half-assed patterns
half-assed patterns
half-assed patterns
Maddy: Sizing Info

Maddy’s pattern can be altered to just about any size, and the following instructions will tell you how to make it fit your exact measurements. This looks like a lot of reading, but it’s not difficult. (And if you’ve ever been apprehensive of altering patterns, you’ll have no fear after this!)

When you work out your sizing, include 2-4″ of negative ease, especially if you’re using silk or cotton or another inelastic fiber – they will stretch with wear. Don’t worry if the yoke/armholes look tiny (and they will – if they don’t, they’re too big); between gravity and the stretchiness of the lace, it will fit.


If you’re making a size anywhere close to the standard size, you can probably leave the neckline alone. But if you’re making a much larger size, or if you just want a wider or narrower neckline, here’s how to change it.

The neckline as written has 136 sts, which are divided into sections of 43 (back), 25 (right sleeve), 43 (front), 25 (left sleeve). To make the neckline larger or smaller, simply add or subtract an even number of stitches from each section. Then you will need to center the lace within each section and place the lace markers in the proper place.

Example: let’s say you want the neckline to be 8 sts wider.
Original: 43, 25, 43, 25 sts
Altered: 45, 27, 45, 27 sts

The lace section needs to be a multiple of 6 sts + 1. Find the largest multiple of 6 sts + 1 that is smaller than your st count for that section. For 45 sts, you’ll have 43 (42+1) sts of lace, with 1 extra st on each side. For 27 sts, you’ll have 25 (24+1) sts of lace, again with 1 extra st on each side.

So you’d place the lace markers like this:
Original: K3, place LM, k40, place SM, k3, place LM, k22, place SM, k3, place LM, k40, place SM, k3, place LM, k to end.
Altered: K1, place LM, k44, place SM, k1, place LM, k26, place SM, k1, place LM, k44, place SM, k1, place LM, k to end.


I played around with a whole bunch of formulas to calculate how to size the yoke, made up my own formulas, looked at other patterns and calculators, and came up with this very scientific method to figure it out:

Just try the durn thing on.

Follow the pattern instructions until you’re ready to try it on. When to try it on? Well, here’s an estimate – measure one of the sleeve sections while it’s still on the needle. When it’s about 2/3 of your upper arm circumference, that’s a good time to try it on. It probably won’t quite fit, but you’ll be able to estimate how much longer to make it.

When you try it on, grab the spots where the section markers are, and yank them down a bit – gravity will do this for you in the finished garment. If you draw an imaginary line across your chest, from armpit to armpit, you want the yoke to end about 2″ higher than that line. That sounds like a small yoke, but the lace will stretch a LOT when you’re actually wearing it, and you don’t want the lace to go low enough to show your bra.

Note that when you try it on, the sleeves will look like they can’t possibly ever fit you. That’s because they’re not full sleeves, and the extra sts you cast on for the body will make up the “missing” part of the armholes.

Once you’ve decided how many more rows to go on, keep alternating even and odd rows as instructed in the pattern. Make sure you’ve just finished an even round before starting the final 4 rounds; where the pattern specifies “row 2” and “row 4” of the lace pattern, just substitute the correct rows for wherever you are in the lace pattern.


To calculate the number of sts you should cast on for the body, you’ll use your waist size, not bust size.

Decide what you want the waist measurement to be – shoot for about 2″ smaller than your actual waist size.

Note on bust fit: Maddy’s bust measurement will be about 4.5″ larger than the waist measurement. It should fit fine with up to 4″ of negative ease in the bust area. In other words, if the bust measurement is within 4″ of your actual bust size, you won’t need any adjustments. If it’s more than 4″ smaller, you will want to add short rows/darts for some extra boobie room.

Example: Let’s say you want a waist measurement of 32.5″.

32.5 x gauge of 5.5 sts/inch = 178.75. Round to an even number; let’s go with 178 sts.

The waist is 24 sts smaller than the bust. 178 + 24 = 202 sts at bust.

Therefore, you want to cast on enough sts to reach 202 sts total. Count your sts after splitting off the sleeves. Let’s say you have 160 sts.

202 – 160 = 42 sts total need to be added.
42 / 2 = 21 sts should be cast on at each underarm.

