Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Thank you from Sew Chic

I have a lot to be thankful for. 
"Ariel" Designed for Competition about 2001
I began college in 1993 working toward a BS in apparel design, finally finishing in 2003. I gave myself a few years to hone my design skills by going back to custom design, mostly bridal and evening wear, and by 2008 I felt ready to tip toe out into the world with a few designs. About this same time, I saw Colette patterns showing up on Flickr. Sarai (who also lives in the Oregon Willamette Valley) was also doing vintage inspired at the time.

"Chantilly" was inspired by my mother's wedding dress, about 2005

Though I'm stepping a little more boldly now, Colette is definitely running at jet speed. What could I have taken from those business classes that could have made any difference? If I missed something, I'm sure it wouldn't have helped. Business is not my talent, and never will be. I can only be me, and I'm a designer and love pattern making all the way!

"Dalliah" is a mix of three different patterns: Fifth Ave. bodice and drape with Fantasia Skirt, about 2004

Sales numbers are definitely one way to gauge popularity, and the the proceeds of your purchases (where ever that may be) do keep the machine running. But one perk of my job not associated with cash is getting to know you though your communications and kind comments. Today I received the most wonderful and kind compliment when Francesca decided to comment on my Threads article blog post sharing her very sensible strategy when adding to her sewing magazine stash.

"Chinoiserie" was designed for my mother. It's her favorite and she is still wearing it! Yes, it definitely needs to be replaced. About 2003.

She says "I buy Threads sometimes - I don't say always because I have such a stash of Burdas, Neue Modes, La mia Boutique etc that I have to really discriminate - so I don't buy any pattern mags any more unless there's at least one amazing or two useful patterns - doesn't happen much any more, I tend to prefer indies like you :). Threads I buy if there's at least one useful article - and to be honest when I saw there was an article by you I didn't even flick through - just bought it - because your instructions and patterns are so brilliant :). Loved this article."

"Essence" was inspired by a Threads magazine article. 3 Designers were chosen, then told to make something modern using 1914 era as inspiration. Hey Threads, how about another article like that?

 Francesca, you have no idea how you warmed my heart with your kind comments today. You didn't have to say it. In fact, you didn't have to say anything at all. But if the internet is good for anything, shouldn't it be used it to spread good things throughout our world community? Thanks to you Francesca, and all of you who have helped me get down the road to where I am today. I had no idea where those first timid steps would take me, but as one woman put it (the first year vending at the Sew and Stitchery Expo) as she walks away with a smile, "We'll let you know if we don't like you!"  As always, your comments are welcome!

Have a great sewing day!


  1. I have to agree! I can't get enough of your beautiful designs!! They always catch my eye and make me stop and look as they definitely "stand out" in the crowd!!! Please keep doing what you love and do best Laura!

  2. It was a great honor to meet you a couple of years ago at SewExpo, and buy my now favorite TNT, the Fifth Avenue. When I wear that dress, I am unstoppable. It's my armor, I always get compliments, I always get asked where they can get one, and I have turned down a few folks who wanted me to make them one.

    I am not going to bash other companies to build you up, but you have an amazing set of talents and an eye for line and cut. You may not be taking the fast lane to fame, but you've made something new and amazing, and I don't know many pattern folks who can equal that, no matter how well they market themselves.

    1. Thanks SJ. I remember, and glad to have met you too. I hope you'll be coming to Expo next year? I am happy to hear you are dazzling everyone with your favorite TNT. I try will try to keep that "new and amazing" thing going as long as I can!

  3. Your designs are fresh and elegant at the same time. I love that you provide such a quality design with detail for those who love to sew. Anyone can put squares together and call it a garment but you really design original inspired looks. The business will follow and personally, I think you are doing great at it. Please don't ever try to be like other indie companies. You stand out for great design and quality. Keep up the great work.

  4. I will agree with the sentiments of others and encourage you not to compare yourself to the 'popular' indies. There's a glut of indie patternmakers catering themselves to the beginner and I don't think they create quality or unique designs, nor well drafted patterns.
    You just keep doing you! I love your designs and your blog can be relied on for quality makes. :-D

  5. Thank you! I'm so glad my honest words resonated with you. I popped in after getting your newsletter featuring your gorgeous new design, and saw this. I must say that every pattern I have of yours, and I have quite a few, has impressed me - I would get them all, hut I don't have the social life to need certain styles.... I've learnt from your patterns, which is not something common. As for racing ahead, it can have undesirable side effects, such as loss of quality, spreading too thin, and a loss of vision.... none of these apply to you.


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