Monthly Archives:

January 2015

giveaway week on KCW!
winter

figgys + giveaway

The clothes that Shelly Figeuroa designs for her pattern company Figgy’s really stand out in this world of t-shirts and sweatpants. Figgy’s patterns are super chic, but are designed with real kids in mind. They are always simple and modern, but they have delightful details as well. They are constructed in interesting ways, but not impossible to sew. Most importantly they are comfortable and my kids love wearing them. 

Figgy’s started with a single pattern. Read my interview with Shelly to see that first pattern and how her company has grown since! At the end of the post you can to enter to win some fabulous Figgy’s patterns!

figgy's + giveaway on KCW

  • When did you learn to sew and who taught you?

My very patient mother taught me how to sew and I had a little help from the 4H too.

figgy's + giveaway on KCW

  • When did you first start designing your own patterns? Do you remember what the first pattern you made was?

My first pattern was the “Ella’s Bubble Bottom Skirt”. It was first just a skirt I made up and was selling on Etsy but Anita the owner of Sew to Speak in Ohio asked if I would make up a pattern and teach a class at her shop. That was in 2008.

  • How did you make the jump from making your own patterns to selling them? Was there anyone specific who influenced you?

I owe it to both Anita at Sew to Speak for giving me courage and Gina owner of Bolt Fabric for adding the heart. I took my little hand drawn pattern to Gina at Bolt and she sat down with me and told me everything that was good and bad. I’ve always thought of her as my mentor. I love that woman and wish I could visit with her everyday.

  • How has Figgy’s grown and changed over the years?

1000 ways and more. It’s been quite a journey of regret, mistakes, success and growth. I found that when I really was true to myself I was happiest. When I stopped trying to please people and just say yes to things I loved it flowed. I owe a lot to Karen LePage and Danielle Caine for teaching me so much about myself and design. I’m happy to say I’ve found what I truly love through the journey but it wasn’t always easy.

figgy's + giveaway on KCW

  • Figgy’s has gone from simple patterns to modern, fashion forward children’s wear. Can you talk about that a bit?

The change came with the idea of being true to what type of clothing I love. I’m not the “Ruffle” type of gal. I love clean lines with pops of unique. Japanese pattern books are extremely inspirational for me.  

  • What has designing and selling children’s wear patterns taught you about sewing? drafting? business? life? pick one or all 😉

The first major thing about selling children’s wear patterns is that you can’t please everyone and that’s ok. I’ve learned to pay someone to do a job that would have taken me 1000 more hours. It’s best to present for the people rather than sitting behind a computer learning new software.

  • What would you tell someone who wants to sell their own patterns?
  1. When someone pays you a compliment say, “Thank you,” because you deserve it.
  2. Schedule hours and stick to them.
  3. Don’t release a pattern until you feel 110% otherwise you’ll sit up nights worrying that something was wrong and its too late.
  4. Don’t share the date for release until everything is 110%, it takes the pressure off.

figgy's + giveaway on KCW

  • You are also passionate about teaching children to sew! Could you tell us a bit about the classes you teach?

Teaching has really taken over my life (in a good way). I LOVE inspiring kids to think outside the box and if they feel it then go for it! My classes have no real age limit or levels to them. If a child has never sewn before but wants to make a dress then I say let’s do it. I won’t make them sit through a load of projects that they could care less about. I like to grab them where their passion lies. My new book for C&T publishing was 100% inspired by the kids I teach and I can’t wait to share that with my kiddos.

  • Wait, a book?! Tell us more! 
I can only say that I have written a book for Fun Stitch Studio an imprint of C&T Publishing. The book will be released July 2015 and I can’t wait to share more. The students I teach were my inspiration. 🙂
  • Do you have any advice about teaching our kids to sew?

Purchase new machines with speed control. Nothing is worse than trying to teach a child on a machine that is so old and dusty it barely works.
Grab a piece of painters tape or washi tape and place it at the 1/2″ seam allowance mark. Direct them to place the edge of the fabric with the edge of the tape to help them learn to sew straight. Let them play with the decorative stitches for as long as they want. Sewing should be fun!

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That’s great advice, Shelly, thank you!

figgy's + giveaway on KCW

 

Now I know you want to sew up some of these lovely patterns! Shelly has generously offered to giveaway the whole Heavenly Collection7 patterns that can easily be mixed and matched to create a whole wardrobe (a $70 value!). Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter by Friday Feb 6. This giveaway is open to international entries, void where prohibited by law. One winner will receive 7 PDF patterns from the Heavenly Collection.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck and Happy KCW!

