Knitting Pixels: The Happy Seamstress
Even if you're too young to have played Super Mario Brothers the first time around, the 80s video game has left its mark on everything from graphic design to music to fashion. The most recent homage is by Joanna of the Happy Seamstress: a sweater vest knit for her husband, who's a die-hard Nintendo fan. This wasn't her first foray into the world of video games; last year she knit up a baby Link outfit, based on the Nintendo character (it is seriously cute, by the way), but "the idea of knitting something pixel-based had been in the back of my mind for a while .... Since Level 1-1 from the first Super Mario Bros. game is arguably the most recognizable and iconic level in Nintendo history, it had to be that one!"
While finding yarn in the right colors was no picnic (she ended up custom-dyeing some of the yarn to get the screen-bright green), "managing all of those different colors of yarn at the same time was like wrestling an octopus." In fact, her attempt at using the Fair Isle technique to render the bricks at the bottom of the sweater was close to a disaster; it was so tight across the back that she ended up cutting out the section, knitting up from the bottom, and joining it to the rest of the sweater. (Her takeaway: "To anyone who downloaded the free pattern off my website and is making their own, I strongly recommend not using Fair Isle for this part!")
The graphic designer has been crafting since she was a kid ("I remember pestering the various women in my family to tell me everything they knew about their particular craft, beginning with my mother who got me started knitting and sewing at around the age of six") and has "tried just about everything, from stained glass to screen printing." Inspired by 1940s fashion, she's currently working on some DIY fascinator kits (check The Happy Seamstress soon for more details). But while the past is clearly rich with inspiration for this happy seamstress, we're looking forward to her future.Super Mario Sweater Vest