Monday, May 22, 2017

Designer Spotlight- Lisa of Andrie

Today's Designer Spotlight designer is Lisa of Andrie Designs:

Andrie has just launched the Andrie Designs Classics collectiona collection of patterns designed to be simple and quick to construct, yet effective and classic in design. The first pattern in this collection is the Classic Carry All and Handbag Tote pattern. They are patterns designed for all kinds of makers, both for those who sew to sell or just for themselves. 

Andrie features a wide range of sewing patterns for all levels of sewing and with easy to follow instructions and unique designs. Let's learn a little bit more about Lisa:

How long have you been sewing and what inspired you to start designing your own patterns?
I have been sewing since I was around 8 years old I think (so a good wee while! LOL!). I started out designing my own patterns purely though identifying a gap in the market so to speak - I was after an insulated lunch bag pattern to fit a specific sized lunchbox and couldn’t find one so had a go at creating my own!

What do you love most about your job?
Probably seeing all the gorgeous creations my customers make with my patterns! Everyone has such wonderfully different approaches to fabric combinations etc., and it’s just SO awe-inspiring to see what they come up with! I love it!

What is the hardest part of the design process for you?
Making all the pieces or features of my design ‘fit’ just right in reality. I have a bit of an OCD tendency and can be quite particular with my designs and how they come together in the end.

What do you enjoy doing when you aren't working?
Spending time with my two young children, my husband and our mini fox terrier Toby.

What is your favorite pizza topping?
Haha random! I probably love chicken, mozzarella, mushrooms and onion with barbecue sauce and smokey barbecue drizzle at the moment (I think!)

What is your favorite thing about bag making?
Probably getting to play with gorgeous fabric and hardware etc. and transforming them into something practical and eye catching.

What is your least favorite part of bag making?
Cutting out all the pieces! If someone could do that for me, and interface them all as well, that would be SUPER!

Is there a pattern of yours that is your favorite? 
At the moment I’m probably loving my Classic Carryall Handbag & Tote pattern the most.

What is your favorite pattern by another designer?
I really like the Break The Rules Wristlet by Emkie Designs. The piecing on the outer panels is so fun and a great way to use up scraps!

What is your favorite snack?
I don’t think I can pick just one sorry! It would have to be a good coffee and Lindt chocolate balls…

What is your favorite piece of bag hardware?
Hmm…. As boring as it sounds, probably the rings - D-rings, O-rings and rectangular rings! For me, they seem to be an integral part of bag making and are just so versatile!

What machine do you sew on most often?
I have two Bernina’s so use both of them when sewing - my B350PE is my newer one that I saved up and bought myself a couple of years ago, and my 1120 is one my mum bought around the time I was born and is what I learnt to sew on all those moons ago. She’s since gifted it to me and it will be treasured for a long time yet I reckon! Plus, it runs as good as the day she bought it which is fantastic too!

What advice would you give to someone who is new to bag making?
Start slow with a few easy, entry level bag patterns from reputable designers who provide clear and thorough instructions, and don’t be afraid to ask questions  We all have to start somewhere, and asking questions is a great way to learn and clarify exactly WHY things are done the way they are.

Who is your favorite fabric designer?
At the moment I’m crushing on Alison Glass but I am keen to try some of Libs Elliott’s Tattooed collection at some point too… Seem to have a thing for all things colourful and rainbow-like! LOL! :)

What is the best compliment you've received as a designer? 
Ooh… Um… I guess the best compliment I’ve received would be to do with how well written my patterns are, how easy they are to follow, and how clever they are with all the pieces “magically fitting together” in the end.

How organized is your sewing space? Are you a mess maker or everything in its place kind of person?
Haha I’m definitely an ‘everything in it’s place’ kind of gal! I’ve always been tidy and organised… I think it goes hand in hand with the OCD traits and being ‘particular’ about things LOL :D

What is your favorite color?
At the moment it would have to be a combination of teals, aquas, dark/peacock blues and purples! <3

What is your favorite thing to listen to while working? 
Usually I prefer the silence funnily enough as when the rest of my family are home it’s pretty noisy haha. However if I decide to pop some music on, it’s usually Ed Sheeran’s Divide album these days (SUCH a great album!!).

Is there anything you wish others knew about you or what you do?
I guess I would like readers to know how particular I am and that it most definitely flows through to my patterns and style of writing. I don’t like the term ‘perfectionist’ as I don’t believe anyone or anything can be ‘perfect’, but I definitely strive to produce top quality patterns that are super easy to follow and will give professional results each and every time.

