50s Shrug—Now Multisize!

A snugger shrug

Hmm, need I say more?

I have, by dint of more fiddling than I quite want to admit, graded the 50s Shrug Pattern into three sizes, Small, the original Medium, and Large. I have also, for my enjoyment and your edification, stitched up a second version for myself, in the small. Stitching up the shrug itself took only the minutest fraction of the time grading the pattern took. This really is fast to stitch up.

Note: I did not follow any particular grading procedure in this case. I knew roughly how much smaller I wanted the Small to be than the Medium, and made the Large larger by a similar amount. This is highly unscientific, but seems to have worked at least in the case of the small. Anyone who tries the Large, please let me know how it works!

Extraneous shrug pic

This pattern is VERY forgiving of fit, since there’s no shoulder seam and it doesn’t entirely cover the bust, so I made quite a large gap between the sizes. I’d venture to suggest the following size-range:

    • Small: bust 30-33″; 76-84 cm
    • Medium: bust 34-37″; 87-94 cm
    • Large for busts 38-41″; 97-105 cm

It’s entirely possible that both larger and smaller sizes could fit, depending on your fabric and the look you’re going for.

Shrug, size Small: back

I made this up in the same fabric as my swingy cardigan. It’s not quite as soft, stretchy, or drapy as the fabric of my first shrug, resulting in a fairly snug garment. I like the length of this size much better, though, both in the arms and the back—the medium reached to my (admittedly high) waist, which is not a particularly flattering length on me. It looked much better on Amy.

The neck is extremely prone to stretching out. Although I haven’t tried to stabilize it with clear elastic, you might want to; otherwise, just be sure that the neck band is a good length for you and then be prepared to do plenty of easing when you stitch band to neckline. I had trouble stitching the buttonhole in this knit, too, but it worked much better when I put a piece of tissue paper underneath the fabric.

Look! A line drawing!

I have even come up with a (somewhat crude) line drawing for your entertainment.

The multisize pattern is located HERE.  There is also a link from the Patterns page. The instructions are found in the original shrug post. I attempted to tile it in such a way that it can be printed on both US Letter and A4-size paper without losing bits; this does mean that you will probably want to trim at least some of the white edges. I still haven’t developed a method for making a nice border around the pattern that doesn’t drive me nuts, so I do apologize for that. When printing, make absolutely sure that you are printing out actual size/no scaling/100% etc. There is a 10 cm/4″ sizing square for your convenience :).

Left: original vintage shrug; middle: size Medium; right: size Small.

Have fun! And if you do stitch it up, please let me know. :D

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47 Comments

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47 responses to “50s Shrug—Now Multisize!

  1. Ooh! Now I’m jealous. I love the latest incarnation of your shrug. That fabric is great. When I was made mine, I didn’t actually work a buttonhole. I sewed on a snap on the interior pieces. My button is purely decorative.

  2. Oooh, lovely! I wonder if the kimono sleeves would look good on me, I’ve never worn any… I might have to try the pattern as part of my Summer Essentials Sew-along… :)

  3. I agree on the small looking better on you! I generally avoid anything with a high neckline, but thank you for grading and sharing! These quick and (seemingly) simple projects are always nice to have. Maybe I’ll try to alter the neckline someday (when I’ll no longer be afraid of my knits and my serger)…

    • You could always cut away the neckline portion and make an open-fronted shrug like this one of Lauriana’s.

      As for knittophobia, I wish you the best! Mine still recurs from time to time… ;)

  4. I love shrugs! I really hope to eventually start doing the pattern drafting you’re doing, and it’s awesome to see how quick you’re getting at it. Thanks!

    • The drafting is fun although sewing up something you’ve drafted and finding out it’s not quite what was in your imagination is still a bit of a pain… Can’t wait to see what you come up with! :)

  5. Lucy

    I don’t ‘do’ shrugs, personally, but I’m commenting anyway to say that I have serious t-shirt dress envy every time I see that one of yours.

    And you do ‘do’ shrugs, and it looks pretty damn cute!

  6. It’s so cute! And I’m so impressed with even only your attempt to grade all this and make printable pdf files etc. I shudder at the thought of that. But it looks great. And I am definitely going to try to make this shrug. I’ll let you know when I did!

