WIPs 'N Chains

Kim Guzman, Crochet and Knit Design

Garments: Designing vs. Pattern Writing

2 Comments

So, you’ve decided to stitch up your own garment. That’s terrific! I know you will do well!

As you’re stitching up that garment from a pattern, you may discover little things along the way that may make you scratch your head. Things like “Now, why did the designer do that when *this* is so much easier?” may crop up in your mind.

The first thing you need to remember is that a pattern isn’t a bible. It’s really just a guide. You can tweak it along the way to suit your own needs and desires.

The next thing you need to realize is that there is a big difference between a designer and a pattern writer.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I feel like most crocheters are indeed designers, even if it’s just a tweak of a pattern and even if you have no intention of writing the pattern.

It’s not the same as coming up with a design for publication, of course. Those need to be original designs, not altered designs. But, you *are* altering patterns to suit your needs. Even changing a bow to a flower is a design element that you make on your own.

How many times do you start off making something and then change it along the way to suit your needs?

Even a simple hat. It doesn’t meet gauge so you don’t take it out, you continue increasing until you get what you want. Yes, I see you, my crocheting friends. I know what you’re doing. :-)

It’s really no different with a garment. You may decide you want a few more rows. You may decide you would like to do increases in a different way. You may discover that you need a lot more width really fast because you thought you were on gauge, but you’re not. These are all things you can do to tweak a garment while stitching.

But, let’s get to the title of this post:

“Designing vs. Pattern Writing”

So, let’s just say that you get to a point in the pattern and you can’t for the life of you figure out why the designer did something a certain way. And, I’ll tell you. I’ll bet the “designer” part of the project thought the very same thing. But, once the “pattern writer” got finished talking, it had to be done a different way.

You see, designers and pattern writers live in the same brain. Designing comes so easy to me. I would love to design all the time without a care in the world about a pattern. I would love to have the uplifting freedom it would give to me if I didn’t have to write a pattern. I know it’s only in my dreams, but a book of one-of-a-kind crochet garments from the designers of the crochet world would be a truly extraordinary thing to behold if they could just design and stitch away, without worry about the pattern writing later down the road.

But, alas, I have to keep my feet on the ground. No freedom of design for me. While designing, I can’t do the stuff of dreams. I have to do the stuff that will actually work in writing and will actually make a pretty, concise pattern that will accommodate six sizes.

I can’t have a pattern that requires a separate written pattern for each size bodice. I’ve done it before and I can tell you that publishers would certainly frown upon me. I had to self-publish that one.

So, you see, you may indeed find a different way of doing things from the pattern. And, the designer may have seen that as well, but couldn’t implement it. But, that certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t implement it! Don’t hesitate to use that freedom and make your garment the best it can be!

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Author: crochetkim

Artist: Crochet and Knit Pattern Designer

2 thoughts on “Garments: Designing vs. Pattern Writing

  1. What a perceptive and informative post Kim! Only your years of experience as a designer make it possible for you to pass on such useful information. Each post that you write about your designing adventures is a treat! This is information that the avereage crocheter never hears from any other source.

  2. It’s nice to know that we live in a time where designers can openly express their thoughts.

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