Learn How To Design Knitwear
Tuesday, March 29th, 2011 by Rhonda Bell
Late last year I took a fashion design class at the University of Washington through their Professional Development department. In the class I learned about the fashion industry and designing clothes. My focus was on designing knitwear and developing a knitwear clothing line collection. I also wanted to get a better idea about clothing construction in general to help with designing my own knitting patterns.
The first step in developing a knitted garment is coming up with the dimensions. Using graph paper is a great way to do this. I like to use the 8 squares per inch because it makes it easy to draw out half and quarter inch lengths and widths.
In the image above (click image for a larger view) I have drawn out the dimensions for a tank top I’m writing a pattern for. On the right I have used the full 8 squares for each inch and on the left I have used 4 squares for inch. I write out the actual measurements in inches for the length and width of each section. This makes it easier when I’m looking at the diagram because I don’t have to count the squares. Also, by using 4 squares per inch instead of 8 squares per inch, I can put both the front and back of the tank top on one piece of paper.
I will use these diagrams for coming up with stitch counts once I make a yarn selection and do a gauge swatch. Also, I usually trace the diagram on tracing paper and scan it so that I can make changes on my computer. I will use it for my schematic when I write up the pattern.
What tools do you use when you are designing knitwear or knitting patterns?