Wednesday, October 07, 2009

She doesn't just knit...

...she also sews!

We're talking about Wenlan Chia - this should come as no surprise to those of you who are more on top of such things - Wenlan's Twinkle line has been in existance since 2000, and includes yarn & knitting designs, home furnishings, jewelery and a ready-to-wear collection.

This new Twinkle book, Twinkle Sews, includes 25 patterns for you to bring some of Wenlan's whimsical style into your own wardrobe. Sizing ranges from 0 to 16, with the patterns being provided by way of a CD. They print out on regular-sized letter paper, with instructions on how to assemble them to get you going on your way.

Since everyone's sizing is a little different, sizes start with 32" bust, 26" waist and 35" hip (size 0) and go up to 40" bust, 34" waist and 43" hip (size 16). If you know about pattern construction and apparel, you may be able to easily adjust the patterns accordingly to best fit your body.

Before I get too far, I should say that I haven't sewn a piece of clothing for myself in ages - mended, yes. Altered, yes, but usually by hand - sewn from a pattern to fit my body? Definitely ages ago...and with the assistance of my mother.

After a brief introduction, the book opens with a basic techniques section. This includes information on how to use the patterns (including the legend for notations on the patterns), sizing, seaming and stitching, shaping, linings, closures (zippers and buttons), finishing (bias tape, hems), and a host of other things. If you are completely new to sewing, I would recommend an introductory sewing class or book before plunging into the projects in this book.

After the Techniques section, the projects begin with a chapter on skirts. The patterns include A-lined, gored and straight skirts - with the simplest pattern at the beginning, moving to more complicated patterns as you progress through the chapter. Photos of each pattern are featured in the beginning of each chapter, along with the project description, a tip and note pointing you to the page on which the instructions for the project begin. After the photos, and just before the project instructions begin, are a few technical notes to help guide you on your way to success. Each of the project instructions inclue a skill level rating, a materials list, a note to the page that the large photos are on in addition to smaller front and back shots of the finished item. Also included are small schematics of the pattern, and step-by-step instructions for assembly and project completion.

Each subsequent chapter follows the same format as the first. The 2nd chapter focuses on raglan sleeve construction (tops, and tunics), the 3rd chapter focuses on drop-shoulder construction (more tops, tunics and dresses, including the one on the cover), the 4th and final chapter focuses on spaghetti straps (summery cami's and dresses).

Overall, I think this book is put together quite nicely, and the patterns should work for various body types and ages - it's just not a book for a beginner is all :)

1 comment:

Luscious Gracious said...

OHHHH....! Lucy and I were drooling over this book in the shop the other day. I feel exactly how you do - that the designs are perfect as pieces of art and would work on various body types. We should have a sew-a-long to get back into the sewing swing of things. I think Illanna would join us!

We especially love the skirts and some of the tops. I think there's a blouse that is silk and made in beautiful! I also admire her ability to make things look so "rough", but the detailing is impeccable! Many of the designs are certainly too young for me, but you and Lulu could pull them off! Illanna too!

PS have you seen the book Reversible Knitting by Lynne Barr? Also a next-up on our wish list! More for Steve than for us, but WOW!!! And I wouldn't mind knitting up any of the patterns!