Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Mommy and me and intellectual property (again)

Iris insisted that we wear our mommy and me outfit today. We debuted this outfit at a mother's day brunch at her preschool two years ago. Another mom came up to me and asked where I found mommy and me outfits that look like normal outfits one would want to wear. They are not for sale anywhere. ;-)

At SAS Fabrics, I found a remnant of the pink on pink cotton jersey with the tropical motif. Iris wanted a swirly skirt and I drafted a pattern using a yardstick compass contraption. I used Burda 3152 for my own skirt. It is an extremely easy pull-on skirt that is snug through the hips with a slight trumpet flare at the knee. I've made it twice in drapey heavy rayon and soft cotton jersey and both look great. I trimmed this skirt hem with some dark fuchsia sueded rayon leftover from another sewing project. Recycling fabric makes me feel so virtuous.

I knitted the sweaters from Cotton Ease that I stashed when the yarn was discontinued. Knitting from the stash makes me feel doubly virtuous.

I've been thinking about times that I was inspired by the designs of others. I create my own versions, tweaking the design to suit me. Take the two tank sweaters above.

I was inspired by a lace tank pictured in the Patternworks catalog. I had no intention of buying the pattern book for just one lace motif. Besides, the pattern book was written specifically for the gauge of a yarn I wasn't going to use. I cast on a swatch and was able to replicate the rib and lace motif.

I also own a copy of Mags Kandis' "In Living Color" pattern book for 1812 cotton which contained a pattern for a two-toned tank (Dee). I had two colors of pink Cotton Ease which knits up at a similiar gauge. I cast on for the right number of rib and lace repeats for my hip measurement and started knitting upward in the round. Just before I hit the armhole shaping, I switched to the lighter color. At the armhole shaping, I separated the front and back and continued knitting upward. I liked the neckline of Dee, but thought it would be fun to make the tank reversible. So one side has a rounded neckline and the other has a squared neck.

Then Iris clamored for her own sweater. I cast on a fewer number of rib and lace repeats and gave her a boatneck.

So I copy, too. We all do, whether consciously or unconsciously. When people ask me about my creations, I always attribute the design inspiration. I draw the line at publishing a pattern that is a knock-off of someone else's design and passing it off as your own work. Was Vladimir Teriokhin aware of the Alexander McQeen cabled coat? I have no idea.

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