Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sew Chic Patterns

Today I am thrilled to introduce you to Laura Nash of Sew Chic Patterns. She is an Indie designer who brings a depth of knowledge and experience to her designs that is very impressive and it shows in her patterns.
I first discovered Laura's skills when I saw a review on Pattern Review for her Fifth Avenue dress design.  Do Laura's patterns have a vintage vibe? Yes, most definitely. But they are not the nod to simplistic fifties fashions that so many indies have over saturated the market with. Laura's vision is one of femininity with a big dose of elegance, the type of garment you could wear to a wedding or evening out and turn heads. Even with the backwards influence of fashion  her looks feel fresh and original. Just look at her pattern called "Phantom". This design can be a swing coat, a top, or something as elegant as what you see below.

This bit of sheer froth can be even more appreciated in the line drawings where you will see the shape and detail built in as well as how easily it could be interpreted into much different looking garments.



With that bit of tease I would like to share with you an interview with Laura that she was so gracious to accommodate. 

When you were sewing in your younger years did you have one particular project or garment  that you were particularly proud of?  Or that was particularly difficult to complete?

As a teenager, I think my sewing was fairly inventive. I also enjoyed coming up with costumes for school plays, performances, and Halloween. Of course I didn't know how to make a pattern from scratch like I do now, but I would use a fashion pattern as a base and create something completely different from it.  I don’t recall it as a challenge, but my best project from that era would be the wedding dress I made for my mother.  She had a dress in mind when shopping the pattern books, but couldn't find anything exact. She ended up buying a Vogue pattern as a base, which was really quite extravagant for her budget. I changed quite a few things adding in a yoke with mandarin collar and full sleeves with cuffs accented with rows of tucks, ribbons, lace, and buttons, and sleeve and skirt overlay of white striped chiffon.  My sister was married in the same dress.

What fabric has given you the most difficulty?

I really dislike brocade. It’s beautiful, but I just can abide the constant unraveling!   People complain about chiffon, but I don’t mind it at all.  I find that careful preparation of the fabric with attention to the grain when time to cut makes everything else go smoothly.

Your business is quite comprehensive and must be quite time consuming as well. Any hints for getting it all done? Do you find much time to sew now?

Oh Yes! I have found out for myself that running a company is more than full time work! And at least for a perfectionist, getting it all done just doesn’t happen, but at some point there is “acceptable.”  Being organized is critical to being efficient no matter what the job.  I wear a variety of hats, of course, and I can’t be without sewing completely but I don’t get to sew as much as I’d like. However there is a bright side to the situation; I see from my helpers what their difficulties are, which makes it easier to anticipate and look for solutions in assembly and techniques for best end results for people of all skill levels.

Your garments have a vintage vibe but in an elegant way. I love the tailored extras that you are unafraid to incorporate. Who or what inspires your designs?

What a nice compliment! For me, vintage means elegant, though you won’t find that in the dictionary! It’s kindness, poise, restraint, modesty, classic, gentle, beauty.  I hope my designs speak well to that definition. I try to create styles that are wearable in the marketplace as well as the workplace for the 20 and 60 year old alike.  Simple silhouettes definitely have their place, but I hope that adding special and even unusual details, it brings them to a new level of excitement. All of my designs are directly inspired by the first half of the 20th century.  Though I have bookshelves full inspiration by way of scrapbooks, notebooks and books about designers, old sewing manuals, and anything associated, I rarely need to look at any of it. It’s in my veins now!

Everyone loves a peek into the sewing space of other sewists. Care to tell us what your space is like? Do you work better with a bit of clutter around or must you have everything in its place to be creative?

In my main work area, I do have a certain amount of clutter because I like things to be near me and stored near first use. Some things never get put “away”, but I cannot operate in chaos, so I must stay with a certain level of of organization. All works in progress, along with the project materials, are kept in Rubbermaid plastic bins with lids, of which I have two sizes.  I keep all of my everyday sewing tools lumped together in a large plastic school box case, and have a tall portable stacking bin for things that may need to move with me, but things I need less often such as sewing feet, bendable rulers, electric shears, push pins and such. My cutting table is always layered with two cardboard cutting boards (Dritz Superboard) and elbow lamps and ironing board nearby.  To tidy up, I have a computer armoire that I have converted into sewing storage. I stow my sewing machine in the compartment where the computer tower would normally go, and notions and tools are contained on the pull out drawer where the keyboard would usually sit. Project bins stack below and the upper area is tall enough for narrow bolts of fabric I am working with.  I have three other rooms that get used for printing, packaging and storing supplies, materials, and equipment to vendor, teach, and produce product.

