This Indie Pattern Month, we’re pleased to welcome Sew Over It as a sponsor for the first time. Sew Over It are a London-based brand, who have their own fabric stores, sewing classes, patterns, and a whole lot more! Kat caught up with Lisa, the women behind Sew Over It, to find out more about her company and their latest pattern, the Doris dress….
Hi Lisa, and welcome to Indie Pattern Month! First up, tell us all a bit about your designs. How would you describe your style/aesthetic?
When I’m designing I’m often thinking about what’s practical for the season and what new, fun skills there will be to learn, as well as whether it’s something I’d really love to wear. You will find that most Sew Over It patterns are based on my personal style! I love classic silhouettes with a little vintage twist!
How did your come up with the name for your label?
The name for Sew Over It came from a huge brainstorming session I had on a long car trip with friends. I knew I wanted something a bit fun and tongue-in-cheek, but also something that expressed how “so over” the fast-fashion industry I was at the time. I think Sew Over It sums it up quite well!
We’d love to know the story behind your business. What inspired you to create Sew Over It? How did it all start?
I have always loved sewing and have always known I wanted to start my own business. I started teaching private sewing lessons whilst working a full-time job, travelling around London to people’s houses in the evenings to share my passion. I managed to save up enough money to open my first shop and sewing cafe in 2011, and since then the business has grown beyond my wildest dreams. We started just teaching classes but there was so much demand from the rest of the UK and worldwide for our patterns that we decided to go for it and release them commercially. It’s been one of the most exciting things we’ve done. It brings me so much joy to see our patterns being sewn up around the world.
And looking forwards, where would you like your business to be in five years time?
Oh gosh! There are so many things we want to do! I really want to continue to work hard to release more of our class patterns as they are in demand from our international customers. And I really enjoy working on our vlog, so I’d love to build that, and offer lots more interesting and informative content for our customers.
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?
The Sew Over It team is split over our two London shops. Our Clapham shop is the HQ where we have an office, and our social media and marketing department is based there. Islington houses our wholesale department, and it’s from here that our patterns are shipped all over the world! I work between the two shops, and for two days a week I work from home.
What’s your favourite part of releasing a new design?
There are so many things to enjoy about this process! I love making up new samples in lots of delicious fabrics, and we always have really fun photoshoots for our new designs. But ultimately my favourite part has to be when I see our customers’ amazing creations, which more often than not far surpass my own dreams for the patterns. There are some crazy creative people out there and seeing how they interpret our patterns is just so wonderful.
Thinking of your gorgeous designs, what’s your favourite of all your designs so far, and why?
Ooh this is a tough one! I think my favourite has to be the Betty Dress. I designed it based on the style of Mad Men’s Betty Draper, and with its fitted bodice and full circle skirt, I find it endlessly elegant and flattering. I have too many Bettys in my wardrobe to count! I wear Bettys to dressed-up events like weddings and nice dinners out, but also in my day-to-day life at Sew Over It. I find her super versatile and fun to wear.
Who or what inspires you with your designs?
My design inspiration tends to come from the stunning vintage styles of the 20th century. I adore vintage fashion and scrolling through Pinterest, gazing at elegant and sophisticated styles of the 20s and stunning 50s Dior dresses has become a major past time!
We’d love to know the story behind your designs. Let’s talk about the Doris Dress today. What was the inspiration behind the pattern?
The Doris Dress is our newest pattern and she’s become a real staple in my wardrobe. I love the pretty bodice with its scoop neck, floaty grown-on sleeves and delicate pleats. Based on early 1950s fashion, Doris is elegant and timeless but can still be worn as part of your day-to-day wardrobe. She’s very versatile!
Where did the name come from?
Doris was actually my grandma’s name! I thought it would be lovely to remember her in a dress like this.
Do you have many Doris Dresses in your own wardrobe? Which is your favourite?
I do actually! I have around four or five that are only high rotation in my wardrobe at the moment. (She’s perfect for Spring and Summer!) My favourite is made in a pale grey rayon with wooden buttons that I think is so classic and chic. I made the longer-length Version 1 skirt and I feel super elegant whenever I wear it.
Do you have any new patterns coming out soon? Any hints you can give us? (We’re so impatient, haha!)
We do have a lot of exciting plans in the works at the moment, but they’re all under wraps for now. I can tell you though that we will be releasing another paper pattern next month and we are pretty excited about it! Eek! If you like summery dresses it’ll definitely be one to look out for!
Thank you so much for telling us a bit more about your business Lisa. I find it very inspiring, how many things you do and how every part of Sew Over It complements the others – it’s quite an impressive sewing empire you are creating!
How about you, Monthly Stitch readers? Have you made any Sew Over It patterns? I must admit I’m a huge fan of the Vintage Shirt Dress – I have two in my wardrobe already, and a third planned very soon. 😉