|School Girl e-pattern|
I'm happy to introduce to you, a new and very talented pattern designer- Laura Johnson from Ellie Inspired patterns! Laura has just released several new adorable designs, and she has graciously offered our readers a chance to win TWO giveaways! Instructions on how to enter are at the end of this post.
One winner will get the complete collection of Nursery Rhyme e-patterns for sizes 1-5 (Pocket o' Posies, Lucy Locket, Sugar Horses, Daisy Bell, Dancer, and Daddy's Girl). One winner will get the complete collection of It's a Girl Thing e-patterns for sizes 4-12 (Sweet Daisy Girl, Twirl Girl, School Girl, and I will also include Dancer since it goes up to size 8). Both winners will also be able to add to their prize two new patterns not even released yet! Lil' Bluebird (sizes 1-5) and Nanny Etticoat (sizes 1-12!!!!) will be coming out next week but you will be the first to receive them!
Where did you grow-up, where did you go to school, where do you live now? Tell us about your family.
I am also in Illinois in a small rural town not even on the map. I actually live just down the road from where I grew up so my kids get to ride their bikes to Grandma's. My husband also is from the area so our kids are very fortunate to have both sets of grandparents living so close to them as well as cousins and aunts and uncles.
I am married to my high school sweetheart. He has been so supportive of me starting Ellie Inspired. He is my pattern-packer, my dress stand builder, and my encouragement. We just celebrated 11 years of marriage and have four children. Of course I'm biased but I feel so very blessed with the sweet children I've been entrusted with. Our oldest, Nathan, is 7 and in second grade. Our next son, Jacob, is 6 and in 1st grade. Our third son, Seth just turned 5 and will go to school next year. And our youngest, Elisabeth, is 2 and somehow managed to beat the boys to the emergency room by being the first one to break a bone. You can read about it on my blog!
We moved into our home about 3 years ago after dreaming for a long time about building it. I couldn't wait to have my big garden and my chickens! Once we moved in, I started decorating. Home dec sewing is definitely NOT my favorite! But very shortly after, I was very surprised to learn I was pregnant. Our fourth child, Elisabeth was added to our family and I finally had the chance to sew for a little girl.
I have lots of memories sewing with my mom and lots of pictures of dresses that she made my sister and me. I also remember my grandma making doll clothes for me when I was little and teaching me to love sewing as well. It is such a beautiful thing now for me to pass that legacy down to my daughter.
I describe my patterns on my site as "love clothes" for your little blessing because that is truly what it is when you sew for a child. Love is wrapped in every stitch.
How did you learn how to sew, and what inspired you to start your own pattern line?
I never set out to create patterns. I feel that it is a path God has led me to and it is an incredible blessing to me. I have met so many amazing and talented women through this journey and I am very thankful for it. I started sewing samples for a fabric shop at the beginning of this year and when she found out that I rarely used a pattern when I sewed dresses for Elisabeth, she asked me if I had any patterns that were written down. She offered to sell them in her shop if I ever decided to start creating patterns and with excitement and a great deal of fear, I decided to go for it.
I found out that I love it! I had such a wonderful and tremendous response to my first two patterns that I kept adding to my collections. After time, they fell into two collections for two size ranges: the Nursery Rhyme collection is for sizes 1-5 and the It's a Girl Thing collection is for sizes 4-12. After less than a year of creating patterns, I am excited to say that I have 9 patterns currently out and at least 7 more in various stages of testing and writing that will be out before the end of the year! I also have several free patterns available on my site.
What advice do you have for beginning sewers?
My advice to beginning sewers is to just soak up all that you can. We have so many wonderful resources available for learning from sewing magazines and community sewing guilds to sewing forums and online classes and correspondence classes. Try new things and if they don't turn out the first time, don't worry about it! We all have our share of "wadders" or garments that will never really ever be worn! That is how you learn. Buy the best fabric that you can afford because it makes such a huge difference in how your garments turn out. Take your time and enjoy the process.
What makes your patterns unique?
I thought a lot about this question and it is something I have given a great deal of thought to all along trying to establish my business. At first, I just created patterns that felt like me. I discovered my style is "classic". It has been interesting when I have heard others describe my patterns in the same way. I try always to deliver a fresh take on a beloved classic.
Some specific things that make my patterns unique are: my Nursery Rhyme collection always feature a Nursery Rhyme on the back and follow that theme throughout the pattern. Every single pattern of mine includes either smocking or a simple hand-embroidery design and sometimes both. These are always optional but they are things that I love and things that give a garment something extra special. My new "It's a Girl Thing" collection for sizes 4-12 all have titles that end in girl such as Twirl Girl, School Girl, Sweet Daisy Girl (the older sister to Daisy Bell), and soon to be available Urban Girl and Sassy Girl. These are trendier to appeal to older ages but still based upon classic styling.
My pattern collections overlap in size slightly for a reason. In the Midwest, at least where I live, there are not a lot of heirloom sewing resources and so, it is not something that is seen very often. When little girls are born, they are given cute little jumpers instead of smocked bishops to wear. A smocked Pocket o' Posies outfit with shorts or bloomers for a 5 yr old would be perfect in some areas of the country but not in others. So, my It's a Girl Thing collection of patterns which are a little trendier start at size 4 instead of size 6.
My patterns are tested and edited extensively and you can be confident that the instructions will be clear and easy to follow with many diagrams to help you along the way. I spend a lot of time on my diagrams and have improved the quality of them dramatically from my first patterns. My patterns now are in full-color with fun graphics and an easy layout but I always check that they print clearly in gray-scale as well in case people want to print them that way. I am very mindful of keeping my patterns short without sacrificing any content. All of my patterns are available as instant downloads. A few of the smaller sizes are available in paper patterns and all of them are also available as CD's. My plan this fall and winter is to get all of my patterns printed as paper patterns for those who prefer that format.
Thanks so much for inviting me to be a small part of SewBaby and taking the time to ask me questions. It was fun! Good luck to everyone on the Giveaway!
This giveaway is now closed. Congratulatons to the winners- D'Andra and JuneBug!
You can see all of Ellie Inspired patterns on our website here: Ellie Inspired patterns.