Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tres Chic! Vintage Patterns for Today's Knitter

Recently, I had the opportunity to review a knitting pattern book for Bramcost Publications. As you may or may not know, I've been knitting almost as long as I've been sewing and I love collecting vintage patterns for both endeavors. So, naturally, when Bramcost Publications offered the opportunity, I jumped at it!
It was fascinating to see how differently garments are put together in the 21st Century as compared to the 1930's. Today, the emphasis is on knitting in the round with minimal seaming. Also, modern knitters are accustomed to having all of the pattern changes for sizing done for them.
If you love vintage knitting patterns, then Parisian Fashion Knits is a must-have for your library. The fashions are chic and timeless, and just as stylish for today’s woman as they were for ladies of the 1930’s.
As both an historian and a fashionista, I found a lot to love about this book.  
Page One had me hooked with the deceptively simple diagonal cross rib stitch dress. My hands-down favorite is the Robin Hood inspired “Au Bois,” a gracefully flared skirt and jaunty blouse with pointed cuffs, bowed collar and matching belt. I also love the Art Deco touches using a k1, p1 rib on the front of the Colinette blouse and the architectural elements of the mock pocket flaps of the “Tres Parisian” dress. The instructions are written with the assumption that the reader has a basic understanding of knitting and garment construction.
Overall, I found the patterns straightforward and pleasantly easy to follow. The publisher graciously includes a few pullouts to help modern knitters adjust the pattern for size and fit, along with how to convert a knit pattern to crochet and vice-versa.
I look forward to finishing some of the lovely garments in the book! Look for me to model them. I'll be the one in the Robin Hood hat and chic sweater dress!

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