Book review #2
In this review, we are going to cover
Designing and Patternmaking for Stretch Fabrics
By Keith Richardson.
I have to say this book is not one of my favorites. It does have some good points among many mistakes.
The stretch terminology in this book is different from the first book we covered. In this book, he calls a fabric that only stretches from side to side a one-way stretch, a fabric that stretches across as well as up and down a two-way stretch, and a fabric that contains spandex that stretches across and up and down a four-way stretch. This is OK as long as you remember the differences.
The illustrations for the stretch ratio of the knit fabrics is pretty clear and easy to understand.
He covers different tools and ways to cut the knit fabrics as well as how to label patterns correctly.
The book also covers how to mark in different colors to be industry standard. The color-coding system he uses is different than any company I have worked with so I am not sure if this was printed incorrectly or he just has a different standard.
Beginning in chapter two he goes into a lot of spreadsheet type charts. The size charts seem pretty standard for American sizing. He also covers how to measure with good illustrations for each step.
From this point on in the book, the math is just wrong most of the time. Here is an example from a step in Chapter 3.
Front armhole + back armhole = ?
Then divide by 6 = ?
Then multiply by 5 = ?
So far so good right?!
The numerical example that follows is this:
9” + 9” = 18/6 = 5 x 5 = 15”. Hum, NO it doesn’t.
Easily changed to 9" + 9" = 18/6 = 3 x 5 = 15.
Silly errors like this are throughout the book and are extremely frustrating when you are trying to draft. Can you figure them out? Sure! But who wants to try to correct mistakes when you are already working on your own math.
The drafting section of this book is equally frustrating in that the step by step instructions do not line up with the correct illustrations.
Overall the math and charts in this book are not easy to follow many times based on mistakes within. The drafting is not easy for the same reasons. There are some solid ideas in this book and some good design ideas.
I do not recommend this book as a first knit pattern book. It might be OK as a design help and pattern inspiration but overall it has too many errors in it.
As always - Be creative and have fun with your stretch knit patterns.
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