Don’t forget to enter all the giveaways this giveaway week: Pattern Workshop, Scientific Seamstress and Sis Boom Patterns, Whipstich, Crafterhours, Figgy’s

giveaway week on KCW!
winter

crafterhours + giveaway

Susan is a powerhouse in the craft world. She is half of the dynamic blogging duo on the Crafterhours blog. She is the genius behind the Friday Fiver, where each Friday on Crafterhours they feature a pattern (or sometimes other fun things) that for one day is only $5! She also might be the reason I am hoarding more patterns than I need;) On top of all of that, she is part of the dream team behind the wildly successful Facebook site (and blog too!) called the Daily Seam. What did I say? Susan is a powerhouse!

But we’re not going to talk about any of that today. We’re going to talk about yet another awesome thing that Susan runs, the Crafterhours shop. Susan has kids, so she knows what kid’s rooms look like–clothes everywhere except in the dresser!  Being super crafty, Susan solved the problem by making vinyl stickers that show kids what clothes go where.  And the I-know-where-it-goes Drawer Stickers were born!

crafterhours + giveaway on KCW

She generously created a tutorial so all of us could make them too. But people clambered for her to sell her stickers, so she did! Now her shop is stocked to the gills with vinyl drawer stickers for every girl, boy, and baby in every color of the rainbow–and more! The stickers are vinyl, which means they go on and come off easily and stick to most anything.

crafterhours + giveaway on KCW

When I first saw Susan’s stickers, they were so professional looking I assumed she had them manufactured somewhere. But no! She makes them all herself! She does all of the cutting from her home office and her mom helps her with the packing and shipping. It’s a veritable mom and grandmom operation!

I was so excited when Susan wanted to partner with KCW, because it’s such a perfect match! Is there anything more painful than seeing a handmade garment crumpled up in a ball on the floor? Or perfectly good pants–that took For! Ever! to sew–jammed in the back of the sock drawer? Now all those gorgeous handmade clothes you make will end up neatly folded and in the right place (well, in the right place at least).

crafterhours + giveaway on KCW

She also has a line of Let’s-sort-this-out Kids Clothes Storage Labels. All those too small handmades you are saving for the next baby (or grandbaby!) can now be organized and put away until that day comes. Both these and the I-know-where-it-goes Drawer Stickers would make fantastic gifts for mothers-to-be–especially if it’s their 2nd or 3rd child and they already have all the necessities.

So what are you waiting for? Enter to win a $50 gift certificate to the Crafterhours shop and make it rain drawer stickers in your neighborhood! Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter by Thursday Feb 5. This giveaway is open to international entries, void where prohibited by law. Winner will receive 1 $50 gift certificate to the Crafterhours shop.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck and Happy KCW!

Don’t forget to enter all the giveaways this giveaway week: Pattern WorkshopScientific Seamstress and Sis Boom PatternsWhipstich, Crafterhours, and Figgy’s.

giveaway week on KCW!
winter

whipstitch + giveaway

I picked up the book Stitch by Stitch in a book store years ago. There weren’t a ton of sewing books on the market then and this one stood out with its great projects and attention to detail. I knew right away when I started reading it that a real sewer wrote it–a real sewer and a real teacher. And that is exactly what the author, Deborah Moebes is! Since then Deborah has written another fantastic book and grown her blog, Whipstitch,  into a thriving business. She not only still sews and teaches, but she creates video tutorials for her patterns and has an extensive e-course collection. I was excited to interview Deborah and her more about her and her business.

interview with deborah moebes on KCW

  • When did you learn to sew and who taught you?

My mother and grandmother always sewed, so for me growing up, it never occurred to me not to! But I didn’t take it seriously or truly learn to love it until I worked in the costume shop in college, and began to see that sewing could go beyond the practical and become truly artistic. That’s where my love for working with beautiful fabrics and exploring new shapes was born, and where I discovered that sewing could really be a balm to the soul in tough times. I sewed my way through graduate school, and it totally kept me sane!

  • When did you first start designing your own patterns? Do you remember what the first pattern you made was?

It wasn’t until I had my second child that I really began to make my own patterns. Up until then, I exclusively worked with store-bought patterns, and it felt like this amazing epiphany when I realized that I could make my own! The discovery was almost like realizing I was a superhero and had just discovered my super power. The first pattern I drafted was a sweet girls’ jumper with a yoke and patch pockets. It seems pretty simple looking back, but I thought I would burst with pride.

  • How did you make the jump from making your own patterns to selling them? Was there anyone specific who influenced you?

When I first started sewing for a living, I was manufacturing children’s clothing for a local boutique co-op. I wasn’t making a lot of sales, but was offered the chance to teach classes and thought that would be a great way to supplement my clothing business. Pretty soon, classes were selling way better than clothes, and I gave up manufacturing (forever–thank goodness!). I kept all the patterns, and used them to teach my classes–and it wasn’t long before I saw that folks would love to buy the patterns themselves, no matter where they lived. I loved the freedom that PDF patterns provides, and how it makes it possible to design and sell with very little investment, and to purchase patterns from all over the world instantly. It’s been really exciting to see the market grow and change, and my business do the same right along with it!

