Indie round up: Hello Josie from Handmade by Josie!

I’ve got two more interviews to share with you (maybe a third if a certain someone sends me her answers soon 😉 )

Today it is Josie of Handmade by Josie’s turn.

If you missed the last few interviews, here is where to read about their awesomeness:

Hi Josie!

What do you like the most about sewing with indie patterns?

The fit. Indie patterns tend to fit a whole lot better in my experience and also the finished product actually looks like its supposed to! I dont know how many things I’ve made that come out looking nothing like the picture on the front cover!

I’ve found that Indie patterns usually come with a tutorial that provides a lot of guidance for novice sewer like myself. That really has helped me lot and kept my interest in sewing going strong. Also a lot of indoe patterns come with add-ons and variations like how to turn a top into a dress, different types of sleeves etc.

What’s your favourite Indie pattern, and why?

I really like the Mathilde top from Tilly and the buttons and also the Washi dress by Made by Rae. They were both really easy to sew and actually came out looking like they are supposed to! Also I feel confident in actually wearing them out as they don’t look “handmade”.Also both patterns have really detailed instructions and great pics to guide you along the way.

(Click on any image to learn more)

What’s your favourite thing you’ve made from an indie pattern?

My Washi dress. I wear it all the time!

Which is your favourite indie pattern company, and why?

So far I’ve only had experience with Tilly and the buttons and Made by Rae, so they are both my faves.

Which indie pattern are you planning on making next?

I have just purchased Megan Nielson’s Darling Ranges dress and The Wiksten tank.

What indie patterns are on your wish list?

Colette – Hawthorn, Peony, Iris

Deer and Doe – Sureau and Belladone

Sewaholic – Pendrell

Sewliberated – Clara dress and Schoolhouse Tunic

I love your first few Indie makes Josie,  and judging from your wishlist there are heaps more to come! 🙂 You have shown me some great new patterns , thank you so much for participating last month xx

Indie round up: Hello Lizzy from Sew Busy Lizzy!

I hope you guys are enjoying reading these interviews with out fellow bloggers and indie pattern lovers.

Now it is Lizzy of Sew Busy Lizzy‘s turn.

If you missed the last few interviews, here is where to read about their awesomeness:

Hi Lizzy!

What do you like the most about sewing with indie patterns?

I love supporting individuals who are out there doing something they love, taking a risk & putting themselves out there. Most indie companies have a distinct style or niche that they design for and I respect that – they are not trying to be everything to everybody.

What’s your favourite Indie pattern company, and why?

I adore Sewaholic, everything is so well drafted and Tasia has incorporated clever finishes (the beautiful Cambie dress lining, the Pendrell sleeve frills) and smart design elements (back seam of Thurlows for fitting, piping the Tofino pants to visually lengthen your legs).

That said, By Hand London is pounding on my door to be a favourite with their first three patterns. I adore their designs & packaging. They are really going to be the one to watch. They are very ‘now’ and filling the niche for funky street fashion sewing – something that is needed – sewing is the new rock n roll. Go girls!

What’s your favourite thing you’ve made from an indie pattern?

In the spirit of the Olympics – I’ve got gd, silver & bronze!

Gold would be my Maria Denmark Day to Night top. I’ve worn it to death, it’s flattering, uses next to no fabric & took less than one hour to make! I will be making lots more of these!

(Click on any image to learn more)

Silver to my By Hand London Elisalotte. I just love the visual punch of this dress – I feel amazing in it. It’s not something I can wear everyday but it is awesome.

Bronze to my Sewaholic Cambies. I’ve made four and am working on number 5!

Which is your favourite indie pattern and why?

Oh goodness that’s such a tough one!! I loooove the Cambie, it’s a well documented fact!

I also love the cowl-neck Sewaholic Renfrew (doesn’t everyone?) and Maria Denmark cowl day-to-night top. I think I may have a cowl fetish going on…

Which indie pattern are you planning on making next?

I’m finishing off a Cambie but after that I’d love to make another By Hand London Victoria blazer, an everyday one – something a bit less luxe than my sari lined one!

