By now, you’ve probably all heard about Papercut, one of our fantastic sponsors for Indie Pattern Month, and also quite a popular indie label in the Monthly Stitch community. This month, we’ve already seen a few Papercut creations popping up here on the Monthly Stitch blog – Pleated Pants, Midsummer Night’s Dream dress (three of them at once!), the La Sylphide dress, the Watson jacket, and even a Sigma dress combined with the Sewaholic Saltspring!
Want to find out more about Papercut patterns, and the women behind it? We caught up with Katie from Papercut to find out what goes on behind-the-scenes!
First up, tell us all a bit about your designs. How would you describe your style/aesthetic?
Papercut is all about classic wearable basics with a fashion edge. I like to make patterns that can be made many times in different fabrics without it being too obvious it’s the same garment.
If you look at most designers, they have repeat garments they release in different fabrics and prints each season.
I want people to put their own take onto my pattern, they are essentially the designer…. depending on what you make your pattern up in and how you style it, it can look completely different.
How did your come up with the name for your label?
I actually came up with the name on the same night I came up with the idea for the business. I wanted a play on words, and came up with Papercut as it is the paper cut of the garment.
We’d love to know the story behind your label. What inspired you to create and sell patterns? How did it all start?
Back in 2008, while working at the “The Fabric Store” in Auckland NZ, I noticed a lot of young stylish girls coming in wanting to make their own clothes, they would sit at the pattern book table for hours trying to find something they wanted to make but the reality was that the patterns available weren’t very fashion forward. Never really having used commercial patterns myself, I decided one night to take one home and quickly make it up to wear to a party that night. After getting very confused about what the instructions were telling me to do, I wondered to myself why sewing patterns still looked so dated and I had an epiphany! I never went out that night and instead spent the evening online looking for boutique sewing patterns…to my shock, there was nothing really available worldwide. That’s where the Papercut dream began. It took me a couple of years to turn the dream into a reality, as I had to move back to Blenheim where I set up in the corner of my dad’s business. At the time I had a seven year old daughter I was supporting on my own, so it was a big transition, and family support was important.
And looking forwards, where would you like your label to be in five years time?
My business is constantly changing and evolving… I have a few plans up my sleeve, but mainly I just want to focus on consistently putting out good design.
What’s your favourite part of releasing a new design?
My favorite part would have to be when made up garments start popping up all around the web. I love seeing other peoples take on my designs. It’s very rewarding getting inspired by what someone else has made with my pattern.
Thinking of your gorgeous designs, what’s your favourite of all your designs so far, and why?
That’s hard to say as all of my patterns have been designed because I want to wear them J I go through phases of thrashing particular designs. At the moment it is the Anima Pants and cropped Undercover Hood Sweaters…I can’t get enough of them! And don’t worry…I’m not wearing them as tracksuits 🙂
Do you have any new patterns coming out soon? Any hints you can give us? (We’re so impatient, haha!)
Yes yes I do 🙂 I have been in collaboration with a good friend of mine, NZ based Fashion Designer Brooke Tyson, and she is releasing one of her previous designs as a pattern for all you lovely sewists to make up! We’re hoping to have it released sometime during the next month.
Where do you do all your work? Reckon you can share a photo or two with us, so we can have a sneak peek at your workspace?
I’m pretty lucky as I have a studio set up at my home which has been invaluable while running a business with two children. It has it’s moments though as it’s really hard to get life/work separation. For example, while working there is always laundry that needs to be done and while relaxing there are always emails that need to be answered. My work hours are all over the place, which has it’s pros and cons.
Who or what inspires you, either with your designs or with your business? (Or both!)
I am inspired by fabric, by people and some days inspiration just seems to walk through the door.
Reading lots of magazines and fashion blogs also keeps me up to date.
What tips or advice would you give to someone who was wanting to start their own indie pattern label?
First get some technical knowledge on Pattern drafting, I studied for 4 years, Fashion design and Graphic Design, years which have proven invaluable to take Papercut so far.
Also remember that before you get to the final product there is the logistics of production, distribution and marketing…so time consuming…be ready for a lot of hard work.
Katie, thank you so much for telling us more about Papercut and giving us a glimpse behind the scenes. I’m rather impressed you manage the entire business with two small children! And I’m really looking forward to seeing the new pattern that you’re working on – exciting!
Katie has also offered us a Papercut pattern to give away to one of the readers of The Monthly Stitch! Want to be in the draw to win your choice of patterns from Papercut? Just comment below and tell us – which Papercut pattern would you choose, and why? You’ve got until midnight 26 June (UST) to enter.