Guest Author - Lisa Linnell-Olsen
Melissa Leapman has written a new book to help knitters alter and design fitted and figure flattering knitwear. Knitting the Perfect Fit is a guide to creating fully-fashioned knitwear pieces. Leaoman defines fully-fashioned as using the increases and decreases for shaping into the design itself, and away from the selvedge edges where the are hidden in amateur designs.
At the beginning of the book, Leapman tells readers that using fully-fashioned shaping techniques is what separates couture and high-fashion knitwear pieces from less expensive, strictly machine knit clothing. The book quickly moves in to basic knitting techniques, and review of many of the shaping techniques that advanced beginners, intermediate, and advanced knitters are familiar with. Still, it is worthwhile to have these techniques explained again for the reader to remind themselves before moving on, or to reference when they try a new full-fashion technique.
A section is included that explains the five basic body types, and gives guidelines on how to flatter each figure type - and what each figure type should avoid in knitwear. Once these elements are identified, the reader can use the information to add shaping to existing patterns and designs. It is also useful for evaluating whether or not any article of clothing is likely to look good on a particular person. For example, someone with an inverted triangle figure (small upper body, large waist) would want to de-emphasize the waist and draw attention to their face. If you want to knit something that looks good on the wearer, this is critically important information.
Nineteen knitting patterns are included. Each of the patterns would look good on at least three of the basic body types, with many designs flattering all five figure types. The designs do incorporate the fully-fashioned shaping, in order to show how the shaping techniques work. The designs are not overly-trendy, and will likely still be considered fashionable several years from now. All of the sweater and cardigan patterns are written for a B sized bust, and there is a special chart in the book that shows how to change the bust size for larger or smaller busts. Of course, the chart information could be used in other sweater patterns. The reader will no longer have to knit shapeless boxy sweaters. With this book the reader can knit shapely sweaters for a variety of figures.
I was particularly pleased to see a fitted knit skirt pattern. It is easy to knit a skirt to the proper size, but not so easy to knit a skirt that is fitted and flatters the wearer. Leapman explains and than shows the reader how to knit such a skirt.
In addition to increasing and decreasing becoming a design element, Leapman also shows the reader how to use detailing to draw attention to flattering areas, pull attention away from less appealing areas, and create an illusion of a more perfect figure. These are great fashion stylist tricks that are incorporated right into the knitting of these garments.
If you are at least an advanced beginning knitter, and are interested in modifying or designing knitwear that closely fits and flatters the individual figure that you are knitting for, this would be a valuable contribution to your knitting library.
FTC requirements: I was provided a free review copy of this book by the publisher. All of my reviews are my honest opinion. I received no compensation from the publisher or book author for this review.