Phew! This new collection has been in the works for over a year - mainly because I had the idea in Summer 2019 and realised I couldn't get it out in time for Autumn/Winter 2019! I could talk for hours about this collection and what it's taken to get here but I won't do that to you! So here's a sort of succinct rundown of the process of this collection!
I was looking to do a new print and thought how it would be great to have a bit of a change and create some other pieces to go alongside the print - ones that complemented - so that I'd have a mini capsule collection. I have this GORGEOUS rust colour boilersuit that started as my colour inspiration and I knew I wanted animals as the theme. The pigs came about because I realised it would look ah-mazing with a dusty pink! The idea spun out from there and it's been a fun journey!
I started out by sketching out different pieces that would go together (using my popcorn pattern as a guide because it was the easiest to sketch out quickly). Initially there were seven pieces - leggings, tee, dungas, joggers, a onesie, fleece and jacket. I decided against the onesie and dungas and swapped the joggers for cord trews, then added in a sweatshirt.
early concept sketches
So the original collection was going to be leggings, tee, cord jacket with printed lining, cord trews, fleece and sweatshirt with screen printed pigs. I had this idea that everything would be the same colour so set about trying to find sweatshirting, fleece and corduroy in the same colour. Reader, it was hard. Luckily, after a couple of months of searching, I then sketched it out again with the colours and realised that it was going to be far too matchy-matchy so ditched that idea! I also ditched the idea of the sweatshirt after a bit of sampling as I realised that the sweatshirt and fleece were too similar in terms of usage and the screen printing was an extra output (it's only me, doing everything!)
original colour sketch and screen-printed sweat sample
The next few months were trying to find fabrics via wholesalers - this was the first time I decided to go to wholesalers for my fabrics and it was such a challenge. Trying to find places that didn't have ridiculously high minimums and that sold what I was looking for was a lonnnng process. I had my heart set on a rust colour fleece and a turquoise corduroy (this was the first time I thought of introducing turquoise into the mix!) and I couldn't find any that fit the brief. Flashback to February this year and I went to my first trade show and spent the whole time going to different stands and getting a feel (literally) of their fabrics. I had a specific turquoise in mind for the corduroy and wasn't finding it anywhere. Then we came across this gorgeously warm chestnut brown and my brother (who is always the voice of reason) pointed out how amazing it would look. I was completely sold when we then found the cotton fleece fabric of dreams that came in so many beautiful colours.
A couple of other mods came as time went on - I decided to swap out the printed lining for an ice dye one and changed the fleece from a printed panel to a full plain (mainly because of the most gorgeous and soft 100% cotton fleece that I didn't want to mix with a printed polyester fleece.
I designed the initial print pretty early on but then left it whilst I sorted out all of the complementary fabrics, because it would be easier to tweak the design colours to fit the plain fabrics than the other way around. The original design was dusty pink pigs on a burnt orange background (the outline pig was actually a happy accident - I copied the pig across and had only selected the outline but obviously I immediately loved it!). Once I had my plain fabrics sorted, I played around with different colourways. I then got these printed up as samples to make my final decision. I loved the turquoise background but it didn't work with the fleece fabric I'd chosen; the pink looked fab but I still had that autumnal look in my head so it was between the pink pigs on burnt orange and pink and turquoise pigs on burnt orange. Well, if you've seen the collection you'll know which one I chose!
printed colourway samples - I ended up lightening the turquoise pigs
Once I had all my fabrics sorted and ordered I made up some samples of the fleece and jacket pattern (in fabrics I already had) to check the fit and style. After this it was just a question of getting a whole set made up for photographing (both by me and sending them to a friend to photograph on her little one for modelled pics). And voila! Just like that, over a year of sampling, searching (so much internet searching), sewing and (a little bit of) swearing - the pig collection is here!
I really hope you all love it as much as I do - it's come out better than I ever imagined and I can't wait to see pics of your little ones wearing the pieces!!!