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10 Questions with Limerick knitwear designer Pippa Madigan



Pippa Madigan 18-year-old Limerick Knitwear Designer is currently in first year at Limerick School of Art & Design

Limerick knitwear designer, Pippa Madigan answers 10 questions about her inspiration, passion for knitwear, and her plans for the future

Pippa Madigan, Limerick Knitwear Designer started selling her work at the end of January 2024 when a friend inspired her to start an Instagram page

Pippa Madigan is currently in first year at Limerick School of Art & Design and hoping to soon go into Fashion & Textiles.

Pippa always had a strong love for fashion, thanks to her talented nana who taught her how to sew from a very young age. A friend’s mom inspired her to start knitting for mindfulness, which quickly spiralled into imagining wearable knitwear designs. Her aim is to bring a sense of vibrancy and fun to the landscape of urban street wear, with a focus on using colourful eye catching patterns. There’s something for everyone, weather is a slouchy shrug or a cosy scarf.

Pippa Madigan started selling her work at the end of January 2024 when a friend inspired her to start an Instagram page. That page now has close to 500 followers, and Pippa is still working through the 50 orders for scarves she has received since the start of the page a month ago. She has been primarily selling scarves, but with a photoshoot coming soon, she to showcase her other designs. You can check out her page @knitbypippa on instagram or Facebook.




Tell us about your childhood in Limerick

I loved growing up here, I went to the Model School Limerick, which is definitely what made my childhood so enjoyable. I also got a chance to take part in the Limerick Panto a few times (with the amazing Richard Lynch) when I was very young, and absolutely loved it. This was because I attended the Limerick School Of Classical Ballet for twelve years, taught by the amazing Alice Marshall, who I must mention was a huge catalyst for my interest in fashion. She sewed and designed most of the costumes for all of our ballet shows herself, and I remember she used to leave me the leftover fabric. Alice definitely played a huge part in sparking my interest in sewing and fashion.

How did you become interested in fashion design?

When I was about seven I was desperate to get a sewing machine for Christmas. When Santa thankfully brought me one, my nana taught me how to use it. A single mother of seven, she made all of her children’s clothes, from Sunday dresses to debs dresses to bridesmaids dresses. To this day she still has such an extensive knowledge of sewing and dressmaking, and she definitely instilled that same interest in me from a very young age.

Why do you love fashion and make it part of your life?

Fashion is such a big factor in my life, something I consider every single day. From when I choose my outfit in the morning, to when I walk down the street and get inspired by other people’s style, to when I lay out tomorrow’s outfit before bed;  it’s on my mind all day. Fashion is the best outlet for expression in my opinion, you can portray yourself however you want to the world through what you put on your body. It’s flexible, it’s versatile, you can tailor your style to whatever YOU want. For me, an outfit I feel good in makes all the difference to my confidence levels. You can’t control a lot in life but you definitely can control how good you feel through your own personal style.

Pippa Madigan Limerick Knitwear Designer says she loves the versatility of working with wool
Pippa says it is the “brilliant young Irish designers who have the most impact on me.”

Why did you develop your passion for knitwear?

I think knitwear is so versatile and flexible, I love how much you can do with it. Especially the wool I primarily use, it’s pretty much only used to make baby blankets. A friend’s mom introduced me to it, and I’m so glad that she did as now it’s my favourite wool to use; I knew right away there was more potential there than just baby blankets. Something else that helps fuel my passion for knitwear is the gorgeous array of wool in local Limerick sewing shops, Lena’s and Singer’s. I practically live in the two shops, and their lovely staff make it easy to want to buy all of the wool.

What are some challenges you’ve faced as a designer?

There are definitely a lot of challenges as a designer, especially when you’re just starting out, like I am. Getting measurements right, choosing the right methods to use, and seeing if a design is feasible or not. But I think that’s the fun of starting out, it’s all experimentation and trial and error.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

My biggest achievement to date was definitely a photoshoot I had for my designs, which I was under some time pressure for. I was up the whole night before knitting non-stop, but it paid off so much. I was so delighted with how the photoshoot went, due to the gorgeous models and the spectacular photographers Liam Duffy and Céline Mermier. I was so proud to see my designs being worn by people other than myself. It will be released soon, I’m so excited for everyone to see it.

Who is your greatest inspiration in fashion and life?

There are so many huge designers who influence me, but I find it’s the brilliant young Irish designers who have the most impact on me. I adore Rachel Maguire, founder of the brand RASHHIID, her work is so funky and different , and her use of fur is absolutely stunning. Aoife McNamara, founder of Aoife Ireland, is another inspiration of course, along with Hope Macauley’s gorgeous knitwear. I’m so grateful there are so many talented young Irish women to be inspired by.

Pippa Madigan Limerick Knitwear Designer says she loves the versatility of working with wool
Pippa says she loves the versatility of working with wool

What is the most rewarding part of what you do?

I know I’m only starting out and I’ve a long way to go, but I have to say even so early on, it just makes me so happy that anyone would want to wear something that I made, especially enough to pay for it. How I got the confidence to start all of this was actually a girl coming up to me in town saying how much she loved my scarf and if I’d make her one. That girl is now my amazing friend Lauren, and I’ve her to thank for giving me the confidence. Everyone who has bought from me is just so supportive, and I’m just delighted that people like my work.

Where do you see yourself and your career in five years?

In five years, I’ll be 23 and will have completed my four-year course in LSAD. I would love to be still running my small business, and who knows, maybe it could turn into a slightly bigger one. It seems so far away right now, but all I hope is that my passion for creating fashion will have grown even bigger by then.

What do you love most about Limerick?

I’ve lived in Limerick all my life, and though it’s a fairly big county, I feel like it’s such a tight knit community where everyone knows everyone. I really do love the people here. I think as a group we’re very down to earth, and the thing I love most about Limerick is her sense of humour.

Find out more about Pippa’s work
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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.