To support our bonus bundle sales competition (voting coming soon!) we are welcoming a couple of extra sponsors.
First up is Stylemaker Fabrics! We love to support small indie businesses as much as indie pattern designers and let’s be honest, indie patterns are wonderful but they ain’t much good without fabric to make them up in right?! 😉
Mel caught up with Michelle of Style Maker Fabrics to find out more…
Hi Michelle! Welcome to Indie Pattern Month!
First up, tell us a bit about your business. How did it start, where are you based, what kinds of products do you sell?
I grew up in the fabric industry working in and around fabric stores all my life and always dreamed of opening my own one day. Early in 2014 I was laid off from my job and decided to focus on making that dream a reality. My passion has always been for fashion and sewing garments but I could rarely find the fabric I wanted locally and shopping online was just uninspiring and very difficult.
After a lot of planning and hard work Style Maker Fabrics launched late 2014. We specialize in high-quality fashion fabrics in the colors and trends that you love. Our goal is to inspire seamstresses to create their own style through their garments and projects. On the site you can shop by the latest trends in fashion, fabric type, garment type or color. That way you can choose the way you want to shop and whether you know what you want to make or not you can hopefully find the perfect fabric. We have also incorporated Pinterest as well as our blog to share our own projects, our customer’s projects and other inspiration.
How do you decide what to stock in your store?
Twice a year, each spring and fall, we re-merchandise the site for the new fashion season. We start planning months in advance looking at the latest fashion trends, colors and popular fabric types. We create kind of a shopping list and then start looking for the perfect fabrics. As we are shopping, it really is all based on gut and past experience. We know what customers have enjoyed but also try to introduce people to something new and unusual as well. I joke that I also have a sixth sense that I can picture a fabric in the pattern or garment it is meant to be sewn up in which seems to help too!
Throughout the rest of the year we are always adding new exciting items that we find, new trends that emerge and to keep things fresh. Our selection is always changing and while it is a lot of work, it is also so much fun!.
What are your best selling items? Why do you think these are so popular??
By far our best-selling fabric types are knits and rayon challis. I think people just love the feel of these fabrics. They love to wear them and they aren’t too difficult to sew with. We are also able to offer an amazing variety of them- stripes, prints, solids, you name it.
Our hottest fashion trend right now is anything indigo or shibori dyed. We have some pretty outstanding fabrics that customers really love!
Are there any exciting new items just arrived or coming soon to your store that you’d like to share with us?
We are in the process of planning for this fall and are headed out on our first buying trip of the season soon. New fall fabrics will be arriving August/September and our next style blog tour will launch on the first day of fall, 9/22. Any requests, please let us know!
We also just received an amazing selection of stretch lace trims and are working to put together more lingerie type items- trims, closures, fabrics, etc. Watch for those to start being added in the weeks to come.
Where would you like your business to be in five years’ time?
Five years from now I would love to be able to say that we have both an online and brick and mortar business. My dream has always been to have my own shop where customers can come in and collaborate and create. A sewing center of sorts with room for classes and events, a place to bring the online community to “real life”.
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 have an amazing basement sewing studio with a couple of sewing stations, amazing cutting table (an Ikea conference table!), pressing station and lounge area. It is warm, inspiring and a great place to hide for the weekend, especially here in the Pacific Northwest when it is raining and gloomy!
Pretend we’re sending you on a deserted island sewing holiday. We’ll give you a machine and some fabric but which 5 items from your store would you bring with you?
1. Kai Scissors – My favorite scissors of all time! And believe me, I have tried a lot of different ones.
2. Button Pattern Weights – Adorable and functional, these pattern weights make me happy every time I use them.
3. Wonder Clips – More useful than pins and great to have around for all types of projects.
4. Pattern Notcher – A must for any garment sewer!
5. Clover Seam Ripper – Always good to have around and if I have to rip something out, I like the way this one feels in my hand.
Do you have a great sewing tip to share with us?
Never underestimate the power of fabric. The right fabric can take your garment to the next level. It can turn it into your new closet favorite that everyone asks, “Where did you get that?” when you wear it. There is no better feeling than being able to say, “Oh, I made it”!