Wednesday, December 14, 2011

HOBO sweater.

In November 1975 I was a HOBO-wannabe for about a month. Fleeing from a domestically violent home, I ran away. I packed a back pack with one pair of jeans, 2 sweaters, 2 pairs of warm socks, a sleeping bag and a waterproof ground cover AND a sewing kit. A (boy) friend and I were dropped off on an Oregon interstate. I stepped into  a nice stranger's car as a hitchhiker and traveled across the country repeating this many many times.
I was in the back of pick ups, vans, crappy old cars and even an 18 wheeler. We would share rides with other hitchhikers and real life HOBO's. It  was possibly one of the most awesome experiences in my life. One particular hobo etched a story in my heart. He carried his guitar with him. He ate raw onions (he harvested from a road side garden) like an apple. His clothes were torn and mended with ragged stitches. I did do some sewing as I traveled. When I started my line of fashion that reminded me of something in my past...I had a flash of memory back to this period in my life. HOBO seemed like a perfect name for this line.

                                                          HOBO CARDIGAN

This sweater started with one inch slashes into the cotton knit. I used a wire brush on the slashes to give them a lived in, rough and worn look. I went into a special BPB storage container and pulled out velvet, leather, wool, tapestry, vintage lingerie, kiddie loom weaving colorful stretchy bands, vintage patterned towels, old hankies, black felt, vintage coat scraps, yarn, etc etc.
I began poking these scraps into a hole and pulling them out another hole. I don't use bows in my work but some of these look sort of like bows.
I stitched down the fibers with a hobo stitch (simple crude and even messy) to make my HOBO sweater washable.

If you want to hobo stitch on both sides of your cardigan, go for it. I like the one side only look. The slashes on the rest of the sweater sort of balance it out visually.

Happy HOBO sewing.

Ta, xo J


  1. Just tooo darling! Love the HOBO name... All your creations inspire me.

  2. im gonna do this with a skirt or maybe the patches like ur etsy tights as soon as i get these wool training pants done, i cant wait! Jess