As you all now I’m also the co-founder of Sew It Up, an online sewing competition for people based in Belgium and the Netherlands. A couple months ago, Tasia, the awesome + sweet boss of Sewaholic Patterns visited Belgium and the Netherlands and we had a change to meet up and chat. After her visit, she also released her two new patterns: Nicola & Harwood including Dutch translations. At the Sew It Up Headquarters, we thought it was a good idea to interview Tasia a bit on why she decided on different translations and on how she runs Sewaholic Patterns.
We are very proud to present a really cool interview with Tasia of Sewaholic Patterns on the Sew It Up blog today. So if you’d like to read the interview in Dutch, hop on over to the Sew It Up blog! Stay if you’d like to continue in English 🙂
For starters: can you introduce yourself and give us a few pointers about your education and background?
Hi! I’m Tasia and I run Sewaholic Patterns. Before I started my pattern company, I worked in the Vancouver fashion industry for eight years, and before that I completed a degree in Fashion Design and Technology. I’ve always loved sewing and I love that I get to do something sewing-related as my full-time business!
Why did you start Sewaholic Patterns?
I thought there should be sewing patterns designed specifically for pear-shaped figures – women with smaller busts and waists and wider hips. I also really enjoy writing instructions and explaining how to do things, and as a result our patterns are extremely detailed and include diagrams for every step. When I started Sewaholic Patterns, there weren’t as many independent pattern companies. I felt like I could offer interesting designs with good instructions, with personal interaction through the Sewaholic blog.
What makes a Sewaholic pattern typically Sewaholic?
Our patterns have very detailed instructions with clear diagrams. We’ve included all sizes in one envelope, and recently added up to size 20. We’re the only North American pattern company to offer pattern translations in Dutch, I believe! Style-wise, we design classic, feminine, practical clothing. We think as much about the instructions and how to construct the garment as the finished design.
Apart from that, our envelopes are bright and colourful, and make a beautiful rainbow when they’re all together!
Which Sewaholic pattern is your favorite and why?
The Cambie Dress is one of my all-time favourites! It’s a beautiful dress, and it’s so exciting to see the finished dresses people make. I’ve even seen Cambie wedding dresses! I also love the Granville Shirt as it’s the pattern I wear most often.
If you had to change/could change something about a pattern, what would that be and why?
When I started our pattern line, I didn’t think it would grow as much as it did! As a result I didn’t think long-term from the beginning. I wish I’d offered sizes 0-20 from the start – we started out with only 0-16 – and I wish I’d included metric measurements on the envelope back from the beginning as well. We’re always thinking of ways to make our patterns better. As a result of feedback we started offering PDF patterns as well as printed, we added sizes 18 and 20, and we changed our envelope design to include both metric and imperial measurements. I’m sure there are lots of other things we could change though, so I’m open to ideas!
Why did you decide on Dutch translations?
It’s because I met so many wonderful Dutch-speaking women who sew! I was on holidays in Antwerp and Amsterdam earlier this year and had a sewing meetup in both cities. This year we translated some of our patterns into French and Spanish, so I thought we could try offering Dutch translations as well.
Do you plan on translating more of your patterns into Dutch?
That depends! If there’s a lot of interest, then yes. Let us know if there are specific patterns you’d like to see in Dutch!
Which are the limitations you bump into when designing a pattern, what would you like to change about those aspects?
That’s a good question! The biggest limitation we encounter is the maximum size for our pattern paper format. We design the pattern with the paper format pattern in mind, and have to ensure it will fit within the maximum printable area. If we only designed PDF sewing patterns, then we could make the patterns as big as we wanted! Starting with the printed version means we have to consider the paper size as part of each pattern’s design. I want to keep giving customers the option of both print and PDF patterns, so we’ll have to continue to work around it!
Are there any other Indie Pattern Designers you look up to? Is there a pattern you secretly think of: “damn I wish I thought of that!”
I admire Jen from Grainline Studio’s style and consistent aesthetic. I’m impressed and encouraged by the growth of Colette Patterns, it’s exciting to see a sewing-related business doing so well. I like the pretty pattern designs from Deer & Doe and I get a great fit with the bra patterns from MakeBra.
What pattern would you like to design next?
We’re always working on several pattern ideas at once! I’ve been thinking a lot about designing garments that work together, so you’re not left wondering ‘what sort of top looks nice with this skirt?’
In September we have the third edition of Sew It Up, our sewing competition, what great sewing advice would you give to the contestants?
Do what you do best! If you love colour and have an eye for creating beautiful colour combinations, or if you’re an expert at fabric dyeing and embellishment, find a way to work that into your project. If you’re excellent at topstitching and precision work, choose projects that show off the details. Create the type of project that only you can do, that makes the most of your talents.
Such good advice, from Tasia!
I think her last advice on the topic of the competition counts for every sewing project: do what you enjoy doing and what you do best!
If you’d like to win a copy of Nicola or Harwood, hop on over to Sew It Up to see how to do just that!