Guest post by Gus – The “Lore” Jumper

It would be fair to say that I don’t know what a 1963 Lanvin-Castillo Vogue 1213 is, but I generally read everything on this blog. I read a lot online – news, blogs, commentary. I am often struck by the variety and consistency of Fabrickated, as well as the knowledgeable, vocal and growing community that contribute to making it lively and interesting. My favourite parts are the style analyses (the more critical the better) and when she tries new things and all the challenges that brings.

I love that my Mum has embraced modern methods of communication and expression, though worryingly she has 2,522 more Instagram followers than me. Blimey. It’s definitely not a competition, but if it were, I’d be huffing and panting the last 40 metres while KD leapfrogged past on her victory lap, draped in a British flag, no doubt of her own design.

I’ve been invited to share my experience of the “Lore” jumper, and a bit about myself.

As children, Mum and Dad always dressed us up in practical hand-me-downs. As the youngest, I was very much handed-down to. I had a reputation at school as being scruffy (but I was strangely proud of that). As a teenager, I gave almost no thought to what I wore. It was bad. Sporty gear, drab clothes, odd colours, self cut hair.

Joining the working world made me more conscious of my outward presentation, and I began to take an interest in clothing. My learning bordered on painful but I’m comfortable with my ‘style’ now. If I’m just going to meet friends and it’s nothing fancy, jeans and a t-shirt will do. I like to dress up a bit more on weekends and nights out.

My approach when buying/choosing clothes is this:

  1. Keep it simple. Block colours, quality fabric, no graphics or impractical features. Add one nice/special item, something different. Usually a jacket.
  2. It’s worth taking the time to find a special item.
  3. Don’t be afraid to stand out. Sometimes it takes guts to wear something different, even if we love the item. I have endured some ribbing from friends about certain things, but also enjoyed the compliments of strangers on others – a fair trade!

Most Improved Dresser 2016 (plus a beard)

So, when KD made her Lorelle jumper I was quick to tell her how much I would like one too. I love soft and cosy jumpers, I love wearing grey and I was definitely curious about the creative process. I did, however, proceed with some caution. She is prolific. If I couldn’t be there for fittings and brainstorming, then I knew I’d have a frustrated creator to contend with. Thankfully, most of the work takes place behind closed doors, and my part was easy. I checked in for semi-regular fittings and discussions.

It is fascinating to see what goes into making clothes. So many things that you just wouldn’t think about. To digress slightly: I’ve always believed that as a meat-eater, it’s very important to be aware just where those vacuum-packed slabs of neat meat come from, and perhaps the same can be said for clothing. I am a clumsy man, and have spilled my fair share [of practically everything] on a whole wardrobe of clothes. But will I be so careless with this jumper when I know my dear mother toiled away for weeks so I could have it? Will I be so quick to wrench it off after a long day knowing that it was built just for me? I’ll be sure to update you if I contribute again.

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I tried the jumper on having just arrived from the cold, and was well poised to enjoy it. It’s warm, cosy and unique and fits me very well indeed. I was initially a bit unsure about the neckline as it’s very broad. My neck is longer than a Monday and I’m used to bunching collars, scarves and zips around it to diminish its imperiousness. It’s quite figure-hugging but I would probably wear it over something else. It is trendy and perhaps makes me look broader, if a little ‘douchey’. More important than how it looks is how it feels. And it feels fantastic. What do you think?

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Up next is the tailored jacket – but we’ll have to see what happens there. I have to say I’ve really enjoyed the commentary on that one. Mostly regarding my body shape (carrot-shaped, sloping shoulders, tiny waist). This is the kind of stuff that has my siblings cackling for days, but I knew what I was getting into. Being aware of your body shape is actually really important to getting the right fit in clothes you buy off the shelf.

Overall, it was a fun experience. Just because she’s my mum, it doesn’t mean I don’t scratch my head at her energy. We all do. It was a pleasure to ‘work’ with KD and to see her in action. We had some disagreements, but I’ll happily concede to her expertise. In addition to the experience, you’ve simply got to be grateful for the free clothes. I also found myself feeling one more thing – some age old reflection of a mother knitting her son a jumper in time for winter. In today’s world, most clothes are abundant, carbon copies and designed for profit but there are some that tell a story.

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I loved being a part of this one.

48 Responses

  1. Whit-whoo! Sexy carrot! lol
    Nice post, I hope you keep these up as your wardrobe grows [and grows- I bet this won’t stop with the SWAP plan]
    I agree about the slightly wide neckline, even your ma is wearing a T shirt under hers to fill in the space a little…a nice way to spark a little colour in as well.

