Browsing Category

INTERVIEW

INTERVIEW

INTERVIEW WITH LAUREN OF MY FABRIC DESIGNS

March 31, 2016

I am so excited that My Fabric Designs is sponsoring the Colfax Dress Sewalong and Contest. I thought it might be fun to get to know their company and what they do a little bit more. Lauren is part of the marketing team at the My Fabric Designs and has offered to answer a few questions that I had for her. Here we go:

 

 

I know that My Fabric Designs is a relatively new company. Can you tell us a bit about how the business was started?

One of our founders, Eileen Roche, is well-known in the embroidery community through her business Designs in Machine Embroidery. She saw an opportunity to provide crafters more choices with their projects involving fabric and so My Fabric Designs was born.

 

I know that there are other print your own fabric businesses. What do you feel is unique about My Fabric Designs?

The quality of our fabrics is what sets us apart. We manufacturer our own fabrics and they are specifically created for digital printing. This gives our customers top-notch quality and provides superior color fastness over other print-on-demand businesses.

 

As My Fabric Designs grows, what can we expect to see happen?

An infusion of technology. We’ve already developed on online fabric creator so users can create their own seamless repeating patterns and you will continue to see tools like this to make creating easier. You will also see more improvements to the website as we add features for reordering, favorite designs and more.

 

How do you see most of your print on demand fabric being used? Apparel? Quilting? Home furnishings?

We believe that the majority of the fabric right now is being used for apparel but we welcome anyone to share their projects with us on social media. Please hashtag #mfdesigns on anything you share so we can find it.

 

I saw that there is a commission system when users share their fabric designs for others to buy. Can you tell us a bit about how this works?

If a user wants to share a design they simply check the “share” box when they upload it to their account. Then, when another user purchases fabric using that design the user that shared the design gets a 15% commission on the sale. The commission credits can be used towards future purchases or when a user has accumulated $100 in credits they can request a cash payout via PayPal.

 

Do you need to treat printed fabrics differently than other fabrics you might buy as far as washing, ironing etc…

No. Our fabrics should be treated the same as any other fabric. As long as you follow the care instructions for each one you will not have any issues and the fabrics will wear the same as any other fabric you may buy in a store.

 

On your website you mention that print on demand fabric has some ethical and environmental advantages. Can you tell us about that?

By using a digital printing process, we use less energy and less waste than traditionally milled fabrics and the process is much faster as well.

 

Do you sew? If so what is your favorite fabric / project that you have used from My Fabric Designs?

We work in a very creative environment and there are always lots of projects going on. One of my favorite fabrics to work with is our amazing Silk Crepe De Chine. However, for our latest project I had the opportunity to work with our Organic Cotton Sateen. With it we made a fun sundress for our spring promotion. The fabric was easy to use and made for the perfect light and fun sundress.

 

Don’t forget that you can enter for your chance to win a gift card to try My Fabric Designs out yourself by entering the Colfax sewalong contest (click here for more details), or use the code TRUEBFS for free shipping during the month of April to try them out now.

 

INTERVIEW

SEWING INDIE MONTH – INTEVIEW WITH MAISON FLEUR PATTERNS

September 22, 2015

maison fleur logo

As part of Indie Sewing Month I got to interview fellow pattern designer Fleur of Maison Fleur Patterns. She started her business in April of this year, but she already has four gorgeous patterns available including two skirts, a top, and a bathing suit. All of which I have heard wonderful things about. Definitely check her out if you havn’t already.

maison fleur patterns

 

Here is the interview:

I am always curious about what pattern designers did before they started their business. Can you tell us a little about your background and what you did before launching Maison Fleur Sewing Patterns?

Well, I’ve certainly dabbled in a fair few professions before I launched these patterns! I spent a few years after university as a hairdresser – that was great fun (and yes I trained and qualified, I didn’t just start randomly dying peoples hair!). But working 12 hour days and never having weekends free took its toll on me, so I moved into office work in the training and technology field, but I could never truly let go of my love for patternmaking.
So I decided to balance project based work in a traditional office with patternmaking contracts. I found that for me personally, shifting between these two worlds, using different skill sets for both but also being able to transfer knowledge I gain from working with so many different people has worked really well.
Since I moved to NYC I’ve had the opportunity to expand my work in the craft industry, which I really feel most at home with, and I’ve used the skills I gained from working in adult learning along with my sewing and patternmaking to work behind the scenes with other pattern designers and educators. I am also teaching sewing classes – which I do through different sewing studios, but mostly at Workroom Social in Brooklyn, NY.

