We’re super pleased to welcome Paprika Patterns to Indie Pattern Month this year. Paprika Patterns are famed for their casual styles with a twist, such as the Jade skirt and the Jasper sweater. Kat caught up with Lisa to find out more about her business and her inspiration….
Hi Lisa! First up, tell us all a bit about your designs. How would you describe your style/aesthetic?
Hi! My design style is modern, geared towards everyday life where you need comfort but also want to stand out a bit.
How did your come up with the name for your label?
Well that was kind of a random choice really! I didn’t want a sewing term because those are too generic and not memorable. I was looking for words that go well with ‘patterns’, I had just started my veg garden, and there you have it. In the end, I don’t think a name has to mean that much, as long as it has a good ring to it and at least a part of it tells what your company is about.
You’ve recently released a new pattern – we’d love to hear a bit more about it! What was the inspiration behind the Amber trousers?
The Amber trousers are partly based on a pair of pants I had years ago. I think the wide yoke is very flattering, and it combines well with the front pleat. I like pleats in trousers, but they usually start a bit higher, making your hips look really full. The combination of the V-shaped yoke and the pleats give you a nicely shaped curve below the waist and flowing pant legs at the same time.
Where did it’s name come from?
My patterns are named after gemstones. I started out with rocks (I was doing geological research in Norway at the time) but those have impossible names, so gemstones seemed better. Amber isn’t technically a gemstone though it is often treated as one, and it goes well with ‘trousers’.
We’d love to know the story behind your business. What inspired you to create and sell patterns? How did it all start?
I had been sewing for a while and was intrigued by pattern making. The complete freedom is what attracts me – pattern drafting not only lets you make your own clothes, but design them too. Only a few people were selling Indie patterns at the time, but it seemed to be working well for them. I was also looking for a way out of my day job, and for a way to make money regardless of location. Creating and selling patterns is perfect, I am not tied to an office and I can decide when I work. So I took a year to acquire the necessary skills and then launched the first pattern, the Jade skirt.
And looking forwards, where would you like your business to be in five years time?
That’s a hard one! I haven’t decided yet whether I am content with what it is now, or if I want to expand – paper patterns, hiring help, those kind of things. It depends on how our life will pan out too, we moved to France a year ago and we’re still figuring out where we’ll go next. I’d like to diversify, spend my time not just making patterns, but maybe also writing an e-book or teach sewing classes, something like that.
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 work space? 😉
I work at home, that is to say, in our yurt. I have built a multi-functional desk for sewing and computer work. The space is limited but it works. Speaking about the future, I would love to have my own space for my work, sewing and crafting some day.
What’s your favourite part of releasing a new design?
Seeing people’s interpretations. I always alter a pattern too, to make it just the way I want, and I love it when people are inspired to do the same with my patterns.
Thinking of your gorgeous designs, what’s your favourite of all your designs so far, and why?
That’s a hard one! I wear the Jade Skirt a lot, but the Jasper Sweater is our best selling pattern. I’m always the most excited about the pattern I’m creating at that moment. To be honest, once I’m done with a new pattern I’ve made so many versions I’m kind of over it for a while, hehe. I also almost never remake a pattern from other designers. There are a few exceptions, but my list of patterns to try is long so I’m always looking forward to trying a new one
Who or what inspires you, either with your designs or with your business? (Or both!)
Business wise, I’d say Tilly and the Buttons and Colette Patterns. They are both very strong business women, coming up with solid concepts and re-inventing what they can bring to the community. Style wise, I love Marilla Walker for her creativity.
Do you have any new patterns coming out soon? Any hints you can give us? (We’re so impatient, haha!)
This might change, but after the Amber trousers I’m planning a Maternity Pack, with tutorials and extra patterns pieces of several of our designs so you can transform them into maternity wear. Our baby is due in August so I’ve left it all open after that. I do have ideas for a maternity line too, but we’ll have to see when that happens. For our normal line, I’d like to add pieces complementary to what we have so you can create a wardrobe with just our patterns. I’d like to do a dress, so far we only have separates. No true basics though, they don’t excite me in the least, haha.
Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with us Lisa – it’s great hearing about your inspiration!