  2. Loved this post, insight from Gus’ perspective. I would like a post from you, Kate about your time management and how you fit so much into your day! The jumper is great by the way! I have got three boys between the ages of 13 and 23, but my sewing for them has been limited to mending, and sewing on band patches to denim jackets.

  3. Nice job on the jumper, Kate, and great writerly voice, Gus! I look forward to the next installment.

  4. Lovely! My oldest son is 16 and it’s delightful to imagine him even more grown up. Maybe someday he’ll wear a sweater I make for him? On the other end of the spectrum, my youngest is 9, and is clamoring for me to make him more dress shirts and vests. Oh, and another blazer. He’s outgrown the one I made for his brother as part of a Dr Who (the Matt Smith era) costume a couple years ago. He quite enjoys dressing up, which is unusual here in Seattle.

  5. Hey Gus it looks great. I can’t believe it’s finished already! My mum is knitting me a Cardigan for Christmas as I only sew not knit.

  6. rocco.sienna

    I love this post..and the beautiful work! 💕

  7. Both the jumper AND the post are fabulous .

  8. Very nice post Gus, you’ve been a good sport to put up with the commentary on your shape! Beautiful job on the knitting Kate, I love the garter stitch yoke 🙂 We’d all love to know how you achieve so much, so quickly!

  9. Nice job, Kate! And Gus, glad to read you more or less knew what you got yourself into by showing up on the blog 😉 Reading our comments is a small price to pay for a one of a kind wardrobe!

  10. Hi Gus, nice post and cute dog! I like the casual look of the jumper, you’d probably usually have some kind of tee under it which would fill the neckline a bit, but it doesn’t scream too wide at me. Mainly, will you please launder it with care? I dread felted and shrunk. I’ve no idea how your mum gets these things knitted so quickly, but what a gift it is.

  11. its a great jumper on you – I love the way its worn in the photo of the two of you, brilliant shade. well wear

  12. Great post Gus. Actually I really like the wide neck and the jumper on you, I had wondered previously if it would look ok and it’s great. Be careful when you wash it!

  13. Great post Gus, it’s good to get a male voice popping up on a sewing blog! I’m also on the fence about the wide neckline, but really like the close fit and the yoke section. It looks fab on you. Most of all though, I like the way you write with such appreciation of your mum’s skills. x

  14. That’s a great post Gus, we are used in reading about the maker’s experience and point of view but hearing the voice of a recipient is so interesting and different, Kate did a great work with the jumber as she always does and it looks great on you!

  15. Thank you Gus, what an interesting and enjoyable post.

    And the sweater is of course lovely, especially the fit and color on. Fascinating what people notice about their own bodies – I would never have noticed “long neck” as something to minimize, really Gus’ neck seems quite proportionate and attractive from my grandmotherly perspective.

    Excited about next steps!

    ceci

  16. I sympathise with Gus – must be mortifying to have a mum who exceeds you in Instagram followers! What an interesting post – I too am astonished at the speed these knits are flying off the needles AND from someone who only learned …. err, was it really only earlier this year? Anyway, feeling utterly shamed as my big baby has another birthday this week and I am now reminded that the patchwork blanket I started for her birthday three years ago still remains unfinished 😱

    • Don’t worry Joanne – I have dozens of unfinished projects. The ones that get finished are the ones that proceed in an orderly direction with no major pitfalls, where the motivation and enthusiasm are greater than the labour required. Nice to hear from you.

  17. PS oops, mis-spelt my own name!

  18. What a lovely tribute to your Mom, Gus.

  19. ‘A neck as long as a Monday’ made me chuckle! Just call me Goose, I mean Gus! I would never have noticed, but that’s the way we all are with our bodies. I have a phobia of showing my skinny legs, but it never occurred to me not to bare my equally skinny arms. This is a heart warming post and I enjoyed the mother/son interaction, plus seeing the very successful sweater. Just don’t machine wash it with your other clothes Gus!

  20. Joyce Latham

    What a team! Great story…great read. The sweaters looks awesome. Thumbs up! Ditto comments above
    Fun fun fun!.
    Joyce from Sudbury

  21. Who’s better off the son or the mother?
    Lovely post and so original. Tugged a little bit at the heart strings.

    • Yeah. As a mom who is just finishing a sweater for her son (12 yo) made to his exacting specifications (gotta be green, 50/50 wool/cotton, tight, collar) it’s so nice to hear how it is for you Gus. it’s always hard to get the balance right – don’t want to coerce your kid into clothes/so fun to co-design/might just not work out … tricky. Your sweater came out beautifully.