I love the feel of your website and vintage illustrations. Can you tell us a little more about your inspiration and style for your shop?

Thanks! To be honest I just went with what I like. I think it’s always important to go with your gut and be true to yourself. As for the illustrations and front cover artwork, that was a stroke of genius from a very talented friend of mine, Rob Taylor. He’s known me for years, he has a good idea of my tastes and style, so all I gave him was the colour scheme and the line drawings and I trusted him with the rest. I was truly blown away with the results and was so pleased I commissioned a real illustrator to do the artwork, as it’s so much better than the crappy front cover design I’d originally created.

I know that you went to FIT here in NYC, like I currently am. Can you tell us a little about your background / training in patternmaking.

It wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I took up sewing as I was getting frustrated by the fit of clothes I bought. At the time, sewing wasn’t popular so it was really hard to get hold of patterns, and sewing classes just weren’t around, so I started with texts books and drafting my own patterns. It was truly love at first line! It combined so many of my favourite things, basic maths, geometry, problem solving and a little artistic flair. So I signed up to take training as a pattern cutter (as it’s traditionally called in the UK) at Central Saint Martins’ and it all developed from there; taking contracts with small designers and so on. It’s been hard work freelancing but I get so passionate and nerdy about drafting that it makes it feel completely worth it!
When I moved to NYC I couldn’t resist taking classes as FIT (Parsons is totally next on my hit list), I wanted to see what I could learn from another country’s methods and techniques for drafting. It’s so much fun taking the classes, but very work intensive – the instructors set their expectations super high.

Besides sewing, what are your other main interests or hobbies?

Does eating at new restaurants and trying new cocktails count as a hobby? Because I looked up the dictionary definition of ‘hobby’ and it states “an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.” and I definitely enjoy happy hour oyster and cocktails on a regular basis.
On a less boozy note, i’m always up for trying new-to-me crafts, but in the winter months when it’s freezing cold and icy I usually like to snuggle up on the couch and crack out my crochet hook and yarn.
I’ve also recently started taking road cycling a little bit more seriously and I’ve just got myself a new road bike; I call her Princess Super-Bike, she has a pair of unicorns engraved on her to help me cycle faster (because that’s totally how it works, right?). I get excited at having any excuse to sew up something in stretch fabrics and have my eyes on creating some great lady-friendly cycling garb for next season.

Of your four patterns, do you have a favorite? And why?

I think I go through obsessive cycles with each pattern as I’m creating them, it’s going to be cheesy but I love them all pretty equally. Though, over the summer I kind of went bonkers and sewed up so many samples of the 8101 swimsuit that i’ve kinda burnt out of it for now. Thankfully it’s beginning to cool down from the NYC heat and I’m getting very excited about making up a few versions of the two skirts I have in the shop. I’m thinking of sewing the 6104 box pleat skirt up in a rich aubergine coloured wool and adding some shiny jet beading on the welt pockets to give it some low-key evening sparkle. I’m so used to providing work for clients that what I really love about finally setting up my own shop is that I get the nicest feeling from being able to put my own designs out there for the world to see.

Is there anything you can tell us about what is next for Maison Fleur Sewing Patterns?

Well short-term exciting stuff for me is moving into a dedicated space instead of working from my home studio. In October I’ll be joining a small group of creative entrepreneurs in sharing a studio space that’s right next to the Brooklyn Flea. It’ll be so nice to have space to work and not have the distractions of my kitty cats demanding cuddles and netflix drawing me in at lunch breaks. I get so excited just thinking about it right now (cue high pitched noise of joy), and it’s going to be so nice having other’s around to bounce ideas off of, I think it’ll really help me grow. I’m also gearing up for Camp Workroom Social in October, I get to be a camp counsellor for the weekend and it’s going to be such a blast! Of course there will be more patterns in the works, so if you want to stay tuned you can sign up to my mailing list as I use that to send pre-release information and discounts exclusively to people who’ve signed up.

