Sometimes inspiration for a garment starts with the fabric and sometimes it begins with a design in your head. You sketch and you talk to yourself and say, "Hmm I like that one. I think I'll make it." Easy, right? Well...not quite.
In order for a design to come to life, you need the right materials. I tend to make a mental list of the qualities I'm looking for: knit fabric, interesting texture, natural fiber content, washable, etc. In the case of the Penn Cardigan, I had some pretty specific fabric in mind so I knew it was going to be an uphill battle.
Luckily, I came across some worthy contenders, and I start working on the pattern and test out the fit by sewing up a couple of muslins (test garments, usually rendered in cotton muslin, but not necessarily). Once I'm satisfied with the fit, I cut into the sample fabric (yeep!) and sew up a sample. This is the heart stopping moment of truth. Even designers have trouble fully imagining their finished piece until it all comes together. The verdict? Not quite what I was looking for, so it was back to the drawing board (literally) for me.
I start the fabric shopping process again, and this time, I come across this gorgeous Italian cotton/linen knit. It was love at first sight. Absolute perfection. The fabric spoke to me (not literally). I tweak the cardigan design again until it's the fully realized vision I was looking for. A few samples later and...
Voila! Photoshoot day! (Christmas for designers)
When can I get my hands on one you ask? We'll keep you updated, but expect delivery early 2015.