Cosby sweater comeback

One of my secret projects is refashioning the 80´s "Cosby sweater". I think they have such strong negative style-appheal that it just makes most people sick but to me it makes them fascinating pieces of past fashions. They are an unbeliavable mix of different kinds and colored knitting threads and stunning intarsia work. As a crafter I´m amazed of the amount of work and skill people have put into making them (I cannot knit..), but the designer in me says they just need a makeover. Bad. Cosby sweaters are a very good source for trashion knit recon projects because the material is easily found, cheap and nobody else wants them.

So how to make these fashion crimes today? I have a theory. If you combine similar colors the color harmony you are able to combine any styled fabric print or knitting pattern to your garment as long as the model of the garment is modrn. Take for example one or two sigle colored sweaters (propably found from your own wardrobe), one with a two-three colored classic pattern and one crazy cosby sweater. The cosby sweater will be your effect color and the others the base colors. Take the pattern from something you wear today, like loose sweat-dress, hoodie or cardican and Draw the cutting pattern from it. This way you know the size and model will fit.

The pattern (front and back pieces) has to be cut again to smaller pieces to be able to sew the new silhuette from the three secondhand sweaters. Now this is the part where you can upgrade the knit design to todays level. If your knit model and pattern design is today, it does not matter that much what the material is. Secondhand knits are very easy to sew. You are able to sew them with a straight stitch and ironed or pressed with a hot steam. Especially wool knit sew like butter. They are very forgiving to beginner sewers mistakes.

Here is a perfect example what the design pattern you could aim for. Dresses by Louise Goldin and Marie Louise Vogt. Images from Fashion156 and Marie Louise Vogt.

Note for next year: "The Cosby Sweater" would make a killer halloween party theme next year...?

Outi Les Pyy

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