How do you make sure that your patterns are accessible to bagineers? How do you promote your work?
My patterns are all available via my website (, my Etsy shop and Craftsy store. I also share on my social media (Instagram and Facebook) and will usually share my customers makes rather than mine as I feel they’re a LOT more inspiring!

Don't forget to head over and take the poll here

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Designer Spotlight-- Christine of Chris W Designs

Today's Spotlight Designer is Christine from Chris W Designs:

Chris W Designs provides unique and easy to follow patterns for all levels of sewing. Christine's patterns are incredibly detailed and thorough, you'll be amazed at the professional results that you can get from follow a Chris W pattern! Christine is also a Bag of the Month designer, and is this June's designer. I can't wait to see what gorgeous design she comes up with. 

Let's learn a little bit more about Christine:

How long have you been sewing and what inspired you to start designing your own patterns? 
I have been sewing for as long as I can remember. When I was a child, my mum was always sewing clothes and things for our home and she was the one who taught me how to sew. She inspired me to try new techniques.  

The very first bag I ever made was such a chore simply because of poorly written instructions. It didn’t even have any punctuation and one sentence just flowed into the next! That was such a battle! I made myself a pact to one day design and write bag patterns that anyone can follow. After that first attempt, I made many bags. Some were from free patterns and some from purchased patterns but many were my own experiments to learn as much as I could about making bags. 

What do you love most about your job?  
Definitely the designing part of my job. I really love working out different ways to do things and designing different features and pocket types which are unique….at least for a while! 

What is the hardest part of the design process for you?  
Knowing when to stop with adding features! I just love pockets and special features in a bag so I really need to remind myself that not everyone likes to make bags that take forever to make because of a ton of features! 

What do you enjoy doing when you aren't working? 

What is your favorite pizza topping?  
None! I am allergic to cheese so pizza is off the menu! 

What is your favorite thing about bag making? 
Designing! But other than that, attaching the strap at the end and carrying a new, fun bag that nobody else has one of the same! 

What is your least favorite part of bag making? 
Cutting out! A ton of features means a ton of cutting! I would love to find a cutting fairy hiding in my studio! 

Is there a pattern of yours that is your favorite 
My wallet, The Penny Inn. It took me ages to figure out how to make it have so many pockets and still be something you can sew on most machines. 

What is your favorite pattern by another designer? 
Gosh…..The NCW. Who doesn’t love that pattern! 

What is your favorite snack? 
Potato Crisps! (Chris sniffs Smiths Crisps –Try saying that FAST! LOL) 

What is your favorite piece of bag hardware? 

What machine do you sew on most often? 
A Bernina QE550 

What advice would you give to someone who is new to bag making? 
Don’t be frightened to push your boundaries! Take your time to make your bag. It’s not meant to be a race to the finish line! Enjoy the process, read over the instructions to get the bigger picture but then tackle your bag one step at a time. Trust the designer’s instructions, even if you don’t ‘get it’! It’s much less daunting that way and before you know it, it’s done! 

Who is your favorite fabric designer?  
Good question! I really don’t have one! I hoard fabric from everywhere and everyone!  

What is the best compliment you've received as a designer?  
“WOW I can’t believe I made this myself!” 

How organized is your sewing space? Are you a mess maker or everything in its place kind of person? 

I am an “Everything in its place” person…..until I have started my next project…..then I make the BIGGEST mess imaginable 

What is your favorite color? 

My favourite colour is green BUT I rarely use it in my bag making. 

What is your favorite thing to listen to while working?  

Country Music 

Is there anything you wish others knew about you or what you do? 

I pour my heart and soul into my bag making. Designing bags that are fun and unique is important to me, as is providing the best quality pattern I possibly can. It takes me a ridiculous amount of time to write and test my bag patterns, especially my Advanced ones or ones that have a lot of features. My pattern PDF’s are long, not because they are difficult but because they contain a lot of options and details many other patterns don’t. In fact the opposite is true, those things make it easier to make a more complicated design! Unfortunately, some people just look at the length of the PDF and assume it must be difficult without even looking at its content. That’s something I wish people would know about what I do. It’s not as hard as it looks!  

How do you make sure that your patterns are accessible to bagineers? How do you promote your work? 

I provide a couple of free patterns on my website for people to try so they can see if they like my style of pattern writing. I sell my patterns solely as PDF’s via my website and a number of other online outlets such as E-purse Patterns, Etsy and Craftsy. Promotion is via word of mouth, Facebook and Instagram. I also have a newsletter which you can sign up for on my website. Newsletter subscribers get 20% off all new pattern releases. 

Check out Christine's latest pattern, The Ellen's Esplanade:

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