Monday, November 15, 2010

Giveaway! Plus-Size Fashions

I have a special treat today!  I'm so excited to be the kick off stop on the Blog book tour for Jill Hanratty's new book: Plus Size Fashions.  They are all CROCHET! and they are all WEARABLE! You're going to love them. You'll know Jill's name from frequent appearances in Crochet! and Interweave Crochet magazine.  Jill also has other books out with Annie's Attic that you may also enjoy, but today we are talking about this one:

Each day this week, Jill will be stopping by blogs answering questions about each of the designs in the book.  Today we will be talking about the yellow design and.... We'll be giving away a book!  Be sure to stop at all the other blog tour stops each day this week for more information and possibly, don't quote me on this... more opportunities to win a copy.
Here's Jill! Love the top, Jill.

In Plus-Size Fashions, there are 5 classic shaped garments in sizes from 1x to 6x.
They have simple modern styling that can be dressed up or down. The designs have clean modern lines, great wardrobe building projects that can be worn for casual or business. Classic styling that you can add your own accessory flair.  Careful consideration to proportion and comfort.  Great design details take the designs from simple to clever. 

Jill, I seem to remember you have some formal Fashion Design coursework, would you please tell us about it and how you think it relates to your crochet design work?
About 15 years ago, I learned that a fashion design school had opened within walking distance of my day job (in Newark, NJ).  I had been sewing clothes for myself and others for years and was happy to have an opportunity to learn to make patterns instead of altering commercial sewing patterns.  With the exception of sewing courses, I took the full curriculum.  This included several courses in patternmaking, as well as courses in grading, sketching and draping.
The patternmaking and grading courses have been the most relative to crochet.  One valuable lesson I learned was to “eyeball” a graded pattern.  An incongruity that may not show itself in small sizes can grow into a big problem as the pattern is graded up in size!
Where did you get your great buttons throughout the book?  Do you choose buttons before, during or after designing the garment?
I decide on the size of button to best suit the garment during the design process and then set about trying to find just the right match for color and size.  (The buttons on the Swinging Pearl Jacket are perfect, aren’t they?)  Although I have a sizable button collection (yarn stash; fabric stash; button stash—it never ends!), I use buttons which can be found at fabric/craft stores.  The button selection at these stores can be mind-blowing—more so if the store includes fashion fabrics in its offerings.
The yarn used (Lion Brand Cotton-Ease) is one of my favorite cottons because it comes in so many pretty colors, but many of the other garments are made with Bamboo or Bamboo blends.  Why did you choose cotton and how will that change the garments wear-ability from the Bamboo?
In addition to the great color selection, I like the texture of the LB Cotton-Ease and thought it was both soft and stable enough to show off the stitch pattern without stretching out of shape.  I envision wearing the Soft V-Neck Pullover almost year-round with different layers beneath it to suit the weather.  Cotton and cotton blends always appeal to me because they transcend seasons and require less care than other fibers.  The bamboo blends I used in the other designs call for hand-washing, whereas the pullover can be machine washed and dried.  That will make it easier to wear it all of the time!
While you live in New Jersey, I know you often get into “the City”, New York City.  What inspiration do you absorb from the city and the people of New York City.
LOL—you may consider New York a source of inspiration, but I generally look at it as one big shopping trip!  The yarn shops in New York City are great and they are always inspirational!  (I love the new annual tradition of the NYC Yarn Crawl begun last year!)  I have occasionally gone bead shopping with a jewelry-making friend, and the colors of the beads always have an influence on me.  One of the most striking features of the city is the different atmospheres you encounter in different areas—different styles of dress stand out depending on where in the city you are, and that of course makes an impact on my designs.
One of the reasons why the designs look so modern is the lack of heavy button bands and edgings.  Was this a conscious decision to balance with the proportion of the larger sizes?
I rarely use a separate button band.  While I like to sew when I am sewing, I am not so keen on sewing more than necessary when I crochet!  I prefer simple edgings and like to incorporate buttonholes right into the body of the regular stitch pattern.  This eliminates the possibility of the body of the garment stretching while the button band remains intact, or vice versa.  I doubt I would have chosen a different method regardless of size!