When you place your st markers, place them roughly in the middle of your newly cast on sts. Where the pattern says “Round 4: P8, k to end”, you will be purling whatever’s left of the newly cast on sts at the left underarm, and then knitting the rest of the round.

You may want to start the waist decreases earlier or later than 4″ from the armhole.

Waist Detail & Lower Body:

Time for more math! Weeee!

The 4 rectangular panels need to be a multiple of 6 sts + 1. They should also all be the same size (they don’t have to be, but if you want to change that, you’re on your own!). The 4 triangular panels, happily, can be any size at all. However, if you want your garment to look like the pictured one, you will want the triangular panels to be approximately the same size as the rectangular ones at the end of the 6 sets of increases. (Consider the purl columns to be part of the triangular panels, so you can ignore them for now.)

Example time! Let’s say you’re making a larger size.

Original waist size: 152 sts
Altered waist size: 190 sts

The first thing you need to do is make your waist size divisible by 4. (Just trust me on this, it’ll make sense later on.) You can increase or decrease some sts on the very last row of stockinette, at the sides where it’ll be inconspicuous.

In this case, let’s say you increase 2 sts to give a new waist size of 192 sts.

After 6 sets of increases, you will have gained 48 sts.

Original lower body size: 152 + 48 = 200 sts
Altered lower body size: 192 + 48 = 240 sts

Now, take that number and divide by 8.
Original: 25 sts
Altered: 30 sts

30 sts is the approximate size of your lace panel. Obviously it’s not the exact size, because it’s not a multiple of 6 sts + 1. So. The closest multiples of 6 sts + 1 are 25 (24+1) and 31 (30+1). You can choose either, let’s go with 31, just because 25 is the size already in the pattern and that would defeat the purpose of this whole example!

31 x 4 panels = 124 sts.
240 total sts – 124 sts = 116 sts left over for triangular panels.

116 sts is what you’ll have after all the increases. Before the increases, you’ll have 48 sts less.

116 – 48 = 68 sts.
68 / 4 panels = 17 sts per triangular panel, pre-increases.
Since that number includes the 2 purl columns, what it really means is 2 purl sts, 13 knit sts, 2 purl sts = 17 total sts.

Now you’re set to modify the pattern instructions.

First, do some stitch-counting and figure out exactly where the back rectangular panel will go, in order to be perfectly centered. (Your round markers should make it easy to figure out.)

Original: “Starting at RM, k23. This will take you to the beginning of the back rectangular panel.”
Altered: “k23” will become “k to 2 sts before the back rectangular panel starts”.

Original: “Round 1: *P29, k9, rep from * 3 more times. You can remove all markers on this round.”
Altered: This means you’re purling what will become the 2-st purl column, then the 25-st lace panel, then another 2-st purl column, then knitting the 9-st triangular panel, and repeating. So it will become p35 (2 purls, 31 lace panel, 2 purls), k13 (triangular panel).

Original: “Round 3: *P2, k25, p2, k9, rep from * 3 more times. Round 4: *P2, work 1×1 rib, starting with a knit stitch, for 25 sts, p2, k9, rep from * 3 more times.”
Altered: Same deal here. 2-st purl columns remain as-is, 25-st sections become 31-st sections, and 9-st sections become 13-st sections.

Once you’re past the 6 rounds of waist detail, you can go back to following the pattern as written, because the rest of it is written in general terms. Hurrah!

Note: You mostly likely won’t need to add extra hip increases to the pattern. I have giant hips, so if the pattern as written fits over my hips, it’ll fit over anybody’s!

How Much Yarn?

Maddy is neither yarn-hungry nor yarn-starving, so you’ll need about as much yarn as you’d use for an average short-sleeved top at a similar gauge. (It uses more yarn because it’s long, but less yarn because it’s lacy, and I guess it all evens out in the end.)

I had 652 yds on hand for my version, and had a small ball left over – not a lot of yarn, but I wasn’t in any danger of running out.

So that’s everything. If you have any questions you can contact me. (Or better yet, start a KAL or something, and tell me about it. Because if you have questions, someone else will too, and then I can answer them all at once!)