Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Mean Princess - pattern designer interview

Today, I am starting a new series on Handmade Dress Haven called the Pattern Designer Interview.  I happen to know quite a few lovely and talented pattern designers. I feel blessed to have them in my life, not only to sew their patterns but also to chat with them. I call them my friends, even though I have never met them "in real life."   They inspire me with their creativity, generosity, and overall good will.  I asked them all the same questions and will be sharing all their answers.

First up, Meagan of The Mean Princess

1. When did you start designing patterns and how did it come about?

I started of necessity. My daughter was starting kindergarten and needed a art smock. I wanted something different then the things I saw in the stores, something custom. A friend of mine sewed but I couldn't afford the $40 for a apron she was going to make. So I went to a quilt shop, got fabric. I taped printer paper together and held it to my child and drew out the shape.......there was my 1st pattern!

2. What training do you have or how did you learn?

I have had no formal training. I will say it's in the blood line, I am a 4th generation seamstress/designer. I taught myself by talking my daughters outgrown clothing apart, looking inside all garments as the went into the wash. I had used PDF's and kind of saw the "trend" in sizing in certain areas.

3. What is the process of designing a new pattern like?

It's wonderful yet maddening.....you have this idea yet your mind works far faster than your hands. It generally starts with a sketch which looks like a kindergartener's work, hehe. The the drafting on paper with rulers, compass, french curves and a GOOD eraser. It can take a day or it can take week for the drafting part only. Then you have sewing, pictures and instructions to add. 


4. What is the hardest part about designing a pattern in pdf form?

Personally for me, I know it's different to all designers, is the instructions. It's mind numbingly painful, for me.

5. What is your favorite of your patterns and why?

Gosh, they are all my babies. Taylor was my 1st and she will always have a special place in my heart but I think Mae. There are so many options and I really think she will be a great basic pattern but she can be dressed up too. 

6. Do you sew for your own family or for sale? What do you prefer more, sewing or pattern design, and why?

I do sew for members of my little family of three. I do also sew for pay from time to time for extra money and because I started off that way, I don't want my long term customers to be let down. I adore them. I prefer design, it is like breathing to me......it's a necessity to me. Being creative is my therapy, my passion, it's me. I do have to take a break from it and just sew or I get myself in a tizzy. 

7. Have you learned anything from feedback from customers that you would like to share with other designers or wanna-be designers?

No matter how simply you think something is, someone else will find it complex. 

Addison pants and Lucy Top

8. Best time and place to design?

Rainy days in my studio

9. Favorite fabric of all time?

Ooooooo, that's hard. Probably Anna Maria Horner Loulou Thi, that is my favorite I have actually owned. 

10. Favorite thing to do for fun?

Snuggle up and watch a good movie with the family, either all in the bed big or drag a mattress in the living room in front of a fire. Oooo, we need to do that soon! Maybe also roast marshmallows too!

Hope you enjoy the read!  
Be sure to check out this sweet lady's patterns and tell her I sent you.



  1. Fun fun fun! I love to read about other peoples passions! Bless you and i love your work! KPea

  2. What a fun thing to do Kathy!! Loved this! :)
    Crystal Baker-Hanson

  3. Thanks for sharing this Kathy!!! What fun!!

  4. This series is a great idea. I can't wait to read all of the interviews.!!!
    Dawn Hoge