Monday, January 27, 2014

The Road to Writing Crocheting Clothes Kids Love

There are only 5 days left until the release of Crocheting Clothes Kids Love, and I was thinking that it might be interesting to share my background with designing for children, and why I felt that this book was a fantastic opportunity for me!

I was so excited from the first moment that Creative Publishing approached me about writing this book. Besides having a 7 year old daughter who serves as a wonderful inspiration for the 6-12 year old age range that this book is written for, I have actually been designing for children for over 20 years. I became interested in designing for children when I was studying fashion design in college in London. The head of the design department recommended to me that I take a childrenswear course because my womenswear designs often included whimsical details. I am glad that I took her advice, because I really enjoyed the course, and my final project was sent to Italy to be exhibited at Pitti Immagine Bimbo as a finalist in their international young designers competition.
My First Childrenswear Pieces, Exhibited at Pitti Immagine Bimbo
Since my first foray into designing childrenswear went so well, I chose to design my graduation collection for kids aged 9-12. It was a niche market, and I was the first student to design a collection for this age range.
Storyboard from My Graduation Collection
A Mini Collection I Designed, Inspired by a Vintage Fairy Embroidery Transfer
That was just the beginning of my love for childrenswear. I graduated from college, moved back to the US, and got a job working for an embroidery design firm. Some of my favorite clients were childrenswear companies, such as Garan (remember mix and match Garanimals clothing?), and Judy Lynn Children’s Clothing, whom I continued to design appliques for after I moved to Kuwait. I also entered design contests in the embroidery industry, and I won 2 years in a row in the children’s category. 

Circus Dress from Stitches Magazine Contest, Designed, Digitized and Made by Me

Cuckoo Clock Dress, Designed, Digitized, and Made by Me
In 2010, I won the grand prize in the Crochet Guild of America’s annual design contest with my Kyoto Coat. It was the first time a Children’s garment won the prize!

Kyoto Coat

The most popular project I have ever designed for Interweave Crochet was a children's pattern: the Piper's Chain Scarf

I am thrilled to have achieved my goal of writing a book about a subject that I love, with co-author Ellen Gormely. A partner that couldn't be beat! As a team, we worked hard to design a collection of 28 garments and accessories that I hope will appeal to wide audience. I can’t wait to share more about the projects in our book with you, as well as other ways you can use the patterns in the book. Stay tuned!

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