I had pondering working on some more pared down designs for a while. When I found out that Twist was being “re-launched” I thought that it was a perfect time to explore some of my own new avenues.
Rather than throwing the “baby-out-with-the-bathwater” I took the approach of drawing on my earlier work, but giving it a new “twist” (ha). The idea of the shaping within cable patterning was something that I had wanted to explore further since researching the “Shape Up” article for the Spring 2016 issue.
Streamlining the silhouette shaping by incorporating it as part of the patterning, then making it the highlight of a simple, elegant garment makes perfect sense.
I often have a person or idea of someone in mind when I’m designing. In this case I was imagining somebody with effortless style, who can throw on a simple piece and make it look like a million dollars. In my mind’s eye they are probably French or akin to Grace Kelly, Kate Middleton, or similar. Of course in my fantasy world it’s what I aspire to be. Whereas in real life I am quite the opposite….more likely to be in jeans and sneakers tripping over something than gliding through the world. I was thrilled that when the issue launched Marnie MacLean described this sweater as something she saw Audrey Hepburn wearing with a pair of slim cigarette pants and ballet flats…the exact image that I had in mind.
With this archetype in mind and my thoughts on combining pattern and shaping I set about sketching. In opposition to tailored elegance a raglan sleeve says casual, loose fitting and sporty. I loved the idea of that juxtaposition. I have also been looking at ways of making a better fitting raglan – how to avoid that some times ugly bunch of fabric that happens at the armpit in regular raglan shaping. So here was my chance to combine all these ideas in one project.
For more info on sleeves in detail see my article in the Winter 2016 issue:
Scarrington came to be about the details. Understated details drawn from dressmaking or tailoring that hopefully delight once they are pointed out. Here are some of the things that I included.
- A folded hem at both hemline & cuff; keeping the simple Stockinette running right from the edges while still preventing any roll that the fabric might have.
- A simple small stand-up collar that references the hems.
- Uncomplicated stacked horseshoe cables.
- Compound shaping for the raglan sleeve;
- Beginning with armhole shaping (like for a set-in sleeve) prevents the extra bulge of fabric at the underarm. The rest of the shaping is incorporated into the cable patterning.
Cables that diminish in size as the sleeve cap narrows. This acts to give the upper part of the sleeve a cup shape that is closer to our anatomy than simply reducing the stitch count at the seams - like a darted sleeve cap. Visually this is also more pleasing, as the patterning is continuous – rather than the seams “eating” into the cables.
The name Scarrington is taken from a small village near to where I grew up. In this teeny place, outside the old forge is a huge pile of old horseshoes – 17 feet high. It is made from horseshoes discarded by the blacksmith, as horses were re-shod between 1938 and 1965. It seems an apt name for a design featuring tapering columns of horseshoe cables.
It can be seen here in these screen shots from Google Maps.