Sewing Indie Month has almost come to an end…but not without one more post! Today I am posting an interview with Sew Caroline. She recently released several modern and comfortable patterns that are super cute and I was so excited to get to connect with her and learn more about her philosophy and design style. Now you can too! Here is our interview.
- Which came first…love of sewing or desire to make your own styles prompting learning sewing?
I think my answer to this question is … both! BUT, I didn’t sew garments at first. When I first began my sewing journey I loved sewing small, easy to sew items such as zip pouches, bags, etc. but I wanted to create my own style of these items because I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. I began imagining the things I would create and shortly after finding a way to sew them.
- What started you sewing…what was the precipitating moment? DO you think of sewing all the time? What aspects do you dwell on mostly?
I begain sewing about four or five years ago when I received a sewing machine for Christmas. It was a magical day! I don’t remember much a bout the first few months of owning the machine, but I quickly learned how to use it and found myself staying up late watching youtube videos on how to sew things.. This is how I learned! I think of sewing and designing MUCH more often than I care to. I find myself awake in the middle of the night thinking of a new pattern that’s been in my head and having “aha!” moments of figuring out how those seams should go together. It’s really a problem! ha! I dwell on the design of things a lot. When I am out shopping and/or gathering inspiration, I tend to think deeply about how certain garments are put together, etc. I love learning new techniques!
- How would you describe what you sew? Is there a particular influence on your choice of design? When did you decide sewing your own clothes was important to you? When did you decide to share your ideas as patterns with others? What inspires or influences your style? Do your pattern plans come from dreaming up styles or from styles you see and want to modify to fit your ideas?
Because I know people live busy lives, I want my garment designs to be things women can sew in an afternoon. Quick and simple are important to me when sewing as well as designing. I love being creative, so when I first learned to read a pattern and began sewing my own clothes I did it because of the sense of pride I felt! NOW, I wear my own clothes proudly because I never have time to go shopping and prefer what I have sewn over other store bought things. When I began altering pattern so much that they no longer looked a bit like what the original pattern looked like, I knew it was time to start designing my own, from-scratch patterns. I love seeing ready to wear garments that look simple enough for me to sew. I gain a lot of inspiration from current trends and timeless staples.
- Describe your typical sewing/patterning daily routine.
Every day is different, BUT.. I typically get up in the mornings around 7, make my coffee and eat breakfast while checking Instagram, emails, etc. The emails that need responses immediately, I answer. The others wait until around mid-afternoon. After coffee, I head into my studio and decide what has priority. It may be a sewing project, some pattern drafting, a blog post, etc. I figure out what it is and do it right then. After this I eat a bite for lunch and typically go work out in the early afternoon. When I am back, I do some more emailing and computer work and then have a couple of hours in the late afternoon to do a bit more sewing. Sometimes this late afternoon time spot is used for a photo shoot. Like I said, though, everyday is different, so I kind of fly by the seat of my pants sometimes J
- You have released your first three patterns in such a short period of time! Are there more en route very soon? What have you learned from these patterns that will affect your future releases?
I have been working on these three patterns for about 8 months, so it seems like they all released in a very short amount of time, but in reality they’ve been in the works for quite some time! I have another pattern set to release in 4-5 weeks that I am really excited about. Every thing I’ve learned has been through trial and error and I have of course learned valuable things through each and every release!
- What helped you decide to start your own pattern company…what was your “aha” moment?
After I realized I was re designing so many patterns to where they no longer looked anything like the pattern I had purchased, I realized that was silly.. I should design my own! That was definitely my “aha” moment.. and it happened almost a year ago.
- What types of designs are your primary focus? Has designing your own fabric influenced the kind of patterns you design?
I love wearing dresses and easy to style tops and skirts. So these easy to sew staples are definitely my primary focus. Since my fabrics will be sold in quilt shops, I try to design clothing that will work well with quilting cottons (along with other apparel fabrics!)
- What influences your style?
I love classic, yet trendy styles. I love Anthopologie, J.Crew, ModCloth, etc. I find a lot of inspiration for my patern and fabric designs through ready to wear garments.
- What are you finding is the hardest part of having your own business?
Finding time to do everything!!!
10. Will you be having sew-alongs? Why or why not?
I want to! I just haven’t found the time to get it all organized, yet! I think it is a fabulous way for people to connect while sewing the same patterns.
11. How do you bring your sewing/pattern/designing day to an end…or do you?
My husband comes home and we have dinner together.. I try to stop working for a couple of hours to spend time with him, but inevitable I am always back at it for an hour or two before I go to bed.
12. Do you still have time to sew for yourself using patterns by other designers?
Not much… but I try. I really enjoy this part of sewing! I am hoping to get to do more self-sewing this summer.
13. Is there anything else you would like to say?
Thank you so much for having me here today! I’d love to connect with you on my blog (SewCaroline.com), Instagram (@SewCaroline), or Facebook (fb.com/sewcarolineblog)!
It is so sad that Sewing Indie Month is almost over but I hope everyone enjoyed it and that you learned about some new indie pattern companies…I definitely did! Stay tuned for a new challenge I am participating in being announced in a few days