Over the past year of sewing with Indie Patterns I've been blown away, not only by the patterns but also, by the designers incredible generosity and approachability. I've been keen to learn more about these companies and the designers who created them. I assume others are interested too so I thought I'd invite a few of these wonderful and creative people to tell us a bit about themselves. I'm particularly interested to hear more from pattern designers whose companies are new initiatives or are locals (Australian). I'll post the interviews as they come along and hope to include the occasional giveaway where possible.
*See end of post for a fabulous giveaway on behalf of Indie Stitches*
First up is the wonderful Abby, owner and creator of Bluegingerdoll Patterns who is based in my home town Melbourne, Australia. The first Bluegingerdoll pattern was released a little over a year ago, and already 6 further patterns have been released. Abby creates vintage inspired patterns which flatter the curvy figure. Her patterns have been well received throughout the sewing community.
Abby, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and the role of sewing in your life?
Sewing is an all consuming force in my life at the moment, although its more in respect to creating sewing patterns for others to sew. I haven't actually sewn much for myself for quite sometime.
When/how did you decide to take the plunge in beginning an indie sewing pattern company?
Early 2012 i decided to take the plunge into making Bluegingerdoll a reality. I have previously studied Fashion design & Technology and I had been creating patterns for myself and others before I started down this road. The transition into creating patterns for Bluegingerdoll was easier in my mind than it turned out to be. There was a lot of trial and error beforehand with designs as well as working out how to run Bluegingerdoll smoothly on the side whilst still working a 9-5 day job.
Your very first pattern, the gorgeous Billie Jean Dress, recently turned 1. You have since released 6 (!) more patterns. This is incredibly prolific. Whats the secret to your success?
This may sound cliche but there aren't any secrets (sorry) just a lot of hard work. I am learning a lot as I go, and Bluegingerdoll continues to evolve with each new pattern release. I guess, maybe i'm getting better at handling it all. I absolutely love what I do and the hard work that comes along with Bluegingerdoll is something I get a real kick out of too. I also have a very supportive partner who helps me out big time, especially with the business side of things.
Could you tell me a little about your design process? How does an idea grow to be a physical pattern? (Are you a computer based designer or a pen and paper kinda gal? Flat pattern or draper?)
I'm a mixture of all of the above but to be honest more old school. I prefer to be more hands on when designing. It also depends on the design itself finding the right method to work with to get the idea out of my head and into a working form, so sometimes I do move into different methods of pattern making.
What is the inspiration behind your patterns? How were Ava and Betsy dreamed up?
I've always been a fan of a fitting and flattering pencil skirt. I have a little too many in my wardrobe. I love that there a simple staple but so 'Va va voom' in a subtle way. Betsy in particular I wanted to design, so it could be a pencil skirt that could be worn in varying styles as well as be flattering on a curvy figure. In my mind, I wanted to create an outfit such as Betsy & Ava that would try to capture the femininity and glamour that was so prevalent in the 50s era, and also pieces that aren't just for special occasion wear, for everyday.
What have you learnt over your 1+ in business with Bluegingerdoll Patterns and what advice would you give home sewers and wannabe pattern designers?
I've learnt so, so much since starting Bluegingerdoll and not only about running a small business, but myself as well. Patience (still working on that one), your only one person, you do need to sleep and take care of yourself properly. Copious amounts of coffee and junk food do not make for a 100% functioning person. As well as accepting that the hard work is just part of it all. My advice for others is to learn as much as you can, hone those sewing/pattern drafting skills or whatever the skill may be before moving onto the next. Read, read and read and then read some more, sewing books, blogs absorb yourself in it all. Just never stop learning. Also, get involved in the awesome sewing community, they're a great supportive bunch.
Any hints about what's to come from Bluegingerdoll Patterns?
At the moment I have a few new designs in the works and am working towards broadening the horizons of Bluegingerdoll in the coming months.
Thanks so much to Abby for sharing her story with us. I cannot wait to see what "broadening the horizons of Bluegingerdoll " entails - what a teaser!
To celebrate the release of Bluegingerdoll's new Patterns and also the first of hopefully many interviews with Indie Sewing Pattern designers, I'm holding a giveaway for any one Bluegingerdoll PDF pattern available on the Indie Stitches Website. This giveaway is open internationally and a winner will be randomly drawn on Monday the 9th of June.
To enter: Visit Indie Stiches, choose which B luegingerdoll PDF pattern you'd like to win, and leave me a comment letting me know. If you like, also tell me what question you'd ask your favourite Indie Pattern Designer. Please also provide a contact email. Goodluck!