Sara of Sara Norris Patterns - Pattern Designer Interview
1. When did you start designing patterns and how did it come about?
About 3 or 4 years ago, it was a dress of my own design and later when I began to see PDF patterns, thought it might be a good one to publish. It is the Irby pattern and has been one of my best seller. It was also featured in Sew Beautiful magazine.
2. What training do you have or how did you learn?
I have no formal training in pattern making, but I have sewn for my family, friends and clients for over 30 years. So, I have taught myself as I go.
3. What is the process of designing a new pattern like?
Initially, it is an idea that has on occasion just popped into my head. I am inspired by many things, and sometimes it has been a single detail on another garment. Once I get that in my mind, I start sketching and playing with fabrications. Once I have the design clearly in mind, I start making samples.
4. What is the hardest part about designing a pattern in pdf form?
For me, it is the drawing of the pattern pieces. When I started, I used my own hand drawn pieces. Now I use a service. Learning to draw them in a computer program is a skill I have yet to master!!!
5. What is your favorite of your patterns and why?
My favorite is the Sweet Baby Jane pattern. I have a love of infant rompers and I especially love my idea for the bow.
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 both family and as a custom designer.. Hmmm, that is hard to say, but I think I enjoy creating a beautiful garment the most.
7. Have you learned anything from feedback from customers that you would like to share with other designers or wanna-be designers?
I can't think of a specific thing, other than it is very important to listen and pay attention to what your customers tell you. I do think having testers who are sewing the patterns for an actual child is extremely beneficial. I have had some great testers who have told me things about particular patterns that I had missed completely.
8. Best time and place to design?
For some reason, I tend to do more designing in the warmer months when I can sit on my porch. I like to take my sketch pad with me, and have complete solitude. ( a rare thing to come by,most of the time) !!!
9. Favorite fabric of all time?
Italian Sateen, or Swiss Batiste
10. Favorite thing to do for fun?
Shopping with my fabulous husband, he is the greatest shopper ever!! also, road trips and antiquing with him, playing with my grands, and gardening!!
Stay tuned for a few more pattern designer interviews to come.......