Today we welcome one of my faves and a returning sponsor, Nanna from HOW TO DO FASHION. I first discovered Nanna’s patterns two or three years ago and have made up a couple. If you love vintage and elegant silhouettes made modern this is a designer for you to check out. I caught up with Nanna who shared with us one of her favourite patterns and the different ways she’s styled it.
First, can you tell us a bit about your style and range of patterns, for people who may not have seen your brand before?
My Idea when I started HOW TO DO FASHION, was to make a line of patterns in high quality, with a classy and feminine design. A concept with the possibility to teach the sewer in different technique along the way, that is why I have created the online sewing instructions. I have put a lot of thought into the patterns, the folder and the paper it is printed on. I want my pattern to be the base of a “pattern wardrobe” a kind of library of personal well-fitted patterns. I want to give all sewers the possibility to make a library of patterns that can be used over and over again. I like the idea of mixing the different patterns to a whole new dress or jumpsuit. Many of my patterns are made with that in mind. The patterns we sew from and make alterations to are the whole foundation of the great pieces of garment we make.
My inspiration mainly comes from vintage fashion, particularly that include femininity, elegance, and craftsmanship. Today’s fashion is so unisex and has no gender. One of the things we can do with our clothes is to set the tone of who we are. I like to be a woman, a strong woman and with vintage, I feel I can be both feminine and strong.
Another thing about vintage is the way clothes were made back then. Clothes were a more personal thing. A dress was made for one woman, made to fit her perfectly. Today it seems like we don’t care about well-fitted clothes. We care about getting a new wardrobe every season, a waste of resources and money, in my opinion, I like to make my own clothes, and I do, most of my wardrobe is homemade or vintage.
Which of your patterns would you pick as your favourite or most versatile?
No. 7 Vanløse is one of my favourite patterns. When I create a design, my starting point is always a city. I create a person who lives in this city, and then I develop the perfect pattern for her and her lifestyle. I think the No. 7 Vanløse pattern is my favourite pattern because I took my own life and made a design for that. I live in the neighbourhood Vanløse, which is a part of Copenhagen, so I was the perfect candidate for that.
The pattern includes two pieces, a pair of trousers and a top, originally the plan was to make a jumpsuit because I really like to wear jumpsuits, the perfect one-piece for a busy mum who wants to be stylish and feminine but not always finds it comfortable to wear dresses. However, I think they a bit tricky and often make the woman’s legs look a bit short because of the need to have the extra length in the crotch. So I decided to make it a two piece you can use together or as separate pieces. The trousers have a high waist and wide legs, and I have made them in so many different variations. Culottes for when I go to the playground with my daughter. In striped cotton for a more dandy look, in wool for winter and in silk for summer. I think I have around 8 pairs in different versions.
The whole outfit when it looks like a jumpsuit, I think this both looks sexy, classy and so stylish. If I was going to get married again I would make this in ivory silk.
I like to play with the contrast of feminine and masculine without looking unisex and here I have made a pair of No. 7 Vanløse with a turn-up hem and made a matching jacket.
I also like a more fun and playful look with a theme. Here I have made a sailor look also with the trousers from No. 7 Vanløse pattern
I call this the business look. I really like to wear suits and do quite often. It gives me an empowering feeling.
When it is summer we all need a pair of shorts, and again the No. 7 Vanløse saves me. Here you see them as a pair of shorts styled with some 1950s details.
A pair of white trousers is the perfect base in my wardrobe. White goes with all colours, for this pair of Vanløse trousers I have made a pin tuck on the front for a more everyday look, the blouse is the free pattern No. 00 Danmark