  22. Great sweater! Gus nice to hear your view on having clothing made for you by your mother.

  23. What a nice post to see first thing on a Saturday! The sweater looks fantastic, and it’s interesting to hear a man’s voice on a sewing blog. :). I think we’re all interested to see the jacket!

  24. It is nice to see a son actually looking at his mom and considering her in the light of a distinct person, not just Mum.

    Very refreshing. Too much taking Mum for granted this side of the pond. (Canada)
    Enjpyed the post tremendously.

  25. She’s finished already!? The jumper looks great on Gus, and it’s really nice to have his say on how things are going. I agree that you are going to have to take a bit of care with this one Gus – but I suspect you are gaining a new respect for your clothing. Enjoy your great new sweater.

  26. What lovely things to say about your mum and the process. The jumper looks great on you.

  27. Great post Gus. I’m so glad you appreciate your Mum’s efforts as they are totally fabulous. Your jumper is sensational, and I know you will wear it for years – just don’t deviate from the carrot shape!

  28. Love the way you two express your affection for each other! The sweater looks great on you Gus. I think a t-shirt underneath would be fine, both for giving a dash of color near your face and also fending off the need for washing it for longer (unless of course you spill on it). The body-conscious knit is very flattering, so perhaps not a regular shirt underneath, which would bunch up bit and spoil the effect. And yes, your mom seems to be the energizer bunny.

  29. Gus that sweater is super cool. I have always thought there was an inherent sexy louche thing about being rock and roll slim. The long neck is an attribute, you own it.

  30. Lovely post, lovely sweaters, lovely mum/son picture!

  31. Nice to hear your ‘voice’ on your mum’s blog…although I admit I didn’t realise it wasn’t Kate and wondered why she was admitting to not knowing what a 1963 Lanvin-Castillo Vogue 1213 is! (I have no clue either!) So great to hear your perspective on having clothes made for you by your mum. The knitted jumper is a winner, a great colour and style, and I suspect you will be the envy of all your mates. Try not to use this gem as a bib (or ‘dinner badges’ as they’re called in our family) I doubt that KD’s largesse will extend to hand washing….

  32. Oh my goodness, Gus, you certainly inherited your mum’s flair for words describing your feelings! Very well said indeed!

  33. Kate- are you looking for any children to adopt? 🙂 I’ll get in line!

  34. Great to hear what life is like for the fitted as well as the fitter. I recall being heartily bored by lengthy fitting sessions but with your mother’s usual speed and skill maybe they were quick and clearly very effective looking at the finished jumper! Looking forward to the full set of SWAP garments.

  35. Wonderful post!

  36. That was quick! Nice to hear from you Gus, you write well. Your jumper is fab, can’t believe it’s completed already.

  37. Once again a craker K! This jumper it’s great and Gus’ post makes it perfect justice.
    On a differebt note, I like long necks. Never thought of that feature as something to dissimulate, I think it makes for a very elegant figure. Never realised it was personal preference 🙂

  38. That was one of the best blogposts I’ve ever read. Very, very well written. Kate, you should be proud.

  39. Great post Gus! So lovely to hear from the receiver of handmade clothing, not just the maker. And I think the neckline is just fine.

    As someone who has a short neck (although not as short as my Dad’s, his head was on his shoulders) be glad of a long neck, it is far more attractive than a short one, or in Dad’s case no neck at all!

  40. I can’t even begin to say how much I love this post!

  41. Good gracious! This is a tremendous post. So Gus, a few things stand out to me. First, you quite an accomplished writer – just like your mum but different style of course. The jumper looks just right on your frame, and I think the neckline is just right with the knit. And your Monday-long (HAHAHAHA!) neck and carrot shaped body comments just made me laugh. I love the photo of the two of you! And dare I say, your last line made me just a little misty. Lovely post, lovely work from both mother and son.

  42. Hello Kate, I’ve just rediscovered your blog. It had been swept up into my ‘clutter’ folder by the not-so-helpful Outlook! Great to see you knitting. What a great job you have done with these two jumpers. A great read from Gus too. I’d love to see more from him as the swap progresses. I’ve stopped sewing for now, I’m writing a book so that is taking up all my time!! Good luck with the swap x

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