Workin’ With What I’ve Got..

I dont have any of the fancy yarns I spoke about earlier, as I never got around to actually ordering them, but thats alright because good old boring fibres will be just as good.

A few days ago I designed by knit ‘collection’, I ended up taking a massive step away from cactus and just went with Mexico, because all the things i thought of for cacti were very kitschy, which really isnt my design aesthetic at all. I feel like I have designed a collection true to my tastes with a good dose of conceptual references, however I wouldnt say it was my strongest set of designs ever. For some reason I really struggled with knitwear, I kept feeling trapped within the confines of knitted jumpers and jersey t-shirts, even though I know the design parameters stretch out much further beyond those two categories.

I guess its just kind of because I hate jersey garments, they seem to catch and cling to every lump and bump on the female body - good and bad; and I dont really wear too many knitted garments because I hate anything that makes me look chunky. It is often my goal to design things that flatter and slim the body, and from a commercial perspective, I dont know why consumers would want to buy anything that makes them look large.

I just kept getting hung up on the practical side of design, I would look at all these pictures on the internet of chunky knitted skirts and gathered yarn ¬†dresses and all I could think was ‘yeah thats creative, but it would make me and most of the population look like a michelin man, and all those gathers of yarn , even if it did look good would catch on everything you walked past, and what if a gust of wind came? you’d be picking dead leaves out of the strands for the next ten years aka you’d look like the bottom side of the woollen picnic blanket at the end of the day.

I really did try to break away though and design something new, and I decided I’d use a silk jersey rather than a cotton jersey as it has a beautiful drape and is a little less catchy than the cotton alternative. I looked to a bit of Madame Gres for the extreme gathering details and designed off a few of a little things i noticed in imagery from Mexico and a couple of the bigger things.

Key elements were:

  • Blue Corn
  • Red Chilis
  • Peeling paint
  • Frida Kahlo {I love how she wears bougainvillaea in her hair)
  • Virgin Mary shrines/statues
  • Blue Agave ~~ Tequila
  • Embroidery

I really wish I could have included something about the cacti, and Dia De Los Muertos but by the time I picked out my favourite designs I already had six and decided it was time to move on to the next task and not waste time trying to think of new ideas for an imaginary collection. My key colours ended up being chili red, white, blue corn navy, teal and rose pink - really bizarre for me as I dont really like red or rose pink…. or alot of colour at all really….

I also used some 100% bamboo 4ply yarn for my knitting samples and some really thick wool in a few different stitches, just to add some interest to my swatch library .

Will post final illustrations soon :)

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KAW Panthera Noir Bralette Bikini COMPLETE!

I am so unbelievably proud of this top. 

I ACTUALLY FINISHED IT AND ITS ACTUALLY WEARABLE, I really was doubting my abilities in making this, and yeah there are a thousand imperfections, but overall it looks good and I am so happy with it!

I taught myself to cover the cups evenly and perfectly, I managed to match them, I taught myself to sew the cups in perfectly with no stretching or gathering, I learnt to use hook and eye tape (thank you Kiara!!!!!!), I truly conquered the zig zagger on this, and I even lined it too!!!

My biggest challenge though was the underwire, and the underwire casing, and the stupid topstitching around the cup. I hadn’t ever practised these and they were really giving me alot of stress, but luckily I started doing these early (aka not the night before its due) so I had enough time to go slowly, I’m not going to say its perfect -but its done to the best of my abilities and I am proud of that.

SEWING MILESTONE!!!

now its time for the skirt today - feeling a little nervous!

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