Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Spanish Inspiration

On a recent trip to Barcelona I came across a fabulous clothing company called 'Desigual' and was completely mesmerised by their style. Unfortunately, I have to put my hands-up to being less than adventurous with my own. Don't get me wrong - I love to wear something a bit different but as that type of gay guy I tend to be drawn to things that are a little too effeminate to pull off with any measure of success, especially with my burgeoning weight(been dieting for three weeks now and no better for it!). When my love affair with crafting began I was, as I think people invariably are, immediately drawn to the potential to make things for other people. One's knitting career usually commences with several scarf length pieces of sweaty, gnarled yarn complete with dropped stitches and poorly woven yarn tails, which are generously offered out as gifts before being hastily forgotten by both giver and receiver. This, for me, was a trend that continued far longer than necessary and so here I am, 2 and a half years later, and only now am I beginning to realise that I am actually allowed to make things for myself! This is what prompted me to get my act together and figure out how to use my sewing machine. I'm still in the process of doing this but I am part way through sewing a 'practice' shirt with the aid of David Page Coffin's brilliant book "Shirtmaking: Developing Skills for Fine Sewing" and a Burda mens pattern (which are very few and far between I have since discovered!). I do not have any pictures of my efforts thus far but I will be posting some soon. My intention (read 'aspiration') is to eventually sew my own casual shirts in the style of the fabulous designers at Desigual. I love the fact that those guys are not afraid of colour, nor of using wildly contrasting patterns/fabrics on the same item. Take a look at some of these beauties and tell me that you're not inspired!:

And it's not just shirts. I came across the most fantastic jacket made up of about 7 different types/colours of tweed! I know such statement pieces are not to everybody's taste, but I was delighted when I saw what could be achieved with just a little imagination. And it doesn't stop there! Ladies - feast your eyes on these:

But STOP! Before you dash off to Google and order something gorgeous for yourself, take a look at how well Desigual can manipulate denim fabrics:


I was also particularly drawn to the...err...accessories presented in this photograph.


After pondering my ability to make such garments myself, I decided to just jump in and give it a go. Hence the 'practice' shirt (constructed entirely from a particularly revolting stunning pair of rotton old vintage curtains)! As for the final product - I've just taken delivery of my first order of fabric from the lovely people at and I am very impressed with my own choices! I threw caution to the wind and selected two vibrant fabrics that I would not normally have gone for. Wild, but I think they work!

 To the left is an Amy Butler print, and the fabric on the right is by Kaffe Fassett. Both well-known and highly respected artists in their own right - so here's hoping some of the magic rubs off on my own creation! What do you think?

Despite all this encouragement to sew, sew, sew, my artistic appetite was still not entirely satisfied. "Please finish just one project before you move onto another" I hear hubby say. But that's a battle we all have to fight! I was determined to re-create for myself something similar to the funky waistcoat of mis-matched denims that I've shown above. Another online shopping trip sees me armed with a 'New Look' waistcoat sewing pattern and a few less pennies in the bank.

Inspiration? Check
Fabric? Check
Patterns? Check
Sewing supplies? Check

Now if I can just get that time machine running, I should have a new outfit by the weekend...........


  1. I've got Louise here so now 2 people have read your blog :-p !! Do you think you could whip up your shirt creation in time for Kirstie? That should DEF get you on TV! xxx

  2. Ha ha ha! Thanks for the support ladies! I should never have neglected the old blog - I like to have an audience!