I’ve also got Victory Patterns Nicola queued and Jalie jeans at some point… then there is that bombshell swimsuit – although swimwear gives me a cold sweat.

What indie patterns are on your wish list?

GRAINLINE! I still can’t believe I haven’t made the Archer, Moss or Scout. It’s ridiculous. I must rectify this situation soon.

Thanks so much Lizzy, I love ALL your Cambie dresses, each one is different but they all look great on you, it’s no wonder you are addicted!

footer_machine zigzag love


Indie round up: Hello Sarah from Sew Love Tea Do!

Who is next in line for our Indie lovers interview?

It’s fellow Kiwi Sarah of Sew Love Tea Do!


 If you missed the last few interviews, here is where to read about their awesomeness:

Hi Sarah!

Hello Mel, shucks thank you I am so pleased that you’re asking ME 🙂 xx

What do you like the most about sewing with indie patterns?

I’m a newbie to indie patterns, having always been a vintage pattern lover. I am so grateful for the girls who introduced indie pattern month to me, as I have found a wondrous new world to support. I found the indie patterns I have sewn so far really clear and easy to follow. I particularly love the fresh clean NEW look of them, uncrinkled papers and bonus in full squares – a complete contrast sorting out dishevelled old opp shopped patterns.

What’s your favourite Indie pattern, and why?

I see huge potential in reworking some vintage textiles with the Sewaholic Pendrell Blouse. I’m looking at making it without the frills, with only some frills, shorter crop top and also longer as a tunic. It’s these simpler sews that you really can go wild with found textiles and interesting colours/patterns that may be small offcuts screaming ‘rescue me’ on their way to the bin – exactly my kinda sewing.

(Click on any image to learn more)

What’s your favourite thing you’ve made from an indie pattern?

Style wise I really really love my wolf pants (Peter & The Wolf Pants from Papercut Patterns). Although I had a few troubles with my strange(?) crotch/seat shape hehe, I LOVE the finished product and am excited for round 2 and round 3 and many more to come.


I am adding in Sarah’s Cutesy Lil Capelet (a free pattern from Peppermint Magazine drafted by the amazing Sandra, a sewing buddy of mine from Perth) because even though it’s a late entry for Indie Pattern Month (says she who is still working on her lady Grey!) it is too cute not to share!

Which is your favourite indie pattern company, and why?

I don’t have a ‘favourite’ yet but I would have to say, Papercut Patterns really excites me like no other pattern ever has (that includes vintage gems). From arrival, to unravelling, layout, design, the cute hanger/box/booklet packaging. I think they are awesome at showing that sewing is fun, funky, modern, ok modern isn’t a nice modern sounding word – & I want to say hip without sounding like my dad. Cool, perhaps cool is the word. I am all for getting more young people into sewing, inspiring the next generation to pick up age old skills rather than head straight to the mall. So, thanks to spunky products like Papercut Patterns, sewing definitely can hold some street cred. AND kiwi made, LOVE IT!

Which indie pattern are you planning on making next?

I am super keen to jump onto the Victoria Blazer sew along over at byhandlondon. It will be my first sew along actually 🙂 The blazer looks like it would be a go-to garment through all seasons, and I have loved the makes I have seen already through my ‘sewing crew’ list in my bloglovin’. I am excited to see how I can break it down, to colour block it up of course. I am thinking of making a match to my wolf pants, a patterned two piece would be so much fun.

What indie patterns are on your wish list?

I really like the look of the Victory Pattern Lola, I have been collecting lots of colourful sweatshirting and think they are totally destined for some snuggly dresses before the winter here is through …in saying that, as it is soon to be spring (its not, but I like to think its near) I am on the prowl for a new shorts pattern…

Thanks so mcuh for arranging, it was a fun kick up the butt to really get me sewing some new things& great to explore a new realm of patterns I had never really known before. Bless ya! xx

Wow Sarah, you are most very welcome. I learnt about some great new pattern companies too and saw so much inspiration. Also Kat and I both have a seriously huge sewing crush on your Peter and the Wolf pants! Ohh! 🙂

Are you enjoying our sewing interviews and getting some great inspiration? Stay tuned for a few more…


Indie round up: Hello Heather from Heather’s Hobbies!

