This week meet the pattern designer behind Designs by Call Ajaire! Ajaire used to be a computer programmer before she became a stay-at-home-mom of a little girl. It was when Ajaire started to draft clothing patterns. She researched a lot about design and took a few online courses. No pattern is released until Ajaire feels it's an excellent product. She aims to cultivate "a love of sewing through skill-building" and that shows on her patterns. Keep reading to know more!
Why do you sew?
It's amazing to look at a piece of fabric and watch it turn into something else right before your eyes. I love creating in all forms (sewing, cooking, quilting, knitting, woodworking, you name it) and to me, there's something so satisfying about seeing what you've created serving a function in everyday life. I make all of my daughter's clothes and take pride in knowing the time, care, and love that goes into each piece and that as she goes through her day she carries a part of me with her.
When did you started to sew? And what was your first make?
I started sewing at a young age, first hand stitching and later at the sewing machine. The first thing I can remember stitching of any substance was a bird hand puppet made of felt for a book report in 3rd grade.
When did you start to draft patterns? How was the learning process?
Well, I drafted that hand puppet hehe. I've always enjoyed the process of starting from scratch with a project and have drafted many patterns over the years, but generally only for my personal use. I started getting serious about drafting clothing patterns when my daughter was a baby and she's six years old now. I spent those first few years reading all the library books about design I could get my hands on as well as online courses such as Pattern Workshop. My background is in computer science so the math and spreadsheets part of pattern designing excited me and I knew I had found something I could be really passionate about. I didn't release my first pattern until I knew I had learned all I could to produce an excellent product. That included a lot of time in our amazing sewing/blogging community just sewing and sharing and enjoying what other people were sewing and sharing and later pattern testing for other designers to get a better understanding of the whole process. I continue to grow and learn from other designers (and my own pattern testers!) all the time.
The Classic Maillot and Swimsuit, pattern by Designs by Call Ajaire
How is your creative/design process?
Typically I get an idea of something I want to design from mashing several things together in my mind. I've spent a lot of time doing mashUps and I've learned that my brain just thinks that way: take the best features of item A and item B and use them to make item C. Once I have an idea of what I want to design I think for several days about how each piece would go together and what order it should all happen in. I don't write anything down until I've thought it over for awhile as I've found that once I write it down the creative portion is over for me and the rest is structural. It's during this "thinking time" where I've come up with some of the unique construction methods I use and shortcuts I've discovered. After I am satisfied I have the right process in mind, I begin drawing the pattern pieces and then sewing samples. The longer my thinking time is for a design, the more apt the first sample is to come out looking exactly as I imagined it would, but it still amazes me every time to see what was just an idea a short time ago turn into reality.
What sewing machine do you own? Is it the machine of your dreams?
I use a basic old Janome for my regular sewing machine. It is a workhorse of a machine and I don't see myself upgrading any time soon.
What is on in the background while you're sewing?
Podcasts. I am obsessed with podcasts and am crazy about all the options there are out there. Some of my favorite subjects are theater, true crime, and comedy.
Crossover Flounce Dress, pattern by Designs by Call Ajaire
3 things that make you happy:
- The right shade of green.
- My family.
- Quiet time alone.
3 random things about you:
- I am from Cape Cod.
- I was a Programmer before be a stay at home mother.
- I play the flute.
Life or sewing motto:
Slow down and enjoy the process.
Thank you, Ajaire!
Mackinaw Coat, pattern by Designs by Call Ajaire
Enjoy 20% off on all Designs by Call Ajaire patterns through this week! (Good until Friday, July 14th 11:59 PM PST)
Make sure to come back next week to meet another pattern designer!