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!