  7. Fantastic, thanks! I might try this for summer. Love your latest version! :-)

  8. Kat

    You’re a star – thanks so much for grading this up! This will be the perfect thing to take on my summer holiday – takes up no space in the suitcase ;-)

  9. Ann

    LOVELY! I might have to find a knit-fabric so I squeese my boobs into a large. It’s such a cute shrug!

  10. Thank you so much for sharing the graded pattern!!! :) I am definitely adding this to my sewing list, especially since I need practice sewing knits. I’m tackling a tshirt this weekend (fingers crossed!), but have been eying some shrug-like garments to add to my closet. Can’t wait to try this!

    • So far I find sweater-knits fairly well behaved… I keep trying to make tops with wriggly slinky knits, though, and fighting the temptation to put my head through the wall. Good luck with your T-shirt!

  11. Ahhh, thanks sooo much for your hard work hun :)! Saves me having to grade-up the original version of your shrug that I downloaded ;)

  12. Thanks so much! This is definitely getting added to my LOOOOOOONG to do list. As you know living in a cold place requires a lot of pieces like this that can be worn in the cold morning and evenings but taken off during the day. Living in Montana has made me an excellent layerer.

    • Yup! Between chilly mornings and air-conditioned interiors, I find I need sweaters just as much in the summer as the winter. So much better if they can be cute sweaters!

  13. Now I want to run out and buy some sweater knit (OUT OF SEASON ANYONE?) and try this. It may be 90+ (f) outside but its freezing in the office. >.<

    • That means it should be on sale, right? :D … my workplace is similar. A couple of days earlier this spring I forgot to bring a sweater and wound up wearing my coat indoors most of the day.

      My winter coat.

  14. YAY!! This is fabulous! I’ve definitely got this in my sewing line-up!!

  15. Nice shrug and thanks for sharing the pattern! One can never have enough shrugs.

  16. Just printed this out, I have fabric sitting around for a knit shrug.

    I really like the font you used, especially in the numbers.

    • Thanks! It’s the same as my banner at the top of the page… I thought I would try to be consistent. Might as well have an attractive pattern to look at, right? :D

  17. I might have to try this out. I had a RTW shrug that, even though I loved the golden-rusty-copper colour, and the chenille knit, the size was just a bit too big, so it always seemed too ‘sloppy’. (So it went in a donation to Value Village.) But now I seem to need some more light-weight cover-ups, since it isn’t quite summer (barely spring) yet. I will have to go looking for some suitable knit!.

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  23. Finally printed this pattern. Hope to try it this weekend!

  24. Ali

    Just wanted to say that I’ve (mostly) made this up tonight in the large size. I used a wool jersey and it was also the A4 pattern. I’ve got a 43″ bust and a 39″ high bust and the large would be fine for me. I’d say the sleeves would be a tad long (I only had 112cm wide fabric so I just cut to the edge of my fabric. With the bands on it’s bracelet length.

    Once I’d put the sleeve bands on and sewn up the sleeves I tried it on and it definitely would have worked fine for me.

    At that point I started hacking in to things (I decided I wanted a more open shrug) so I’ve started deviating now… I’ve left it to sit overnight before I hack anymore off it.

    Anyway just wanted to post to give feedback on this awesome pattern! Thank you soooo much for making it tanit-isis!!

  25. Hi
    I found your shrug pattern from a link on another site when looking for something to make to use up stash for Pattern Review. Then, I found out you were a member!
    Anyway, I made the large in a stretch velvet and have reviewed it.
    http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/readreview.pl?readreview=1&ID=71279
    I actually liked the sleeves longer as I made it for a Christmas do and it will be warmer. The basic thing I will probably do to the pattern for the large is to split it parallel to the fold (draw a line between the corners of the small size) and open it up about 5cm. Then redraw the lines. This will give 10cm more overall and will come round my bosom better. At present, it sort of hits where a shoulder princess style line would go. I realise that will make the sleeves even longer, so I will cut the sleeve length on the medium size.

    Anyway, thanks for the pattern! It is great. I have been looking for something slightly smarter than cardigans for teaching in! I will probably make several in other knits… Which is saying something, because I generally steer right clear of knits!
    Sandy in the UK

  26. Wow! I Love your 50s Shrug Pattern! I will make one – it is one of must garments in the wardrobe :-)

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