Tag Archive for the sewing loft

Sewing Pattern Designs Q&A + Giveaway!

Today, I’m excited to feature my friend Heather of The Sewing Loft and celebrate her patterns being licensed with Simplicity Creative Group. That’s right…the Simplicity patterns you can pick up at Jo-Ann’s or your favorite local craft store!

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post!

Heather, congrats on your licensed patterns with Simplicity Creative Group! Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got started in pattern design?

Thank you. To say that I am excited to see my designs hit the store would be a complete understatement. I am still in a state of disbelief to know that a brand I grew up sewing has published my designs… Total “pinch me” moment!

Background: Well, I have been sewing forever. I started when I was around seven, just watching my mother and grandmother stitching away at the machine…. waiting for my turn. Later my passion turned into a career as a designer in the apparel industry and it has been non-stop from there.

Where do you get ideas for patterns and how do you record them?
I am a people watcher at heart! I love seeing what people are doing, wearing and interested in. When an idea strikes, I scribble it down in a note pad. I swear, I have too many to count floating around.

What does the process of designing a pattern look like for you?
Pattern making for me is like a complete rush. I sketch my idea on paper and then if I LOVE it, I can not rest until it is complete. Normally, I draft the pattern on paper or direct on my mannequin in muslin. Then, I dive head-first into sewing. Sadly, I am terrible at jotting down notes during the process. Instead, I am so dialed in on what the finished product should look like that I keep testing and tweaking until I get it right. It’s only after I am happy with the outlook that I realize I need to go back, recreate and develop step by step instructions for others to follow. I swear, you would think by now I would be more disciplined but the creative side of me always wins.

Do you have advice for other pattern designers who are looking to branch out into getting their work published?
My best advice to pass on to anyone interested in having their designs published is to reach out, introduce yourselves to brands and see if they are interested. New talent is being discovered everyday! And the biggest surprise to me was just how long the process has taken. This little labor of love started back in September of 2011 with a simple connection and it was not until last summer that things really started to get rolling. Best advice: Be patient.

Video: How to Write Sewing Patterns

If you heard the big announcement, you know that we’ve been working to launch the new Video Chats at Craft Buds series! We are excited to kick off the series today with a chat on How to Write Sewing Patterns with our fun and informative panel of experts.

How to write sewing patterns with an expert panel
Jessica Abbott, SewSet and Me Sew Crazy
Andrea Pannell, Go To Patterns and The Train to Crazy
Heather Valentine, The Sewing Loft

In this Craft Buds Video Chat, I interviewed Jessica, Heather and Andrea on the basics of designing sewing patterns, including:

-How to find and record inspiration
- Sewing a prototype
- Design and formatting of patterns
- Marketing and selling your patterns
- Legal issues and more!

Just a little background: I met these ladies in Salt Lake City this October while I was in town for Sewing Summit and the Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores Girl’s Night Out Blogger Get Together, organized by Jessica. It wasn’t long before I learned how each of them is a true master of their craft, writing fabulous sewing patterns for children’s wear, women’s wear, accessories and home decor.

In addition to having truly great and inspirational DIY blogs, Andrea and Jessica have each developed online communities for sewing pattern creators, which you’ll hear more about in the video. I love what these ladies are doing to help celebrate and support independent pattern makers!

Heather’s background is in pattern drafting in the fashion apparel industry, and you can watch the video to see where her patterns will appear next. She would hate for me to say this, but she’s kind of a BIG deal! I definitely learned a lot from these ladies, and I know you’ll love what they have to say.

The video chat is about 40 minutes, so feel free to turn it on and let it play while you’re in the sewing room or while browsing Pinterest in the next window. We don’t mind. ;)

If you have more questions that we didn’t cover, please leave a comment on this post, and I’ll be happy to reach out and get you an answer from one or more of our experts.

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