Sunday, 10 January 2016

I've been away for a while...

2014 and 2015 were pretty horrible years for me. Lots of reasons, but mainly because I live far away from my family and my father was ill, so I spent quite a bit of time travelling to the other side of the world to help out. For this reason, my blogging post had to take a back seat for quite a while, but, hopefully the start of 2016 will bring a renewed vigour and I will get my life back on track.

Not all was bad, though. In 2014, I bought a lovely wide format printer, and I have been plugging away at Illustrator and have produced a small range of patterns for knit fabrics. I've been selling them at our local knitting mill factory shop, and at craft fairs.

 I am tired of looking at garments which are mass produced, and are just tight tubes of knit fabric, which in my opinion, make you look like coloured sausages.

"Coloured sausages?" I hear you say.... Well, this is what I think about knits, and how they make you feel.

As I am now on the second half of my 6th decade, my body has changed quite a lot from when I was younger. There are deposits of cuddly bits in places I wish there weren't. I know this is natural, as much as I want them to go away, I have a feeling they are going to be around a long time!

Knit fabrics are so comfortable, they stretch and cover the body. Often, they feel just like a second skin. Woven fabrics never feel that way. If a woven garment is tight, you will know it for sure. A knit fabric will probably just stretch a bit more over the tight bits and you just don't notice the pounds packing on. Have a look in the mirror at your back view. You cant feel the tightness of the Knit top, but in the mirror, if you have a bit of excess cuddly stuff above your bra, it will show. And so will the other slightly wobbly bits! I do wonder whether the T shirt revolution is responsible for the obesity problem in the world.

However, knits are my fabric of choice, I don't think a day goes by without me putting on at least one knitted garment, be it a shirt or skirt, or both. I just love feeling comfortable in what I wear, so I wanted to take my pattern experience into a new area.

For a while I was doing some work with a 3d program, Optitex. You make up a pattern and then digitally sew it together and fit it onto an avatar. At the time, I did not know how to adjust the fabric qualities on the program, and so the patterns I produced fitted the model beautifully, draping over the body, rather than hugging the torso tightly. I printed off the pattern, measured myself, and cut a basic T shirt out. Sewed it up, and popped it on. The resulting garment was fitting, but not in any way tight. It covered my belly and swept over my hips, and I was, after accepting the fact it didn't fit as tightly as I was used to, that it did actually look a lot nicer than a normal T shirt!

I was hooked. Out went all the square, short tops in my wardrobe. I am now making myself new garments, longer than before, with lovely curvy sides. They feel lovely, and I think I look lovely in them too.

I have taken this basic shape and made a collection of garments for both Apple shaped people, like me, and Pear shaped people.  Apples and Pears was born, and I hope it will grow in the coming year.