Play Fashion Designer and Design Your Own Sweater

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Have you ever envisioned the perfect (I mean perfect) sweater, but couldn't find a pattern for it? Or gone shopping for clothes and thought, "If only that sweater had a Peter Pan collar instead of a boatneck ... and longer sleeves ... "

If you find yourself in this situation often, it's a sign: You should design your own sweater. If you've never done it before, here are a few things to consider before jumping in.

Style

Maybe you're into the lovely cables and twists of Aran sweaters or the yokes of traditional  Icelandic sweaters . Or maybe Fair Isle is your thing. Take elements from each of your favorites and think about how they might fit together. And don't forget: Cardigans are sweaters, too!

Sleeves

Sleeves are a big deal in sweater design. Decide how you want them to fit (loosely or a bit tighter?) and how you want them to connect to the shoulder. If you're not familiar with the different types, do some research.

Collars

Something as simple as a collar can change the whole look of your sweater. Try a cowl neck for extra coziness, or go trendy with a little Peter Pan collar — it looks gorgeous with almost any stitch, especially if you're a fan of ribbing. Take a look at some of your favorite fashion designers and Pinterest boards and see what type of collars you're drawn to.

Ease

Decide whether you want a tighter sweater that shows off your curves or a big comfy sweater you can snuggle inside. Think about where you want to wear the sweater and what type of fit would be most appropriate. You probably don't want to go to work wearing the sweater you'd throw on to binge-watch "Big Little Lies" — and vice versa!

Measurements

Designing is the easy part when you consider that you'll eventually have to figure out what measurements this lovely sweater of yours will have. A cheater's shortcut is to steal measurements from one of the sweaters already in your closet. Choose the one you wear the most; you might even get some design inspiration at the same time!

Modify

Starting from scratch with sweater design might feel a bit like jumping into the deep end. If you want to dip your toes in before taking the plunge, try modifying existing sweater patterns. Change up the sleeve length, add some Fair Isle patterning, but let someone else tell you when you should increase, and how many stitches to cast on. It's a good compromise.

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Play Fashion Designer and Design Your Own Sweater