Posted in Designer Spotlight on Friday the 20th October 2017 by Vicki Ormerod
Hi, I’m Alice and I have recently set up the indie children’s wear pattern label Sew Me Wear Me. It’s been a labour of love to get to this point, but I’m so excited to now get my designs out into the world. There are four digital sewing patterns currently available to buy through my Etsy shop. They’ve been designed using modern sewing construction techniques, but have touches of vintage detail. Easy to make, comfy to wear, but still feel like special handmade garments.
I learnt to sew as a child. My grandmother was a dressmaker, and my mum is a knitter and crafter, so making things was always part of family life growing up. After my second child was born I spent a week in hospital and watched The Great British Sewing Bee on an iPad. I felt totally inspired to learn some proper dressmaking skills. So, a few months later I sold all my maternity clothes on eBay and used the proceeds to buy a discounted sewing machine. I tried a few patterns and made a few wonky garments, learning loads along the way. There is something so completely absorbing about making something yourself. I was totally hooked.
For the last few years I have squeezed sewing into every spare moment I could. I took a few sewing classes, discovered indie patterns and the wonderful sewing community on Instagram. I started writing a blog (Alice’s Sewing Adventures) about my sewing adventures and joined the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network. I really enjoyed making clothes for myself that fitted properly and starting making clothes for my children too. Frustrated by my failed attempts to sew a dress for my daughter, I had a go at drafting my own pattern. It worked brilliantly, and soon she had a wardrobe of Mummy-made dresses that she loved.
I have thoroughly enjoyed learning how to design sewing patterns. There’s something so satisfying about being able to create something 3D from a 2D paper design. I even love the geeky pattern-making maths! Having had a couple of my patterns published in Love Sewing magazine, I decided I wanted to have a go at digitizing my patterns and writing my own step-by-step instructions. I know how tricky it can be when you’re just starting out to follow a traditional sewing pattern, so I wanted to make mine really easy to get the hang of. It’s been a steep learning curve. With the help of a couple of online courses I have learnt to use Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop and Muse to create my digital patterns, instructions and website. I’ve had some help from a couple of wonderful people on the graphic design, photos, support, cups of tea and general loveliness.
Coming up with a name was tricky. After lots of playing around with children’s literature themes, my hubby came up with Sew Me Wear Me (a take on the ‘Eat Me’, ‘Drink Me’ labels from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland). I’d like my patterns to take the sewer and the wearer on new adventures. I really liked the name, it fitted with my blog name and it stuck. Making sure the patterns worked before putting them up for sale was very important, so I recruited a gang of willing and very helpful pattern testers to help me test out all the sizes and instructions. I got loads of useful feedback. Hopefully the patterns will be so much better for going through the testing process.
So, the website www.sewme-wearme.com is now open, with links through to my secure Etsy shop for instant downloads of the patterns. There are four patterns currently on sale: the Twinkle Twinkle Skirt and Pat-a-Cake Apron patterns are both beginner friendly; while the Flo Dress and Dreamland Pyjamas are more of an intermediate make. If you’re new to using digital patterns, they’re super easy. You simply download two PDFs: one is the pattern and the other is the instructions. The instructions take you through the whole process of printing the pattern pieces on A4 and sticking them together. You can even print just the sizes you need. All the patterns are between 18-30 sheets of A4. Much less than a full-sized adult pattern! There is also the option to request an A0 version for professional printing if you prefer. I am a big fan of Minerva Crafts Fabric, so each pattern includes links through to recommended materials from Minerva. It can be so overwhelming when you first start out to know where to start, I just wanted to make it that much easier for new sewists to get started.
I have so many ideas for new patterns and products! I am currently working on 3 new designs for release next year, and have plans for sewing kits and workshops too. I’d love to know what you think or if there are any particular patterns you’d love to see. If you’d like to be kept up-to-date with new releases and pattern testing opportunities, you can sign up to the mailing list or get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.
Happy sewing, Alice x
Posted in Designer Spotlight on Monday the 5th October 2015 by Annette
Posted in Designer Spotlight on Wednesday the 1st October 2014 by Vicki Ormerod