We’re getting near the end of Indie Pattern Month (we know it’s August now but it’s totally still going, we’ve got the last contest left to judge!) and we’ve got a couple of sponsors left to introduce you to. Mel caught up with Erin of Seamstress Erin Designs to learn more about her business and designs.
First up, tell us all a bit about your designs. How would you describe your style/aesthetic?
I call my style Every Day Dress Up because I look at every day as another chance to play dressup.
Sometimes that means wearing a space princess dress. Sometimes that just means throwing on a pink floral sweatshirt and jeans. I believe every woman should be able to decide what Dress Up means for herself and that she should feel confident and beautiful in her own skin playing Dress Up. Sewing played a major role in my learning to love my body and I want to help other women love their bodies through sewing as well.
We’d love to know the story behind your business. What inspired you to create and sell patterns? How did it all start?
I’ve been sewing my whole life. I started blogging about sewing when I was in graduate school for biochemistry. While my days were filled with lab work, I filled my nights and weekends with sewing and wanted to connect with friends who did the same. Through most of graduate school I knew that I didn’t want a career in research but I did a lot of searching around to figure out what I did want to do. I self-published a couple of patterns and started writing for sewing magazines for fun while in graduate school. I found the process to be exciting and fulfilling and the rest followed from there.
How did your come up with the name for your label?
When I moved to San Francisco for graduate school I joined a Burning Man camp that had more than one Erin in it. I was nicknamed Seamstress Erin to differentiate us. I started my blog as SeamstressErin and had made enough of a community online that when I launched my business I kept the name.
Where do you do all your work?
I work from home in my basement studio of the house we bought 2 years ago on a little island outside of Seattle. It has French doors that currently look out onto a field of woodchips but which will soon become my vegetable garden. I have a sewing machine desk, a computer desk, a giant cutting table, a wall of fabric, and three cats that like to hang out down here with me.
What’s your favourite part of releasing a new design?
I love seeing other people sew my patterns. It makes me so happy to help others play Dress Up, to make clothes that fit, and flatter, and reflect their creator. I especially love it when people think of fun fabric pairings or interesting hacks that I didn’t think of myself.
Thinking of your gorgeous designs, what’s your favourite of all your designs so far, and why?
It’s hard to say because I think each pattern is my favorite as I release it because it’s reflective of where I am in that moment though I am particularly fond of my swimsuits – the Nautilus Swimsuit and the Laminaria Swimsuit. So many women struggle to find swimsuits that are comfortable and flattering and being able to sew your own is a major way to overcome that. My swimsuits come in sizes 0-24 and cup sizes A-F to help as many different sizes and shapes of women as I can to empower themselves through sewing their own suit.
Who or what inspires you, either with your designs or with your business? (Or both!)
Since I’m still a scientist and nerd at heart, I name my sewing patterns after something scientific that relates to the design whether it’s the layers of a pinecone, electricity, or wavelengths of light.
My husband has taught me so much about running a business. He started his own business in the tech industry right after high school and has (almost) always run his own businesses since then. He’s my live-in business consultant for when I need advice or someone with whom to brainstorm (though I will be the first to admit I don’t always listen to his advice!).
Do you have any new patterns coming out soon? Any hints you can give us?
My latest pattern, the Ultraviolet Tee, was published this month! The Ultraviolet Tee will be an everyday staple of your summer like the UV rays from summer sunshine. Oversized with short cut-on sleeves, the shirt can be sewn from knits or wovens. View A is slightly cropped and has a curved hem that meets sharp and high on the side and has a subtle high-low shape from front to back. Wear over a camisole, with high-waisted shorts, or enjoy showing a little peek of skin as you move around. View B is standard shirt length and has a straight hem.
It’s awesome to add Seamstress Erin Designs to our list of Indie Pattern Month supporters. We can’t wait to catch up next year and see what other great patterns you’ve made for us to play dress up. Thanks so much Erin xx