Book Review: Knit to Flatter

I’ve been a big fan of Amy Herzog‘s mission for a long time.   Her original Fit to Flatter series (now retired) were a great hit and her Ravelry group is always a source of inspiration for well-fitting garments that make you look and feel great.

The details:

Knit to Flatter by Amy Herzog.  $24.95 US (currently $15.92 on Amazon)

159 pages, 22 designs, countless lessons

Review copy provided by STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books

The book is divided into chapters

  • Discovering Your Body Type
  • Top-Heavy Shapes
  • Bottom-Heavy Shapes
  • Proportional Shapes
  • Other Figure Features
  • Modifications

Before I get into the details of the book, let’s talk for a minute about why this book is for you.

If you’re a knitter, you’ll learn how to choose the right patterns and make modifications so you look your best.

If you sew your own clothes the lessons will be a great help too – selecting patterns and modifying fit.

If you buy off-the-rack clothing, this book will help you make the better choices when buying clothing.

In other words – everyone needs this book.  I know that’s a pretty bold statement but just read on.

In Discovering Your Body Type, Amy teaches us how to determine which of the three main body types we have.

She teaches us that size doesn’t affect your body type.  You can be thin and still be bottom-heavy, or be a proportional plus size.

Amy vigilantly believes that all body types and shapes are beautiful and that clothing matters.  A lot.  It affects how we feel – we all have that outfit that just makes us want to sing.  And it affects how people see us – pulled together and polished, or poorly-fitted and passe.

In the next three sections, Amy outlines what styles work well for each body shape – necklines, sleeve lengths and shapes, body lengths and silhouettes.  She also points out styles that are less-ideal.  For example, long bell sleeves aren’t a great choice for bottom heavy shapes – it plays up the area you’re trying to minimize – and drop shoulders or raglans aren’t as flattering for top-heavy shapes – you need more fit there.

In addition to offering a set of designs for each body type, Amy points out how you could make it work for other types.  If you fall in love with a design in one of the other chapters, she gives you pointers on how to make it work for you.  Good for all of us since there are a lot of great designs in this book.

The book layers the lessons for us – making sure we both read what she’s saying and know how to extend it for use in real life.  She explains the principles first, then she presents a set of designs for each body type, and then she points out ways to modify a design to better suit one of the other body types.  She really gives us what we need.

Let’s look at the designs

Top-Heavy Designs

Knit to Flatter - Top Heavy Designs

Bottom-Heavy Designs

Knit to Flatter - Bottom Heavy Designs

Proportional Designs
Knit to Flatter - Proportional Designs

I was happy to see that one of my favorite silhouettes appeared in my body type – the Holloway Pullover.  Now I know why I love that style and feel so great when wearing it.  And even though I’m proportionally-sized, I’d love to wear Eloria modified with a Deep V-neck or Andie’s cardi with a longer body.  It’s funny – I’ve always preferred longer lengths but never knew why.  I learned that proportional bodies look better when the bodice ends at the widest part of the hip.

The last design chapter – Other Figure Features – talk about larger busts, smaller busts, long and short torsos and very curvy waists.  I read the whole chapter because it helped solidify the lessons I learned in the other chapters.

Oh, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Dorica hoodie.

Knit to Flatter - Other Figure Features

In the final chapter – Modifications – we learn about how to make simple and more complex mods

  • waist shaping
  • body length
  • sleeve length
  • neck depth/shape
  • neck width
  • bust shaping
  • bicep circumference
  • sleeve cap/armhole

There are illustrations to show each mod, and Amy walks us through accomplishing it on a simple garment.

In bust shaping, Amy presents both vertical and horizontal bust darts and explains when to use each type.  She even talks about how the same vertical darts can be used for tummy shaping too.

Lots of things to love about this book – the lessons, the designs, the mods.  This is a timeless book that I’ll keep handy on my bookshelf.

Perception and self-confidence – all of this from a knitting book.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Knit to Flatter

  1. Right on, Jody! As soon as I heard about Amy’s book I preordered it and waited and waited; it was worth the wait. She’s that girlfriend you want to take with you when you’re shopping because she’ll tell you you look magnificent when you do and make you try on something unexpected that will be just the thing. I love how positively and clearly she explains how beautiful we all can be in our hand knits!

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