It’s time for another fabulous blogger interview. If you missed the last few check out the amazing Penny of Dresses and MeLizzie of Busy Lizzie and  Rachel of House of Pinheiro.

Today we get to chat with Heather of Heather’s Hobbies.

Hi Heather!

What do you like the most about sewing with indie patterns?

As a newer sewist, I really appreciate the extra level of detail and thought that are put in the patterns. Sizing of indie patterns tends to be much more real world than the Big Four. There are often online tutorials, instructions for common fitting problems and alternate hems, sleeves, or pockets. I have even contacted a designer directly with a question and received a response practically immediately. Even though the issue was user error, it was nice to know that I could contact a real human being about my question.

What’s your favourite Indie pattern, and why?

I really like both of the Washi dresses I have made. Maybe it is because they are so playful. Yes, both of them are a bit on the silly side, but I love the easy fit of the dress and it offers endless possibilities for dressing up or down depending on the fabric chosen and accessories worn with it. I’m not dropping any hints here, but it would also be a super cute maternity dress.

(Click on any image to learn more)

What’s your favourite thing you’ve made from an indie pattern?

I really love my newest make, Deer and Doe’s Belladone Dress. The fabric is just beautiful, and the back detail turned out very nicely.

Which is your favourite indie pattern company, and why?

I tend to sew a lot of Colette’s patterns. I think this is mostly because they have such a wide selection.

I haven’t sewn their patterns yet, but I really like the classic lines of the Sewaholic designs. These seem to be items that every woman could use in their closet.

Which indie pattern are you planning on making next?

The Hawthorn dress by Colette is next in the queue. I have always like the idea of a shirt dress, but this one seems to be the first one I’ve seen with enough shape to really fit the way I want it to.

I would also like to begin the muslin fitting for the Robson Coat. We’ll see which one wins out when I actually sit down to sew the next time.

What indie patterns are on your wish list?

Sewaholic’s Cordova jacket is high on the list.

Papercut pattern’s Ooh la la leggings run a close second.

Thank you!  I feel so honored!

You’re welcome Heather, thank you for being fabulous. I really love your Belladone, wow, I really need to make my version up, every time I see one I fall in love with that pattern all over again! 🙂

Who will we meet next? Stay tuned!

footer_kiwi walking love copy


Indie round up: Hello Lizzie from Busy Lizzie!

How much fun was Indie pattern month?! It’s all over now and I can’t believe how fast June zoomed by but Kat and I really enjoyed hosting this month and it was so exciting to see amazing independent pattern makes popping up all over the blog-o-sphere.

Even if you didn’t take part I am sure you got some great inspiration and found some new pattens to add to your list, I know I did!

We got to “meet” a few of these fabulous designers, so if you missed their interviews click through to find out more about Hannah from Sinbad & Sailor, Amity and Nhi from Lolita Patterns and Katie from Papercut Patterns.

Over the next few days Kat and I will be winding up Indie Pattern Month with something a bit different, we’re going to be hearing from some of the fabulous bloggers who sewed along with us! Yay!

Yesterday Kat caught up with the fabulous Penny of Dresses and Me so why don’t you pop on over and see what her favourite independent patterns are?

First up for me is the super talented Lizzie of Busy Lizzie.

Hi Lizzie!

What do you like the most about sewing with indie patterns?

The patterns tend to lean more towards my general aesthetic and it is nice to be supporting small businesses instead of the big corporations. I like that I am supporting a designer directly, I often feel like I kind of know them from following their blog and it is nice to feel part of that community

What’s your favourite Indie pattern, and why?

Hmmm…there are so many I like! Currently my favourites are the Coppelia by Papercut and the Hollyburn by Sewaholic and they make a perfect pairing!

(Click on any image to learn more)

What’s your favourite thing you’ve made from an indie pattern?

I make the Banksia top from Megan Nielsen a lot, this pattern is super versatile, with or without sleeves, with or without collar, and with or without placket and any combination of these!!

