Sewing Classes and Lessons

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ellie Inspired Interview and E-pattern Giveaway!

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 learned to sew when I was very young. I remember trying to imitate my mom by weaving yarn in and out of paper and thinking that I was pretty awesome! I continued to learn as I grew older through my mom, grandma, school programs and community sewing guilds but my sewing really started to take on a new life when I had Elisabeth. A good friend invited me to a sewing forum where I encountered sewing like I had never seen before. I remember just being amazed and soaking up all the heirloom sewing skills as fast as I could. I learned to smock and fell in love with it. The more I learn, the more I realize that I have yet to learn and that is what makes sewing so exciting to me.

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!

Laura


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.
Ann

43 comments:

  1. Ohh so many pretty patterns! Its a Girl Thing.

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  2. As a beginner, I have made my daughter a couple of simple skirts. I would love to try the It's a Girl Thing patterns!
    jenn_hanna@hotmail.com

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  3. I would love to be included for the drawing of Nursery Rhyme patterns.

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  4. The Nursery Rhyme patterns are darling. I'd love to have them!

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  5. I love the Ellie Inspired patterns. Such sweet designs. Since I have most of the Nursery Rhyme patterns I would like the It's A Girl Thing patterns.

    Judy in MO

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  6. I would love the Nursery Rhyme patterns! How adorable! pgkristin@gmail.com

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  7. So cute! I would love to win the Nursery Rhyme patterns.

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  8. As the Oma of the sweetest baby I would LOVE to win the Nursery Rhyme patterns. I can think of no great joy than to sew for my little ones. Thanks for the chance....love all the patterns.

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  9. Beautiful! I would love the Dancer pattern, so I guess I'd be happy with either set!

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  10. These patterns are adorable, I especially love the Sugar Horses! If I were to win I'd chose the Nursery Rhyme set :)

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  11. Oh, these are beautiful. Since my daughter just sized up to 5, I'd love to enter the It's a Girl Thing giveaway!

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  12. Oh great prizes! I'd pick the Nursery Rhyme set since I've got little ones in my life at the moment.

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  13. I love to sew for my grand daughters and would love the try the "It's a Girl Thing" patterns!
    murphyl@comcast.net

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  14. I would love to win "It's a Girl Thing" patterns. I love sewing little girl dress and clothing and have just the little girl who would love the dresses.

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  15. Oh my, as a Grammie to four sweet granddaughters I have to wish, hope and fingers crossed that I win "It's a Girl Thing" Congrats! to Laura, love her style!

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  16. As I am expecting my first granddaughter this December, I would be thrilled to win the Nursery Rhyme patterns! I have just completed all of her bedding and room decor, so am looking forward to making cute baby clothes.
    e-mail: jar1150@yahoo.com

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  17. I would LOVE to win the Nursery Rhyme patterns!
    I've been a fan of Laura's for a while now.

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  18. I'd love to win the It's a Girl Thing collection. The Twirl Girl pattern is adorable!

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  19. Your patterns are so cute and unique! I would love the Its a Girl Thing collection for my DGD. Good luck!

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  20. I admire your work and will be thrilled to win. This will make such a fabulous giveaway - and my first winning entry! The Nursery Rhymes would be my choice.

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  21. Wonderful patterns...classic but with a twist. I'd love to win It's a Girl Thing collection.
    rkiker@hotmail.com

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  22. I love reading the interview with Laura Johnson. I like knowing a little bit about the person behind the designs...it makes it so much more personable. I have 4 daughters I so for and we would just love to try these....for us it would have to be "It's a Girl Thing Collection.

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  23. Oh, I just loved reading the interview iwth Laura...she is a sewing forum friend--and I love her ideas--so very creative and so talented. I have two grand daughters and we NEED the "It's a Girl Thing" Collection. I'm ready to work on two of Laura's patterns today to get them ready for sewing this weekend!!! She's a doll, as well as her little model. Not sure my email is following me along lynnlind@rconnect.com

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  24. Oh, both sets are great. I'd love to have the nursery set, if I win.
    Susie@YankeeLanePrimitives.com

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  25. How adorable! I'd love to add It's a Girl Thing to my sewing life!

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  26. Laura's patterns are very cute and I did her sew-a-long and it turned out awesome. I would love the It's a Girl Thing Collection. Congrats Laura

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  27. Love the patterns. I would love the It's a Girls Thing set! thanks so much for the chance!

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  28. Laura's patterns are super cute! Put my name down - I've got lots of little girls I love to sew for :)

    Claire

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  29. I have 6 grand daughters and I think there is something for each of them in "It's a Girl thing" so that is the one I would choose.

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  30. I would choose the It's a Girl thing. My daughter is a size 3T right now so by them time I would get them made for her a size 4 would be just about right

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  31. I would love to win the It's a Girl thing! My 3 year old loves for me to make her clothes and these would be darling!

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  32. Oh that is a really tough choice! I really love Sugar Horses, and have wanted that for a while, so I think I'd choose Nursery Rhymes. Great interview!

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  33. I am so impressed with your success - and a little jealous. Sewing and smocking for my daughters and now my granddaughter is my passion. I would love to have the Nursery Rhymes!

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  34. I would love to win the Nursery Rhyme pattern set. Thank you for the chance!
    ap_lemos at yahoo dot com

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  35. I would love to win the Nursery Rhyme set. I have a new baby granddaughter just 10 months old and your designs are so fun. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  36. I would LOVE either set! I have two girls: 5 and 2 1/2! Love the article and she has very cute patterms. I just recently started following her blog. Thank you! crtullos at bellsouth dot com

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  37. My girls would love either set, I have admired these patterns, just haven't gotten any yet. So cute!

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  38. I don't have any of the "It's a Girl Thing" patterns and my nieces are getting bigger so I would like to win those.

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  39. I am starting to sew again for my twin grandchildren. I had a stroke about 4 years ago, and I now can concentrate enough to do craft projects. I was very lucky and used a cane for only about one year. I would love the Nursery Rhyme patterns for the twins who turned one last month. Your patterns are adorable.

    sboggs_1@charter.net

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  40. I LOVE Ellie Inspired!! All her patterns are just adorable!! I'd be happy with either set of patterns!!

    julie at littledarlingdesigns dot com

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  41. Thank you for the chance to win. "It's a Girl thing" is my hope. Thank you
    Cynthia at algonquin03@pacbell.net

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  42. Thanks for the giveaway. I love her patterns. I would love It's a Girl thing. designsmck@gmail.com

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  43. I like them all, but prefer the It's a Girl thing patterns.

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