We are happy to welcome halfmoon ATELIER as another of this year’s new sponsors to Indie Pattern Month! Based on Saba, a small Caribbean island, Meghann’s designs and outlook on life are very inspirational for anyone looking to live just a little more simply and enjoy each moment of life and of crafting. Kyla caught up with Meghann to learn a bit more.
Tell us a bit about your designs. How would you describe your style/aesthetic?
I design timeless, unique foundation pieces for women. My aesthetic is simple, but not boring; feminine without the fuss. I sometimes feel like I’ve been searching my whole life for the one piece – that one dress, that one bag, that one pair of shoes, etc – that will work in all occasions, whether that’s out for cocktails or hiking a mountain. I’ve yet to discover or design that ONE thing, but my designs are definitely a study in that search.
How did you come up with the name for your label?
My label is simply my name. I used to paint a lot and I have dabbled (and continue to dabble) in many types of craft and arts, so it was important to me to keep the opportunity open for an expansion or a shift of focus in my label. I was living in Amsterdam when I started my business, and “atelier” is the word for studio in both Dutch and French – the two languages I speak besides English. Calling my label “halfmoon ATELIER” was my way of inviting you into my creative space.
We’d love to know the story behind your business. What inspired you to create and sell patterns? How did it all start?
In 2013, I left my career in international development to start halfmoon ATELIER. In the early days, I designed and made leather bags in my at-home studio (in my dining room) in Amsterdam and sold them in my Etsy shop. Around the time that I decided to add clothing to my label, my husband accepted a position on the island of Saba. I continued my handmade business and even opened a shop here on the island, which was fun and worked out quite well. But I missed focusing on the design aspect, was a bit tired of sewing the same bag over and over, and was also always stressed about my materials and shipping, as we are far from everything and the climate is super humid. I had started to become a bit active on Instagram around 2016 and loved all the positivity I was seeing in the sewing community. So, in 2017, I decided to stop selling finished products and rather turn my designs into sewing patterns. In late 2017, I relaunched my shop with a new website and updated pattern template.
Looking ahead, where would you like your business to be in five years time?
I have huge goals! I’d love for halfmoon ATELIER to be well known in the sewing world for high quality patterns, unique design, sustainable sewing and excellent customer service. I’d love for my business to be at the point where I earn an income, and hopefully surpass my former salary.
Where do you do all your work? May we have a sneak peek at your workspace?
We recently moved house and my new atelier is in my garage. There’s a decent amount of space and I can keep my sewing machines set up, but it gets quite hot and I do also share it with the laundry and several bits of furniture that came with our house (which I’m hoping to have removed at some point). I have plans to paint the floor as well to help eliminate the dust. Far more time is spent behind my laptop than actually sewing, though, which I do from a table in my living room. There are no less than three sets of French doors in my living room, so I am lucky to be surrounded by natural light, good air flow and amazing views of the Caribbean Sea and the village from here.
What is your favorite part of releasing a new design?
The release of pressure that builds up once I’ve set my release date and have worked hard to get there is a wonderful feeling! But my favorite part is seeing photos pop up on Instagram a bit after releasing the pattern, once people have had a chance to sew it up. It makes me cry when I read some of the comments from women who have sewn up my designs. halfmoon ATELIER is a business to the outside, but inside it’s just me sending my designs into the world and is therefore intensely personal.
Thinking of your gorgeous designs, what is your favorite of all your designs so far, and why?
Funny, I can’t seem to make a choice. I love them all for different reasons. Because of the versatility and the climate where I live, I do get the most regular wear out of my DELPYs though.
Who or what inspires you, either with your designs or with your business (or both)?
Both in business and design, I am inspired by women who go at their own pace and sing to their own tune. I sometimes catch myself starting to feel a bit jealous of where other pattern designers are at in their businesses, especially where a new pattern is released and the sewing world goes wild. But then I remind myself that I am me and that’s good, too.
Do you have any new patterns in the works? Any hints you can give us?
Yes, plenty! But it’s so hard to decide which to work on next because I want them all! I think my first will be a super basic tank top pattern that I’ll be offering as a free pattern to subscribers (**which was released between our interview and now :)**). But I also have a lovely wrap top in the works, and another tank top (also inspired by Julie Delpy’s top in Before Midnight). I’ve had some requests for shorts and culottes patterns, but I also have a jeans pattern that I’d love to do. Basically, I haven’t decided, but that’s a taste of the ideas I’ve got.