Knitting Lingerie Style: More Than 30 Basic and Lingerie-inspired Designs
by Joan McGowan-Michael
Joan McGowan-Michael came of age in the seventies, an era when underthings were basic and functional. Still, she was always drawn to the intriguing lingerie of her mother and grandmother. After finishing design school, she went to work as a designer for a major lingerie retailer, just in time for the resurgence of feminine lingerie.
Lingerie is no longer relegated to the role of shaping women’s bodies and keeping us warm. It has taken center stage, inspiring designs and becoming outwear. In 2001, McGowan-Michael founded White Lies Designs and has since been designing knitted lingerie and lingerie-inspired designs for all the major knitting publications.
In Knitting Lingerie Style: more than 30 basic and lingerie-inspired designs, McGowan-Michael examines the five staple undergarments of a woman’s wardrobe the bra, slip, corset, camisole and stocking, and reviews the construction and history of each. She then provides a pattern for the basic garment, followed by designs that use the basic garment as a jumping-off point. The bra inspires the twinset, the slip a party dress and the camisole is reincarnated as a lacy bodice.
The patterns found in Knitting Lingerie Style invite knitters to become adventurous. These patterns require knitting experience and, because most are quite fitted, require an honest assessment of one’s body. Sizing for her garments ranges from finished chest measurements of 28 to 57 with the majority falling in the 31 to 46 range, with very minimal ease.
McGowan-Michael guides knitters step-by-step through the process of creating a knitted bra or corset and provides helpful illustrations. Her background in lingerie design is very evident in the construction of the garments she designs and in the fashioning details she includes such as interfacing in her bra and offering alternate cup construction in the Citrus Sun Top since a bra can’t be worn under it.
Even if knitters never knit lingerie in Knitting Lingerie Style, McGowan-Michael’s useful information will help them look at lingerie in a new way, leaving them with a better understanding of fit and styles that are figure-flattering for women.