Sweater Measurements for Children: In this post, we’re including sizing and measurement details for a range of other sizes from toddlers to the Child’s size 14.
Gathering toddler sizing information and measurements started with a request several years ago to share our sweater measurements for a child’s 3T then an inquiry about a Child’s 4T.
Taking Sweater Measurements For Children
Hobbie’s custom knitting business started nearly 45 years ago knitting for toddlers – specifically my toddler.
It was fun to knit up the latest patterns from European knitting magazines. Soon, neighbors asked if I would knit a toddler sweater pattern for “that turtleneck” or “this hooded jacket”. The hobby quickly turned into a business.
Looking back to knitting for my first born, I quickly determined that it was useless to knit any garment according to a toddler’s age.
The sweater likely would not to fit by the time the knitting project was completed.
It became a rule of thumb to measure once, measure again the following week and then pick the next size up for good measure!
I was also learning about the difference between design, wearing ease and how to measure for a perfect fit – even in knits for little people.
At Hobbie’s House and Custom Costume Knits, we use the basic sizing charts below when drafting sweater patterns for children.
We add growing room (aka extra wearing ease) to all designs for children up to the size 14.
This is an established fact – taking sweater measurements for children of any age is not easy.
They could care less about your knitting project. In fact, their first reaction will probably be to yank it off in record time in an amazing display of how to undress without really knowing how to!
This knitting project is more for you Mom or Grandma! I digress…
If you’ve been knitting as long as I have and love vintage style layette patterns, you will notice that the sizing has changed quite a lot over the years.
Many of the European knitting magazines I used so long ago have wonderful little patterns that are more likely to fit a big doll. I even purchased a big “baby” doll to model my first “collection”. I may bring my model out of retirement to pose again. 🙂
Be sure to compare the measurements in the pattern diagram to those of your child.
If a diagram is not provided, draw out a diagram as you read the pattern. I found that they ran much smaller than would fit my daughter even when I selected a “larger” size.
Toddler sweaters were knitting projects that had to be completed in record time or on a knitting machine!
Toddler Sweater Measurements
Design It, Knit It: Babies The finished measurements can include as much wearing ease as you care to add to the child’s actual measurements.
- Semi-fitted is 2 to 2.5 inches added to the “actual measurements”.
- An average fit is closer to 3 inches of added growing room.
We add generous wearing ease for children’s sweaters – a little more than average – Call it growing room.
Sleeve and body length can be adjusted for a perfect fit by adding several rows on the sleeve just before the underarm shaping for the sleeve.
To adjust the sweater length, add a few rows to the body before starting the underarm shaping.
In the listings below, the standard “actual” measurement is followed with finished chest measurement in brackets:
So…if the child has an actual chest measurement of 25 inches, then the finished sweater piece should measure 27 to 27.5 inches across [at the widest point].
The Toddler 2 is the first in the “toddler” sizing range.
- Chest = 21 inches (23.5 to 24″)
- Hips = 22 inches
- Arm Length = 12 1/2 inches
- Shoulder width = 9 3/4 inches
- Total length = 13 to 13.5 inches
Don’t forget that the size “3” actually comes in two sizes: the Toddler 3 and the regular size 3. Toddler sizes tend to be shorter and wider than the corresponding child’s size. Click on the link to read more about this size.
- Chest = 22 inches (24.5 to 25″)
- Hips = 22.5 inches
- Shoulder width = 10 inches
- Arm length = 13 inches
- Total length = 14 to 14.5 inches
- Chest = 23 inches (25 1/4 to 26 3/4″)
- Hips = 23.5 inches
- Shoulder width = 10 1/4 inches
- Arm length = 13 3/4 inches
- Total length = 15 to 15 1/2 inches
Read more about Toddler cardigan knitting patterns and the difference between a Size 4T and a regular Child’s size 4.
Children’s Sweater Measurements
Child’s Size 5
- Chest = 24 inches (26 to 27 3/4″)
- Arm Length = 15 inches
- Shoulder width =10.5 inches
- Total length = 15 to 16 inches
Child’s Size 6
- Chest = 25 inches (27.5 to 28.5″)
- Arm Length = 16 1/4 inches
- Shoulder width =10 3/4 inches
- Total length = 16 3/4 inches
Child’s Size 7
- Chest = 26.5 inches (29.5 to 31″)
- Arm Length = 17 1/4 inches
- Shoulder width =11 1/4 inches
- Total length = 16 3/4 inches
Child’s Size 8
- Chest = 27.5 inches (31 1/4 to 32″)
- Arm Length = 18 1/3 inches
- Shoulder width =11 3/4 inches
- Total length = 19 inches
Child’s Size 10
- Chest = 29 inches (32.5 to 34 1/4″)
- Arm Length = 19.5 inches
- Shoulder width =12 1/4 inches
- Total length = 20.5 inches
Child’s Size 12
- Chest = 30.5 inches (34 to 36″)
- Arm Length = 20 3/4 inches
- Shoulder width =12 3/4 inches
- Total length = 21.5 inches
Child’s Size 14
- Chest = 32 inches (35.5 to 37 3/4″)
- Arm Length = 21 3/4 inches
- Shoulder width =13 1/4 inches
- Total length = 22 inches
A Child’s Size 14 measurements overlap with a Junior size 3, a Misses Petite 2 and fall between a Misses Size 2 and 4. However, the Child’s size 14 is designed to fit the body of a child – not an adult.
Charting Your Own Toddler Sweater Pattern?
In this post, we’ve discussed measurements for children to include actual shoulder width. If you decide to draft your own “custom” knitting pattern for pullover sweaters or cardigans, please note that the weight of long sleeves stretches out the knit fabric across the shoulders.
To compensate for the shoulder sag, reduce the actual shoulder width measurement of the drafted pattern by about 3/4 of an inch to 1 inch.
In the chart below, the standard “actual” body shoulder measurement is followed with charted shoulder measurement in parentheses:
- Shoulder width = 9 3/4 inches (8.75 inches)
Don’t forget that the size “3” actually comes in two sizes: the Toddler 3 and the regular size 3. Toddler sizes tend to be shorter and wider.
- Shoulder width = 10 inches (9.25 inches)
- Shoulder width = 10 1/4 inches (9.50 inches)
If you have any questions related to sweater measurements for children, do not hesitate to contact us via email.