May 02, 2012

patchwork sweater - inspiration

this is the story behind the patchwork sweater.

i made this little sample what feels like ages ago now. i liked it but the technique was very time consuming and i didn't know how i could put it into production so i set it aside to think about it for awhile.

soon after i unfortunately(!) saw the jumper below from this collection by rodarte. then i really set my sample aside because to me, this looked like the perfect patchwork sweater and i knew i would end up copying it or want to make something very similar.

later in 2011, when we were in new york, i took these photos of this amazing set of furniture in abc carpet and home. the pieces were covered in this heavy duty hessian-like fabric and had all sorts of cute stitching details on them. i was so inspired by this and wanted to apply the idea to a garment.

and then over christmas when we visited my late grandmother i took these pictures in her room. on the bed you can see a silk patchwork quilt. my grandmother and her sisters used to have a lot of their clothing made for them and this quilt was constructed using silk remnants from those garments. 

i love this quilt, not only because it's handmade and so delicate, but my grandmother's apartment was quite austere and she had a very no-nonsense personality. this piece hints at a softer aspect to her that i didn't really know. i inherited this quilt and now it sits on my bed.

a bit later on in january i was starting to work on my current collection. i wasn't feeling too great - i was completely burnt out from the year before and feeling pretty sad about my grandmother passing.  to be honest, working on the collection was the last thing i wanted to do. i had to take some steps to look after myself a bit better, which included doing a detox diet, having regular acupuncture, doing heaps more exercise, starting tai chi and qi gong classes, reducing my work hours (harder than it sounds!) and accepting that i would need some regular help with the knitting. specifically in regards to the collection, i wanted to work with some uplifting colours and designs that would make me feel a bit better so then i knew it was the right time to take the patchwork sweater idea out again. this time i thought of a new way to make the patchwork effect in a slightly more productive way. and so here you can see a bunch of my samples and then of course, the result!