Let’s give a big ‘hello!’ to Schnittchen patterns! All the way from Germany, they’re one of our new sponsors for Indie Pattern Month this year. Schnittchen release two collections of womenswear patterns each year, and have just released their Summer 2016 collection. Kat caught up with Silke from Schnittchen to find out more….
Hi Silke! Welcome to Indie Pattern Month! First up, tell us all a bit about your designs. How would you describe your style/aesthetic?
As I wear best casual clothes that are comfortable but have something special I would say I also use this approach for my designs. With my label I try to design patterns that are not too complicated to sew but do have something special. I also try to make sure that I leave some room for the creativity of my customers e.g. that the patterns could be altered in some way or other.
How did your come up with the name for your label?
This is a little bit difficult to explain because schnittchen is a pun in German. „schnitt“ means pattern and „schnittchen“ is a kind of minimisation of „schnitt“ but also means something like an attractive person as well as something little and tasty to eat (canapé). As in the very beginning the patterns only were in German it was this wordplay that combined a lot for me: pattern, attractive (women) and something easy but „tasty“ like a canapé. When I decided to also translate the patterns into English I was thinking about changing the name of my label but I soon realised that it was not necessary because people from abroad just used the name without asking for the meaning. So I just left it the way it was…
We’d love to know the story behind your business. What inspired you to create and sell patterns? How did it all start?
Well, it all did start with my own passion of sewing. I was sewing since I was 10 years old and always returned back to this wonderful hobby. After school I studied art history and worked for exhibitions first in Cologne and in Düsseldorf and then in Berlin. As Berlin is a city that inspires you a lot and gives you the feeling that you can do whatever you want and that the sky’s the limit I decided after my contract for an exhibition expired to create and sell patterns. I was sewing like crazy in this time and was always looking for modern sewing patterns. This was the time when the DIY wave was in the very beginning and I just plunged in at the deep end… It was kind of crazy and in the very beginning quite difficult but after some revisions of the concept and some relaunches schnittchen made its way. The best decision was two years ago to also translate the patterns in English and „to open“ my shop also for all the seamstresses abroad.
And looking forwards, where would you like your business to be in five years time?
I am really happy about everything is going so far. However, I would like to have somebody next to me working fulltime – in the moment I have two wonderful and very engaged ladies working part-time but I realise that it would be great to have somebody like a partner… Also – even if it is already much more better than in the last years – I would like to get my timetable more organised. I would like to launch the patterns earlier and have more time to sew for myself and show my customers what I am making. Also I would love to have like video-tutorials for each pattern. This would be my goals for the next 5 years…:)
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?
We work in a wonderful co-working space in the city-center of Munich. This place is an old studio for motorcycles and was then used as an atelier from artists. Since 2014 we are sharing this very inspiring place with four other creative people.
You’ve just released your summer 2016 collection – can you tell us the inspiration behind this collection?
For this collection I wanted to come back to really clear and easy shapes. I was very inspired this time from the colors rose and light blues and also from fabrics like linen and silks.
What’s your favourite part of releasing a new design?
My favorite is the Rose Dress as it is a very simple dress but with a few interesting details. I also love the idea of just throwing on a dress in summer… I also love the Mary Trousers as I love wide three quarter pants. Good with two little boys at home…
Thinking of your gorgeous designs, what’s your favourite of all your designs so far, and why?
I think my very favourite is the Silvia Coatigan from last winter collection. It combines a clear shape with some interesting details (pockets integrated in a seam / shawl collar) and also demands something from you while sewing (e.g. the lining of the coat). Also you can sew this patterns with all kind of fabrics. This is what I really love! However, another pattern that is much more complicate to sew and is very special in its design is the Rachel Overall. These one I just love and I was very happy how they came out!
Who or what inspires you, either with your designs or with your business?
I think what inspires me most are all the creative and gifted ladies who are sewing (or crafting in general) like crazy and sharing their ideas. Also fabrics inspire me a lot. Even if it is a special quality or pattern. And of course I do have some designers I love, love, love and of course they also inspire me a lot!