Thanks Jill!

Now, if you want to win the copy I am giving away... you need to leave a comment on THIS post by Tuesday, Nov 16 at 11:00pm Eastern time.  You must include your first name, last initial, and city of where you are from.  You must be a US or Canadian resident.  I'll randomly pull the winner from the comments and post the winner on Wednesday. The winner will need to email me with your mailing address by Friday the 19th.

IF YOU CAN'T WAIT to see if you might win the book... you can buy it NOW, either as a hardcopy or an instant electronic download for $9.95 at this link to Annie's Attic.

Here are the links for the rest of the tour stops this week:
Day 2 (Nov 16): Rhonda Davis --
Day 3 (Nov 17): Shannon Mullet-Bowlsby --
Day 4 (Nov 18): Jennifer Cirka --
Day 5 (Nov 19): Lisa Gentry --


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your wonderful giveaway! It's hard to find plus size patterns and it would be great to make something for my mother-n-law! :)

Ashley said...

Ashley C. from Jacksonville, FL

I am a plus size woman and would love to try out the patterns in this book!

Thanks for the giveaway :)

Anonymous said...

Tez K. Red Deer, Canada

ArnettaJ said...

I think the designs are great. Can't wait to start on one.

ArnettaJ said...

I'll have to look around for cool buttons. I've seen the book on Annie's Attic and I love it. Can't wait to get my hands on it.

Arnetta J. Baltimore MD

Anonymous said...

Great post! Thanks so much!
Emily H.--Roanoke, VA

Diane629 said...

Love the blog, I follow it faithfully! I love this book and the fact she is thinking about making beautiful things for women of larger size.

Diane R

Anonymous said...

interesting information. this may be one of those "must have" additions to my ever-increasing pattern stash -- that I SWORE to NOT add to!!

Debi P.; Springfield, OR

Anonymous said...

What fantastic fashions! This book is on my wish list.
Thanks so much for sharing!
Ida M

Kate said...

I saw this book over at Annie's Attic and fell in love . . . it would be awesome to win a free copy!
Thanks for hosting the giveaway and for the first part of the interview with Jill!
Kate E.
Edmonton, Alberta Canada said...

Would LOVE to win this book! I want to make myself something for a change, and need plus size patterns!

Anita A., Sheffield Lake, OH

pam said...

Sounds interesting. I love the top she is wearing. Is it included in the book?

crazymotheringchick said...

Oh, please enter me in the drawing for the giveaway! I have been hungrily eyeing this book for a while now!

Julie B.
Austin, Texas

fracksmom said...

Wow, i am a plus sized woman, and have a hard time getting a lot of patterns to fit. I love the fact they are made to wash and wear.

Thanks for the giveaway :D

Marolee Whittier, CA



Jackie H. said...

These patterns look wonderful. I have two plus size sisters and it is very hard to find patterns to make things for them. I have waited a long time to find something like this one. Really looking forward to making some of them. Wonderful!

Natalie said...

I would love to try this book. Most wearable designs are just too small for me :( Thanks for the giveaway!
Natalie L. Centerville, OH

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I'm heading over to take a look at the book right now.

Valerie R. New Albany, IN

h00ker said...

This book went on my wish list when I first saw it.

Margo W. Detroit, MI

Anonymous said...

This is definitely going to be one of those books I'll need to add to my crochet library. Would love to win one! :)

Anne C. Medford, OR USA

nibor317 said...

Robin B. from Layton, Utah

Would love to make the green button up jacket.
The giveaway is so kind.
Thanks so much

7XBLESSED said...

I love to crochet and was sooooooo excited to see a pattern book that was for Plus Size! Finally! This Thursday, I plan on celebrating my 40th birthday with a tiara on my head and shopping at my favorite yarn store!

Anonymous said...

Being plus sized this books really appeals to mw!

Judy M

Roberta said...