 

Thanks so much Fleur for letting us get to know you a little better and sharing more about your process. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

INTERVIEW SEWING

MODERN SEWCIETY PODCAST AND SEWALONG UPDATE

July 16, 2014

I was lucky enough to get to chat with Stephanie of the Modern Sewciety Podcast last week.  Stephanie is sweet and has an adorable southern accent that reminds me of growing up in Alabama.  We chatted about all sorts of things including how I started sewing, the evolution of my blog, and of coarse the Hudson Pants.  It was really fun.  If you don’t already subscribe to her podcasts I highly recommend it.  I find it so inspiring to listen to the stories of all of the men and women who share my passion of sewing and how they got to where they are now.

33art fixed

Also, just as a reminder the last day to submit a pair of pants for the Hudson Sewalong contest is next Tuesday, July 22nd.  To enter just email me a picture of your pants with the email title of Hudson Sewalong or tag a photo of your pants on instagram with the hashtag #hudsonsewalong.  The prizes are gift certificates from the amazing Wanderlust Fabrics.  There have already been some great entries so I am super excited to show you all what everyone has been making.

INTERVIEW SEWING

INTERVIEW WITH ANGIE OF WANDERLUST FABRICS

June 23, 2014

I became aware of Wanderlust fabrics just a couple of months ago through instagram and was immediately taken with her products.  Even though she does not carry as many options as other online fabric stores, all of her choices seem intentional, true to her style, and very on trend.  I first tried one of her fabrics when making the Prefontaine shorts a couple weeks ago and had a great experience.  Here fabric is very reasonably priced and my order came really fast.  So I was super excited when Angie of Wanderlust fabrics agreed to provide the fabric and prizes for the Hudson pant sewalong.  I just know you guys will like her fabrics as well.  To kick it all off I thought it would be fun to do a little interview with Angie so that we can get a behind the scenes look into who she is and her company.

Tell us a little about you and where you come from.

Hey, I’m Angie, mom to a ridiculously rad teen and tween. Originally from Southern California, currently residing in gorgeous Southern Utah. I can’t sit still, so if I’m not in my studio designing, cutting or petting fabric.. You’ll find me trail running, river exploring, rock climbing or on a hot springs road trip.

What is your connection with sewing / fabric and how did you get started with your business?

I began sewing dresses for myself in ’97. It slowly progressed into children’s clothing and in 2006 I formed my little girls label, Pretty Me. For many years I’ve seen the need for on trend, affordably priced knits that are easily accessible to the home sewist. Time, technology and experience have brought me to the point of being able to share my favorite finds.

I love the name of your fabric store.  How did you come up with it?

It’s a dreamy, beautiful word in every way. I love the idea of exploring deeper and my own desire to design/create came from the first time I walked into a fabric shop and fell in love with the possibilities.

What words would you use to describe the style or type of fabrics that you choose for your shop?

I purchase only what I love, with an emphasis on excellent quality, unique prints and current trends.

Which is your favorite current fabric and why?

It has to be the cream & black micro stripe rayon jersey. A superb quality, sews up like a dream, fabulous singular and looks great mixed with nearly every print.

Where do you see your business going in the future?

Collaborating with my very fave artists on exclusive licensed designs/collections. It’s a project I began in 2008, but just didn’t have the experience or resources to complete at the time.

All good things in all good time!

A big thank you to Angie for this interview and for providing the prizes for the Hudson Pant sewalong.  I always find it super interesting to hear about small companies within our industry and how they started / currently work behind the scenes.  It’s so inspiring to me.  If you havn’t checked out Angie’s shop go give it a look.

