Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Melissa of Lilac Lanes Patterns - Pattern Designer Interview

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

-->I started designing patterns when I owned a small store in my town. It was a co-op of crafty people, like a candle maker and jewelry and a soap maker. I made floral arrangements. Customers asked for certain sewn items, and as I sew, I just started adding these. Pretty soon I thought, "I should make these designs into patterns." Before long, the sewing took off and by 2009 I started creating patterns for Moda Bake Shop and Riley Blake Cutting Corners. My first patterns came out in 2010.

2. What training do you have or how did you learn?
--> I had some great teachers in my mother, my grandma-like neighbor and my 4-H leader. I have literally been sewing my entire life.

3. What is the process of designing a new pattern like?
--> Designing patterns is so exciting! My favorite part is when I get to create and play around with fabric. Fitting is the hardest and I always test the patterns on each size in the pattern. Thank goodness for all the great pattern testers! I couldn't make it without you guys!

4. What is the hardest part about designing a pattern in pdf form?
--> Ah pdf. Love them and hate them. My patterns are released in both paper and pdf. For me, my preference will always be paper! There's something about getting that beautifully packaged pattern that just speaks to me. But for those that love pdf, I offer that format as well. And while it's a challenge to create an outfit as a pdf, it can be accomplished! As long as you're willing to piece together many pages of paper (sometimes 40 or more!)

5. What is your favorite of your patterns and why?
--> Beloved will always be extra special because my girls wore it as flower girls in my niece's wedding.

Beloved Dress Pattern for Girls sizes 2T to 10


6. Do you sew for your own family or for sale? What do you prefer more, sewing or pattern design, and why?
--> I sew for my girls and everything I make has to be something they can use. I prefer sewing to the pattern design. I get grumpy with too many hours in front of the computer! But my business demands that computer time.

7. Have you learned anything from feedback from customers that you would like to share with other designers or wanna-be designers?
--> Fit is everything. I still draw out all the pieces by hand before putting them into a computer, but each designer has their own, personal method.

Cherished for Dolls Dress e-Pattern 

for American Girl and Bitty Baby 15" 18" dolls

8. Best time and place to design?
Any time! But seriously, around here it's mornings because my youngest is home in the afternoons.

 9. Favorite fabric of all time?

Amy Butler's Love line. I'm all out! My favorite two pieces are Memento Midnight and Bliss Bouquet in teal. I wallpapered my laundry room in Water Bouquet in Midnight. My husband claims it burns his retinas so he can't go in there any more. ha ha

10. Favorite thing to do for fun?
Going out to eat with my husband, a board game with my kids (especially rummikub), running also with my husband, playing tennis, reading. All great things I have to take a break and do from time to time!

Stay tuned for a few more pattern designer interviews to come....... 

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