I am an avid follower of Jill Hanratty. She is one of my favorite designers and is truly talented. Keep those wonderful patterns coming Ms. Hanratty!

Roberta B.
Belleville, NJ

Dragonflymom said...

Aurora S. in Wichita

I appreciate you doing this.

Sandy said...

Oh, I need this book! I love to crochet, and would love patterns that actually fit ME!

JillH said...

Thanks Ellen for your kind words and for launching me on the blog tour! My top in the photo is thus far unpublished, but the yarn is Claudia Handpainted Linen in Purple Earth--it is one of the most beautiful yarns I have ever seen and the picture doesn't really do it justice!

I am so happy to read all of the the comments about the plus size designs! Thank you all!

Arnetta--if you have a Joann Fabric near you, check them out. The one in my area has a HUGE selection! (or check them out online)

Jill Hanratty

lindaveril said...

Linda T, from Torquay England.
Love the book. So few plus size patterns in crochet. Already boought the pdf download. Thanks :)

dottykatz said...

Modern plus size crochet patterns, what's not to love? I would love to try some of these patterns. Thanks for having a give away and the great input from Jill.

Anonymous said...

The patterns look fairly nice; hopefully they have some shaping to them and are not just "boxy" because we plus sizes do not need to wear squares! Remember: "I am in shape... round is a shape." Donna C.

Anonymous said...

Marlene A. from Sheridan, MI

I love the book! I would love to win this book. It is nice to see some really nice patterns out for plus size women.

bargainsticher said...

Think I might be trying one of these. I must admit I am terrified of making clothing garments for myself as I'm a plus size that really looks for clothing that flatter and the tan colored jacket seems to be just the project. I am curious to see how the jacket increases and decreases as I find flattering plus size tops are ones that hug you in the right places but allow enough slack in the areas you don't want to hug!

Barbara said...

Please enter me in your fantastic giveaway!! I love these patterns. They really have a lot of class.

Hugs XX
Barbara said...

Hi Jill,
Love your sweater over the blouse/top. Would love that challenge of making it. Looking forward to seeing alot more from your book. Thank you for allowing me to view this now.

Anonymous said...

I am also a plus size woman. The first project I make after Christmas will be for me.

Gwen H. Green Bay, WI

Anna Bananas said...

wooohoo! I'd love to add this book to my library! Anna H from Lebanon, OH :-)

Jus Shar Designs said...

As a "fluffy" gal myself, I would like to crochet something up for myself that fits AND is flattering. Hard to find....

Beth H
Normal, IL

Stitch 'n Frog said...

What a wonderful book! There are so many great designs for the thinner people, but not so much for those not so thin.

My daughter and I are in the latter group, and this book would be a marvelous addition to our pattern library!

Thank you for having this giveaway, and while I am not normally selfish, this time I hope that we win! I was gifted with some lovely yarns for my 33 wedding anniversary and would love to be able to use your patterns with the yarns!

Rebecca said...

Now these are patterns for clothes that I would really wear!

Rebecca P from Las Vegas, NV

Anonymous said...

This book looks great!
Kristy R. Medical Lake, WA

Kathy S. said...

I'm so excited about this book! It is so hard to find patterns for plus size in crochet. Thanks for the giveaway. Hopefully I'll win, but either way I'll be having these designs.

Helen said...

Helen S
Hartford City, In

I too am a plus size woman and I'm SO excited about this book as plus sizes are so difficult to find! Thanks!

ladyrazorsharp said...

Cool! Patterns that fit us 'curvy girls' and have style as well! Keep it up! =)

Melissa C. from Santa Maria, CA

angela said...

Thanks for the blog tour stop! I would love an opportunity to win & if not I'm sure I will be buying soon.

Crocheter0909 said...

Thank you for this beautiful sweater pattern - I just LOVE it. I hope to have this made by the New Year!
Thank you for the give-away!
Marilyn L., Galena, OH

LoveCrafting said...

Sounds like some great patterns. I'd really like to try a sweater!
Betsy P. In Mill Creek, WA.