1. When did you start designing patterns and how did it come about?
I started designing patterns in 2007. Where has the time gone?!? The pdf pattern industry was still very new, so the sky was the limit on fresh ideas.
2. What training do you have or how did you learn?
My mom is an amazing seamstress. My childhood was filled with coordinating dresses for my sisters and myself. Even though she was happy to teach me, I was completely uninterested in sewing…..then I had kids…..and I had to go begging for lessons. Between my mom’s teaching, loads of research, and boatloads of sacrificial fabric, I developed enough experience to feel confident teaching others.
3. What is the process of designing a new pattern like?
Funny question, because I think every pattern goes through the same process in my house. I start by telling my beloved that I have a great, new idea that is “going to be so fast and easy to design”. When it’s finally finished, I tell him that I’ll never say that again. Somewhere in between, there is a lot of drafting, re-drafting, photographing, tutorial writing and (most importantly) testing.
4. What is the hardest part about designing a pattern in pdf form?
The hardest part for me is finishing! I rarely finish one pattern before I’m ready to start the next. It’s difficult to get excited by the little details, like fabric requirements and picture cropping, once a new idea has started to grow.
5. What is your favorite of your patterns and why?
Does it sound too vain to say that I still have a crush on my girls’ undies pattern? After all of these years, I still make them for my girl (who is nearly 13!). There’s something very satisfying about finishing a stack. They even make folding laundry more appealing ;)
6. Do you sew for your own family or for sale? What do you prefer more, sewing or pattern design, and why?
Aside from occasional stacks of undies, I don’t sew much for my family. They’ve outgrown my style. I love working with beautiful fabrics, but my heart belongs to pattern drafting. It’s like a crazy and wonderful jigsaw puzzle.
7. Have you learned anything from feedback from customers that you would like to share with other designers or wanna-be designers?
I’ve learned so much from customers. Simple, clear instructions and detailed photos are invaluable. For any designers starting out, I would add that I would be lost without my amazing team of testers.
8. Best time and place to design?
I am most productive at night or first thing in the morning before my people wake up. I’m highly distractible once my house is hopping. My sewing room is a sunroom that is desirable to everyone in the house, so I’m rarely lonely.
9. Favorite fabric of all time?
I could never narrow it down to just one fabric, but anything that makes me weepy to cut is a contender. My most recent sacrifice was some Victoria & Albert Museum – Garthwaite Collection
10. Favorite thing to do for fun?
I love reading, hiking, photography, and any board game my family can agree on.
What a fun interview.
Interesting factoid here: Kate's Tiered Twirly Skirt was my first pdf pattern purchase, back in February 2010. I have made it many times since.