Can you give us any hints about upcoming patterns? What is your favorite to design?

I admit a weakness for dresses.  Pants and tee shirts are a necessary part of our modern life, but I don’t find them interesting to make or to wear.  I have several projects in the works, but the one I can tell you about is a redesign of the Pendleton pattern.  As one of the first to be published, it’s been on the market for quite a while, and rather than retire it, I decided to give it a refresh. I’ve finished the first sample and it will have a view B option as well. The dress has a much younger look to it and a whole new personality that I’m really excited about. The only thing left to decide is whether I should also give it a new name too!

Thank you so much, Laura, for taking the time for this interview. It is my pleasure to introduce you and your work to my readers. With that in mind, here are a few of Laura's designs, some for day, some more for evening, and others that can be interpreted either way. 






These are just a few designs from Sew Chic Patterns. Others include hats, luscious lingerie and more. Laura is truly a gifted designer. Her experience and skills are obvious. I look forward to making one of her designs in the near future. Get to know her work through these links and I trust you may feel the same. 






13 comments:

  1. Thank you for this interview and the 411 on Sew Chic Patterns. I love indie patterns but have found that they are not all created equal. Laura Nash brings us excellent design and very high-quality instructions. When you read the directions and sew her designs, you can truly see the difference. Her dress designs are wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While I haven't sewn one of Laura's designs yet, I totally agree with your first few sentences. I am looking forward to sewing one of her dresses soon. They are calling me.

      Delete
  2. "... simplistic fifties fashions that so many indies have over saturated the market with. " Oh yes I totally agree. I was charmed at first and am now bored. Laura Nash brings a level of sophistication which many women, myself included, long for in clothing. The Phantom is lovely and so versatile. Thanks so much for highlighting her work-I am off to order a pattern!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I had only just come across this ladies patterns yesterday, and so thrilled when your blog came in this morning Bunny!
    I am sure there will be something of a rush of Laura's patterns. I just adore the classical elegance of her designs.
    Simply adore the picture you have shared of Fifth Avenue. Would love to learn what fabric Laura made it up in for the shoot?

    Would be a stunner of a dress for the festive season, don't you think...............must check out the sizing chart. This has to be a style for me to try out.

    Thanks again for sharing with us.

    ReplyDelete
  4. So SO nice to see patterns from an indie designer that actually have a fresh and unique design sense! The classic vintage is certainly there, but her detailing looks fabulous! Not my personal style, but I definitely look forward to seeing what people think of her fit, etc. Thanks for the interview!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I agree, she has some interesting designs! It's nice to see.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow, she certainly has the experience and credentials to impress. Knowing that some Indie pattern makers outsource their patterns to other companies makes you wary but this designer certainly can back up her product. The dresses just take your breath away! Thank you for bringing her to our attention. That A-line jacket would certainly work well for my client Nancy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the entire outfit and would love to make it with some silk pants and top and a sheer jacket as shown, a dressier look. Now just give me some place to where it! Wedding, anyone?

      Delete
    2. Anniversary coming up? 60th birthday? Baptism? It would be stunning!

      Delete
  7. Thank you for this interview. It is always exciting and inspiring to read of someone whose talent and creativity is so impressive. Beautiful patterns!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for doing the spotlight! I have to say that I do get tired of the indie retro vibe that looks like dressing up in actual vintage clothes. What I love about vintage are the details: piping, interesting sleeves or cuffs, a cute collar design, etc. Laura's designs add the details without making me wonder if I'll get asked if I'm an extra on Mad Men. (Yay!) I want to look good, not play dress-up. Love that Pendleton!

    ReplyDelete

Engaging commentary: