Gertie's New Fashion Sketchbook by Gretchen Hirsch, illustrated by Sun Young Park, pub. STC Craft, 2015.
This sketchbook's subtitle is "Indispensible Figure Templates for Body-Positive Design." In other words, if you want to create clothing that looks good on different body types, you can't do without this book.
Gertie supplied the inspiration for this book, nine pages of introductory material, and a band of designer and sewing friends to try out Sun's drawings.
These drawings are made up of several lines "nested" like the different sizes in sewing patterns. They are very pale so you can choose the size you want, trace just those lines, and when you photocopy the sketch the other lines will disappear!
For instance, I have slender shoulders and generous hips. I can trace the narrowest lines on top and the broader ones at the hips. The only direction these croquis aren't customizable is height.
Sun provided several poses, including two of my most wanted: rear view, and arm extended. Though no size is quite as large as the "plus-size" figure I usually use, the proportions are the main focus of this book.
Of the introductory material, I especially enjoyed the "Styles That Have Endured" section which lists design components and sample ways to combine them. But the "Sketching Pointers" were useless to me. Terms like "softer edges" don't translate to my pencil. Luckily, the "Recommended Reading and Research" section had a couple promising books listed.
I highly recommend this book for professional and amateur designers who aren't comfortable drawing their own models.
Disclosure: The publisher sent Kangath a review copy of this book. Kangath was not otherwise compensated for the preceding review. All opinions expressed in Kangath's reviews are her own.
I've been busy updating my website's look. Hope you like it!
Next up: reorganizing the book reviews page.
Coming soon: new designs, including this fetching ruffle scarf in Malabrigo Sock.
One of my recent designs is for a stole made up of lace blocks which use a variety of techniques. I use this cast on to make one of the centers. It is a simple way to start a circular project from the center out.
1. Make a loop with the yarn with the working yarn on top of the yarn tail. Hold the needle in your other hand. The yarn tail should trail off toward the hand holding the needle.
2. Insert the needle through the loop from front to back.
3. Catch a strand of the working yarn and knit up one stitch.
4. Yarn over.
5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 until you have the desired number of stitches, ending with Step 3 for an odd number.
If desired, wrap the yarn tail around the loop and knit through the tail and the loop, as shown above. This provides a firmer circle with less tail to weave in. You can pull on the tail after a few rounds to close the center as much or as little as you like. Keep your fingers in the center to keep the hole open.
For a center that results in a very large hole, stay tuned for the Chain Beginning (in a future post).
Hi! I'm Kangath---
knit designer, musician, writer, and mother
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