew one more row of straight stitching very close to the outside edge of the first seam. THEN, zigzag a seam very close to the outside edge of the second straight seam.

IF you are uncomfortable leaving your template on the garment as you sew or if it would cause undue stress to the knitted fabric, use a contrasting yarn to baste a *NEW* seam.

Remove your template and sew your seam as given above, but on top of your basted outline.

If you do not have a sewing machine, use the yarn you knit the garment from and backstitch a new seam slightly away from the edge of your template.

Here is the sewn seam - you have to look carefully because I really matched that thread!


Using the sharpest pair of scissors you own, trim your new seam as close to the zigzag seam as possible without clipping the threads of that seam.

If you sewed your seam by hand, use a matching colored thread, and blanket stitch the edge of your new seam so it won't unravel.


Here's my new improved AND EMINENTLY WEARABLE shell, wrong side out.


Depending on the fiber content of your garment, steam or iron the new seam AWAY from the front of the garment.


Here is my much improved and nicely fitting shell!

            who's the boss?!


Chic Knits Maximus Cowl

Simply. Elegant.

Beautiful proportions and thoughtful details make this fashionable cowl a sophisticated part of your wardrobe...

Made from soft bulky or super-bulky yarn, this neckwarmer, over your coat or jacket, saves face and looks great!

$3.00 USD

Chic Knits Mondo Cable Cap

Chic & Cozy...

Quick knitting slouchy cap featuring modern mondo cables...

$4.00 USD

Chic Knits Super Cupcake

the GoTO set...

A certain sassy attitude with the little bit of slouch to the cap; a certain fashion sensibility that mirrors the trends around town...

Made with worsted wt yarn.

$4.00 USD

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Bonne Marie Burns of Portland OR