  • What made you want to teach people to sew?

I taught high school for almost ten years, so part of me figured teaching sewing would be easy peasy. What I didn’t anticipate was how exciting and fulfilling and magical it would be to introduce people to the sewing machine. The way it can change lives is astounding–and I tell students all the time that you can’t keep secrets at the sewing machine, any upset or anger or fear or anything always comes out. It’s like therapy, but cheaper and you have something pretty to show for your trouble afterward! I think that’s what keeps me coming back: I can see, so tangibly, that sewing matters and changes people’s lives.

interview with deborah moebes on KCW

  • Some of your patterns are even mini-classes! They are called Learn as You Sew patterns. Could you tell us a bit about this new and exciting format?

I am so, so excited about this series!! These patterns combine my two loves: teaching sewing and making beautiful clothes. Each pattern is designed to teach and cement foundational sewing skills as you sew up a garment. They’re all tablet friendly and interactive, with embedded video links that allow you to work through the pattern as an e-course, with step-by-step guidance the entire way; with a little help here and there, using just the videos you need; or as a traditional sewing pattern. I love that they really open up the boundaries of garment sewing for folks who are just getting started, but are also great shapes and pieces that stitchers of any skill level would want to add to their wardrobe–the Get Up & Go Skirt is a great wardrobe staple, and I’ve got two year-round dresses coming out this spring that I love!

  • What has designing and selling patterns taught you about sewing? drafting? business? life? pick one or all 😉

Haha! Well, everything, really! I joke that sewing is therapy, but I’m only partly joking–I have found a zillion metaphors at the machine for life that have helped me be a better human being. I get to see all the different training I’ve gained over the course of working as a teacher, an archaeologist, a writer, and as a mom come together, and feed into the way I teach sewing to others. It’s enormously empowering to feel like I’ve really found a place where the things I love most can all roll together and be expressed at my sewing machine. I’ve learned that sewing is a small-scale reflection of our lives: everything’s an adventure; it’s OK to make mistakes; friends who get your brand of crazy and love it are the best kind of friends to have; and you get out of everything exactly the amount of love and sweat you put into it. Sewing has been my longest and truest teacher.

  • What would you tell someone who wants to make and maybe even sell their own patterns?

Do it!! Start by sewing, sewing, sewing as much as you can. Learn what you like and what it is that sets you apart. And then give it a whirl! There are so many ideas left to have, but it takes a certain temperament to turn them into sewing patterns–you could be the next Game Changer, but you’ll never know if you don’t jump in!

interview with deborah moebes on KCW

This is a class I developed after teaching it in person for years. My goal is to debunk the idea that in order to sew with knit fabrics. you HAVE to have special equipment–and that, by extension, to sew clothing you have to have fancy skills. Not true! I want everyone who sews to try sewing their own clothes, because I love the jubilation that comes with wearing something you’ve crafted yourself. This class covers all the basics: what knit fabrics are, what tools to use to make them behave, and how to sew them just on your sewing machine. We make a tank top, a skirt, a pair of lounge pants, and a tee shirt–all without a serger in sight! And once you make your own tee shirts and leggings, it’s hard to ever go back to store-bought–they’re just so quick and satisfying!

  • What are your plans for Whipstitch in the future?

The next year is all about new patterns! I’ve got a huge list of upcoming Learn As You Sew patterns in the works, and am developing some of my older kids’ patterns from previous e-courses into stand-alone titles, too. Lots of dresses and skirts and tops coming along! I’ve also got two new e-courses in development with a mess of video that I’m pretty excited about–I can’t say much just yet, but I think folks are going to be really excited about them (especially moms…shhhh!).

  • Any sewing going on this KCW?

Always! I’m in the final stages of prepping my next kids’ pattern, a dress for girls, and am making sample after sample after sample of that one–it has some great collar and sleeve variations, and I keep seeing more and more fabric that would look great in that style! I’m really ready to share it with everyone, so I suspect you’ll all see Instagram sneak peeks all KCW long.

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interview with deborah moebes on KCW

Thank you so much, Deborah! And now for the giveaway! One lucky winner will get all  Whipstitch children’s patterns:  the Overmost, the Pinafore. And you will win Deborah’s e-course How to Sew Knits without a Serger! All together it’s a prize package worth over $100!   Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter by Wednesday Feb 4. This giveaway is open to international entries, void where prohibited by law. Winner will receive 2 PDF patterns and 1 e-course.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck and HappyKCW!

Don’t forget to enter all the giveaways this giveaway week: Pattern WorkshopScientific Seamstress and Sis Boom Patterns, Whipstich, Crafterhours, Figgy’s