INTERVIEW SEWING SEWING FOR KIDS

INTERVIEW AND GIVEAWAY WITH SALME PATTERNS

November 6, 2013

I have a special place in my blogging heart for Salme patterns because one of the very first items that I blogged and received attention for was my neon version of her Loose Fitting Pleated T-shirt pattern.  I love that top and sewing it up was a great experience.  I was reminded of Salme a couple of months ago when I noticed that she had recently added a few children’s patterns.  I can’t wait to try out her little girl playsuit pattern once it gets warm again.  If you are not familiar with her patterns you should be.  They are simple and classic which means the possibilities are endless.  Here are a few of my favorites.


I was very excited when Elisa of Salme agreed to do an interview for the blog so that we can all get to know her better.  She has also generously offered a giveaway so make sure you enter with a comment.  Details can be found at the bottom of the post.


Interview:

Tell us a little about you and where you come from.
I’m an architect, designer, patternmaker, and diy fanatic with roots in Scandinavia and home in London.

What is your design/sewing background and how did you get started with your business?
I managed to fit in a course in pattern making while doing my master’s in architecture. Clothing and textiles was an interest I’d always had – I’ve been sewing since I was 6 – but I didn’t think it would ever give me a “proper” job. Little did I know, the job market for architects isn’t exactly booming at the moment!
I don’t think I changed careers as much as just shifted into slightly different design work. An architect’s job is not very different from a technical clothing designer’s. Creativity, a technical mindset, attention to detail, eye for proportions, and above all the ability to sit still by a computer and draw lines for hours are the skills needed. ( No my life is not all creative brainstorming, most of it is pretty boring to most standards! )

I got started simply because I couldn’t find any patterns out there that I liked. I remember looking for a playsuit pattern as those were a huge trend, but couldn’t find one. I couldn’t believe it. Obviously, the big sewing pattern companies were not keeping up with the trends. So I started selling my first five designs on etsy, with poor images and not many different sizes, but people kept asking for more.

It’s been amazing to follow how sewing has been revitalised in the last few years. Once associated with the likes of my grandmother, sewing classic suits for herself and knitting amazing woollen socks for us grandkids, there’s now a young crowd of diy fashionistas out there with an appetite for trendy, fresh designs.
Where do you get the inspiration for your designs and how would you define your style?
People ask me all the time about how I come up with ideas. I have so many ideas I can’t sleep at night! Inspiration is everywhere, there is almost too much of it. I obviously look at fashion magazines but the most inspiring thing for me is to get my hands on some lovely fabric and start experimenting. 


As for my style, it’s definitely very simple. If I had a clothing line I would add more detail, but for sewing patterns I feel like I don’t want to give people an overly designed garment, as I want them to add their own touch to it instead. I would like for two girls in a dress made from the same pattern to be able to pass each other on the street and not realise it’s the same design!

I think my Scandinavian roots also show in my designs. Even if I try to make something different people always comment on it looking simple, modern and Scandinavian!

I noticed that you recently added a couple of hip children’s patterns.  Where did the inspiration for these come from and will there be more?

My nieces and nephews have definitely given me the inspiration to start thinking of children’s clothing. There’s a lot of kids’ patterns out there, but nothing that really relates to my style, so I saw a market there. I think kids can look chic and modern too, and don’t necessarily need to wear kiddy prints and bows all the time. Having been to France a lot lately I really love all their children’s clothing shops, French kids are so stylish!

I have a few new designs in my head so there will definitely be more children’s patterns in the near future.

Which is your favorite of your designs and why?

My favourite is always the next one on my mind!! Otherwise the Silvia Dress is probably my favourite at the moment. I know a lot of people who sew like the vintage look, which is not really my style, but this one has a bit of a vintage, girly flare to it making it a bit different.

Where do you see your business going in the future?

I’m full of ideas for the future. My fan base is continuously growing which is amazing. I’m blessed to be able to work full time with Salme at the moment, so I’m furiously working on new patterns and will be releasing several monthly going forward. I’m always as excited about releasing a new pattern, and in awe over the fact that someone actually buys them!
I would also love to design some fabrics to go with my patterns and am planning to find time for this in the future.

Elisa has offered $7 US towards her shop for one lucky reader.  To enter simply leave a comment with the pattern you would choose to buy if you win (or even if you don’t 🙂  Comments will be open until Sunday night at midnight and the winner will be announced on Monday morning.  Good luck!