Introducing Kelli, from True Bias

One of the great things about Indie Pattern Month is meeting a lot of different designers and discovering more about their style and their companies. And so, let’s introduce another of our new sponsors for Indie Pattern Month 2016 – True Bias! Hailing from Denver, America, True Bias makes a range of patterns for women, men and children. Kat caught up with Kelli, the designer behind True Bias, to find out more…

Hi Kelli, and welcome to Indie Pattern Month! First up, tell us all a bit about your designs. How would you describe your style/aesthetic?

I like to think of my patterns as wearable urban styles. My first pattern, the Hudson pant, really set the precedence for this. I want things that fit with my current lifestyle which is a mom of young kids. I like things that are comfy enough to wear at home, but that I can wear to a playdate or the store and still feel put together.

Hudson pants pattern

Hudson pants pattern

How did your come up with the name for your label?

It is so hard coming up with a name! It started as just the name for my blog, before I had an aspirations to start a business. I knew that I wanted to own the website domain which really limited me off the bat. Then I looked through sewing dictionaries looking for a term that seemed to fit my style – modern and not too sweet. At the time there were really only a small handful of sewing blogs that were not vintage or party dress inspired so that feeling was really important to me. I came up with a short list and True Bias rose to the top.

We’d love to know the story behind your business. What inspired you to create and sell patterns? How did it all start?

Honestly I was inspired by other successful independent pattern designers like Grainline Studio, and Closet Case Files. I saw what they were doing and wondered if I could do that too. At the time I had a degree in photography that I wasn’t using and two young kids living in NYC, sewing all of the time and making no money while doing it. I was in desperate need of something to put my energy and love of sewing into. I took the first step by going back to school at the Fashion Institute of Technology for patternmaking. My confidence grew with each class and the business naturally followed.

Sutton blouse pattern

Sutton blouse pattern

And looking forwards, where would you like your business to be in five years time?

That’s a really hard one as I feel like this is such a new industry that I am curious to see how it grows and changes in the next few years. First up for me is paper patterns. It’s something that I have been needing to do for a long time, but have put off. I am finally taking the first steps and hope to start selling paper patterns at the beginning of 2017. After that, who knows.

Where do you do all your work?

My family and I just moved from NYC to Denver at the beginning of this year and I feel so lucky to have a dedicated work space with a door on it! Sure, it’s only a 8 foot square little nook, but it’s mine and my kids are not allowed in there. In NYC I just had a table in the kids bedroom so this feels like luxury. It’s amazing what you can do in a small space when you are creative.

Mini Southport dress pattern

Mini Southport dress pattern

What’s your favourite part of releasing a new design?

Hands down seeing the first versions of the pattern “in the wild”. It’s so fun to see what other people make with your design and how they really claim it as their own creation. It makes me so proud.

Thinking of your gorgeous designs, what’s your favourite of all your designs so far, and why?

That’s really hard because they feel like children in a weird way. But, my favorite design to wear right now is definitely the Roscoe. I wear View B (the one that hits just above the knee) all of the time. I like that it’s so flowy and boho and yet I can wear it with flats for everyday wear.

Roscoe blouse and dress pattern

Roscoe blouse and dress pattern

Who or what inspires you, either with your designs or with your business?

So many things inspire me. I am addicted to instagram so I am definitely inspired by all of the amazing sewists and bloggers who post on there. I also try to follow ready to wear fashion and love to see the new ideas coming off the runway. Something that I have discovered recently that I am inspired by is my environment. It’s been funny to see how after moving to the west from NYC I suddenly am embracing a bit more color into my wardrobe and am very interested in the southwest trends that are abundant here.

Kelli wearing her Roscoe dress

Kelli wearing her Roscoe dress

Do you have any new patterns coming out soon? Any hints you can give us? (We’re so impatient, haha!)

I do have a summer pattern coming out in the next month or so. I am not much for secrets so I will just go ahead and tell you that it’s a short and coulotte / cropped pant look. I am kinda obsessed with it right now. Can’t wait to share it with everyone.

Thanks so much for chatting with us Kelli! The new pattern sounds exciting – I’ll be looking forward to see it. 🙂

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