Which is your favourite indie pattern company, and why?

I have three favourites – Sewaholic, Papercut and Megan Nielsen

Which indie pattern are you planning on making next?

It’s jacket season for me so I have the Robson by Sewaholic and the Anise by Colette on my cutting table

What indie patterns are on your wish list?

Deer & Doe Patterns – I love the Belledone and Bluet the best!

Thanks for having me along!!

You’re welcome Lizzie, it’s great to see so many amazing projects from you, I love your clever combinations of fabric and colour and your Hole-y Moly Banksia top is my favourite version I’ve seen of that pattern, I think I just added another one to my list! xx

Stay tuned for more blogger interviews over the next few days!


It’s black and fuzzy and being dragged away by a black fuzzy thing

Wow so June is done and dusted and July is speeding by, I’ve seriously struggled to find sewing time this month. I did complete my top-secret project that I’ll post as soon as I am allowed to but for now, here is some Lady Grey progress.

Spoiler alert: It’s not finished…yet.

These photos are from Monday night, Harri and I had the house to ourselves and I seriously thought I might get to at least 95% done. I dreamt about my rainbow swallows dress on Sunday night but I HAVE to finish Lady Grey first and when I am done my machines are going to need one heck of a vacuum out. This wool makes its own fuzz babies everywhere!

Normally when I have a day of sewing I can convince Harri to take a nap in her bed, which I move into my sewing room. Her bed has had an extra incentive added recently, a hot water bottle.

Yes I spoil her, I’m allowed 😉

This is an example of situation normal, taken a week or so ago:

But on Monday night it just wasn’t happening. Instead we had this:

And then this:

And this:

There was not going to be any situation normal this night. Harri LOVES this wool. At one point I turned around from stitching a sleeve seam and she was on the cutting table dragging the WHOLE coat shell towards the edge. I have no idea where she was planning to go with it but she was giving it her best shot.

So she’s not the best helper but I guess when only one of your humans is home you have to apply all your love to that human even if they really just wish you’d curl up in their lap.

I did achieve quite a lot, in-between plonking Harri back on the ground every 10 minutes but when she decided she liked the look of the iron (which was HOT), I called it a night.

Sorry in advance for these absolutely terrible night time photos but we’ve been over this: It’s WINTER!

The shell front and back, is all assembled and top stitched, just the collar left to go on:

The lining is 80% there, I have to pre-hem the bottom then facings are next followed by the sleeves and then I can attach it to the shell.

I am debating if I want to try my hand at a pair of bound button holes (and that reminds me that I don’t even have any buttons picked out yet!). I think a bound button hole would look better than a machine stitched one with this fabric and look infinitely more professional and “RTW”.

Colette has a beautifully photographed tutorial and they look like miniature welt pockets to me, which I have made successfully before. I think I just convinced myself…

So yes, that’s as far as I have gotten. Indie month is officially over and I am dragging my heels on my second item but I’ll get there this week and I am really excited to finish this coat.

Over the next few days Kat and I will be winding up the month with some posts featuring a few of our participants.

Did you enjoy Indie pattern month? I hope so. I found it motivational and a great way to show our love for the independent pattern designers. I definitely spotted a few new patterns I hadn’t considered before! I also enjoyed Burda month because both themes left the sewing open to suit everyone’s individual skill level and it also meant I could pick a project that suited my sewing mood the current season. How about you?


Meet Amity and Nhi from Lolita Patterns

As part of our Indie Pattern Month, Kat and I have sat a few Indie Pattern Designers down in the interview chair.

Hannah from Sinbad and Sailor was first, you can read her interview here.

Now it’s my turn! Allow me to introduce Amity and Nhi, the super talented ladies behind Lolita Patterns.

Welcome Amity and Nhi! I have only recently discovered your label myself so I am really excited to hear more about your personal design thoughts, let’s begin.

What inspired you to get into pattern designing?

We are both serial sewists. We’ve sewn everything from clothes to quilts, from home décor to car upholstery, from purses to bras. If it can be sewn, we’ll sew it!

