New to sponsoring Indie Pattern Month this year is Maison Fleur Patterns. We love the Maison Fleur’s vintage vibe and unique pattern illustrations. Fleur currently has four patterns for sale and we hope you will join us in supporting her so she can expand her offering. Let’s find out more…
Mel caught up with Fleur, the designer behind Maison Fleur Patterns…
Hi Fleur! Welcome to Indie Pattern Month!
First up, tell us all a bit about your designs. How would you describe your style/aesthetic?
I would say that the designs are for someone who likes to inject some femininity into their clothing but with daily practicality in mind (think decent sized pockets!). The patterns are definitely aimed at being flexible for work and play, for example the 6104 is smart enough style for work but could be a neat little skirt for a more dressed up brunch, though I really want to make an understated glamorous version with beading on the welt pockets.
I also design for a body shape that has a bit more fullness in the bust (full C-cup), butt and thigh, so I tend to be drawn towards lines that I believe flatter and enhance that silhouette, whether it’s emphasizing the curves or balancing them out.
How did your come up with the name for your label?
My real name is Fleur which in French means ‘flower’ and I’m actually half French, not that you can tell from my English accent! I thought it would be fun to play with the visual imagery of my name and also referencing the way couture houses call themselves in France.
We’d love to know the story behind your business. What inspired you to create and sell patterns? How did it all start?
I’m crazy in love with pattern cutting. I was in my early 20’s, had just discovered sewing and was given a book on drafting, at that point I almost could have dropped sewing altogether just to study pattern drafting. When I draft on paper I lose myself in it. Cups of English breakfast tea go cold and left forgotten on the side table – which is really saying something for me. I took formal training and things just grew naturally from there.
Looking forwards, where would you like your business to be in five years time?
Well one thing I’ve learnt about the life I lead is that every 3 years or so it gets flipped upside sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a not so good way, so planning even 5yrs ahead can feel like a stretch for me. But I guess if I were to nail it down, I’d have a few collections of patterns, maybe go into print for them too. I have so many designs waiting to be drafted, it’s just finding the time around my work that’s the tricky part.
Where do you do all your work? We’d love to have a sneak peek at your workspace!
I sometimes work at home and I share studio space at Workroom Social with a number of other independent makers – it’s a really lovely group of us, all creative and in different fields of work so it’s a great way to bounce ideas off each other without any conflict of interests and you can get a totally fresh perspective on things when you share concepts out loud.
What’s your favourite part of releasing a new design?
The moment I clink cocktails with friends to celebrate! Ha ha. After the initial excitement of finalising a design there’s lot of hours that goes into pattern production for a home sewing pattern, so I’d say the moment it goes out into the wild and that ball of nerves and excitement as you begin to see people pick it up and play with it.
Thinking of your gorgeous designs, what’s your favourite of all your designs so far, and why?
I wore the 6101 fit and flare skirt to death last year, but recently I’ve been getting a kick out of the 6104 pleated skirt, the pockets are SO useful and it can be fun or understated depending on the fabric choices. Last summer I wore the #8101 one piece every time I went swimming, but come summer I reckon I’ll be wearing the bikini version of #8101 swimsuit to the beach or lakes in the Catskills. So almost all of them…?!
Who or what inspires you with your designs?
Practicality and chic are the two core themes for all my designs. I definitely get inspiration from recent fashion history of the C20th, but I pick from a bit of every style rather than specific styles.
As for my business my inspiration comes from my friends around me who work their butts off and are always striving for bigger and better things – I’ve learnt so much just from watching them run their own businesses and I’m often in awe of their strengths and determination.
Do you have any new patterns coming out soon?
Other work and projects swamped my life since September last year so I’ve not had a chance to finish up a number designs that were on the table. But I think the next ones will be a knicker (panty) multipack, I have it all drafted and graded and have been using it for small batch production, so it’s now down to the instructions booklet and packaging it all together. It sounds so simple when I write it down like that (cue mad lady cackle)!