Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Mira of Tulips and Edelweis - Pattern Designer Interview

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

--> I've always used existing patterns as a source of inspiration, but I rarely if ever follow them to a T. I usually alter something or combine a few patterns to get the look I have in my minds eye on paper!

2. What training do you have or how did you learn?
--> I have no formal training of pattern drafting, however, I come from a long line of tailors (going back to at least 1800). I have been around patterns and tailoring since my birth!

3. What is the process of designing a new pattern like?
--> I start by drawing out some sketches and then from there I work out each of the individual pattern pieces on my pattern paper. Once I have pattern pieces, I start to play with fabrics, partly b/c it is fun, but by feeling the fabric it helps me figure out if the fabric is appropriate for what I want to create! I then sew up the pattern and make any adjustments needed! If necessary, I will sew up a second version of the pattern. I take pictures along the way and make shorthand notes of the order in which I sew and important steps and note down things to watch out for as I sew. Once I am satisfied, I redraw the pattern and grade it by hand for all the sizes I need. I then scan the pieces into my computer. (The larger pattern pieces I will cut up and scan individually). Once the pieces have all been scanned I digitalize each pattern piece in Photoshop (I digitally glue the larger pieces back together). I then write up my instructions (although I sometime switch back and forth between the digitalization and instruction writing. After I have both the instructions and the pattern pieces ditialized, I convert the files to pdf, and email the pdfs to testers, who will sew up their own version of the pattern using my instructions and provide feedback on both the pattern and the instructions. Once I have made any adjustments, my pattern is available for sale

4. What is the hardest part about designing a pattern in pdf form?
--> I think the hardest part of pattern making is the drafting of the pattern blocks, and fine tuning them to create the vision you have in your head!

5. What is your favorite of your patterns and why?
--> Well since I only have the LARA out at the moment, I will go with that one, but I have a few I am working on, that are tugging at my heart strings!

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 own family but I also do custom work. I enjoy sewing and pattern making equally, but I do prefer pattern design over custom orders as I it satisfies my creative side more!

7. Have you learned anything from feedback from customers that you would like to share with other designers or wanna-be designers?
--> If in doubt, include it in the instructions, if a seamstress is familiar with the technique she can read over it, or do it her way!

8. Best time and place to design?
--> In my sewing studio, when the kids are either at school or sleeping!

 9. Favorite fabric of all time?

I don't have one favourite that comes to mind, but I am drawn to vivid and bold colours! I have a hard time walking away from Hilco, Stenzo and Jennifer Paganelli fabrics!

10. Favorite thing to do for fun?
Spending time with my family is my favourite activity! Playing with the kids and spending some quality time with the hubby is priceless!

Mira has a new pattern, coming soon, called Lulu. Here's a sneak peak!

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

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