Over the years, we wanted more of a challenge AND we wanted patterns for garments we could wear in our professional careers. From that came the seedling of an idea that bloomed to be Lolita Patterns.

Amity (right) & Nhi (left) hard at work on an initial sample of their newest pattern, Sugar Plum

How would you describe your aesthetic?

Our designs starts with professional wear in which we add a Japanese Lolita twist; hence, Lolita Patterns.

This is not to be confused with the American interpretation of Lolita or cosplay! Japanese Lolita is about femininity, modesty and elegance. We think that adding the Japanese Lolita street fashion to professional wear gives a fresh take to a wardrobe that can turn boring quickly.

What do you consider your point of difference?

One of the first things we did when we started talking about starting a pattern company was to do a thorough analysis of the current pattern and relevant RTW companies. We wanted to take every aspect of what we loved from each and came up with some nice features ourselves.

Besides our unique styles, one of our points of difference is our large range of sizes (2-24). We wrote a detailed post about our sizing, as a part of our on-going behind the scenes series called “sew that’s why”.

Lolita’s Size Chart

Our patterns also stretch sewers into intermediate and advance territories. Sewers should not fear because we’ve included some very helpful features like heavily illustrated instructions, lettered notches for easy matching and cutting labels to keep track of pattern pieces.

How similar are your designs and your own day-to-day wardrobe?

Our designs are ripped from the pages our day-to-day wardrobes. Interestingly enough, we are on two different spectrum of styles yet we had some pieces in our wardrobe that were fairly similar. We had different interpretations in fabric and styling but the garment or pattern was the same. Once we both can agree on a pattern, we know that it will appeal to a wide range of consumer and can be reinterpreted in many different ways.

Nhi’s three versions of Fuchsia

Which is your favourite of the patterns you’ve designed?

No fair! This question is like asking someone which piece of fabric is their favorite from their stash. Who can decide? We love them all. If we didn’t love them, we don’t even waste our time and money making them into a pattern. However, we have to admit, that our favorite pattern at the time seems to be the one we are working on and getting to sew up in many different variations. It is always fun when your inspiration finally comes to life and you get to wear it!

If you could make that one for anyone at all, who would it be for, why, and what fabric would you make it in?

Sugar Plum would look incredible on Kate Beckinsale. She’s gorgeous and has incredible style. We could see her in a Sugar Plum made with double silk georgette for the top and double-knit for the contrast.

Amity in the new Sugar Plum dress which is currently out for testing

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt since you started your pattern label?

There is sooo much to learn and do! We are lucky that there are two of us and we have complementary skills. One of us works on the pattern making, fitting and technical illustrations, the other works with the website, customers, and designing. There are times when one of us gets busy or sick and it is great to have someone to share the load during those times. And of course we have a large network of sewing volunteers that have helped us all the way along.

Why did you choose that name for your label?

As mentioned previously, our style is influenced by Japanese Lolita street fashion. It was somewhat controversial at first because of in the US, Americans think of Stanley Kubrick movie, Lolita. We were originally concerned that if some web searched “Lolita Patterns”, it might show ::ahem:: inappropriate results. Luckily that is not the case as Japanese Lolita style fashion is far more prevalent and popular. Plus now when you search “Lolita Patterns”, you get us!

Gratuitous puppy shot, awww! Hello Waffle!

How do you decide what to call your patterns?

Our pattern names are named after colors because we love color. There are a million color names to choose from so we were confident that we could find one that was the perfect fit a particular pattern.

Our first pattern was Fuchsia. It’s fun and happy while being sophisticated.The Fuchsia is still free to download here.

Our second pattern is Sugar Plum. Sugar Plum is feminine and refined and comfortable for a long day at work.

Sugar Plum

Thank you ladies, it was great to learn more about your emerging brand. Best of luck for your next pattern launch and we all look forward to seeing more amazing designs from you with your special Lolita twist!

If you are interested in the Fuchsia skirt, that magic word was FREE and you still have plenty of time to whip one up before the end of Indie Pattern Month. You can find their super helpful Fuchsia Sew-Along here!