This week meet Liesl of Elemeno Patterns! Liesl is a Veterinarian by day and a pattern designer by night. She began drafting patterns while making clothing items for her little son and ended up deciding to offer them for sale. The name for this pattern brand comes from the initials of this family's members: Elemeno (LMNO) stands for Liesl, Marco, the husband, Nicoló, the son, and Orion the dog. Elemeno Patterns are perfect for little boys and girls! Keep reading to know more.
Why do you sew?
So many reasons! It is something that my mom taught me at a young age, so it has always been a part of me. But the reason I love it so much is because it gives me the opportunity to create. I am rarely happy with the style and fit of store-bought clothes--there is always something I want to change. And designing and sewing gives me the ability to do that. And I love the idea of making something completely unique, that no one else will have.
When did you started to sew? And what was your first make?
I don't remember exactly what was my first make--I was very young when I started to sew. But I do have a funny story related to one of my first sewing endeavors. I was six. I had this big stuffed bear named Big Bear (actually I still have him), and I thought he needed more stuffing. So I opened him up, took some of my clothes, stuffed them in, and proceeded to stitch him up. Then, fifteen years later, he began to become floppy again because he was leaking little styrofoam balls through my repair. So my mom opened him up again to repair him and she found a bunch of my clothes from when I was six! He had become a little time capsule. When I am not designing and sewing I am a veterinarian, so I don't know if this story is more predictive of me becoming a vet or a sewist!
When did you start to draft patterns? How was the learning process?
I started to modify and create patterns for myself when I was in high school. I designed both of my prom dresses. But I didn't start to draft patterns in a more professional way until recently (about a year and a half ago), when I decided to sell my baby patterns on Etsy. The learning process has been amazing. There are such great online courses and e-books that have helped me immensely in the beginning, an now I am mostly going off of customer feedback to continue to improve all of my patterns. You can say I am a perfectionist :)
Ruffle Romper, pattern by Elemeno Patterns
How is your creative/design process?
Impulsive and addictive. I see a design I like--whether it is a photo on pinterest, or an idea that someone has sent to me, and I become obsessed. I start sketching modifications, then I draft it, make a few prototypes (usually for my son--the reluctant guinea pig), and continue modifying until I am 100% satisfied. It becomes my life. And then I post it for sale and start over again!
How/where do you see yourself and your business in the future?
This began as a hobby, but it has turned into so much more. I teach full time as a professor of veterinary medicine, but I put just as many hours into Elemeno Patterns, and I am so proud of what it has become in less than a year. It is still very young, so my primary short-term goals are to spread the word and keep cranking out new designs. Then in the future I hope to make it my primary career, giving me the opportunity to spend 100% of my work energy into it, but also the flexibility to spend as much time with my family as possible.
What sewing machine do you own? Is it the machine of your dreams?
I have a Husqvarna Viking sewing machine and I love it. It was a gift from my grandmother. I am definitely not a sewing machine expert, but using a cheap-o for most of my life I now realize how much less frustrating sewing can be when you have a reliable machine!
Fitted T-Shirt, pattern by Elemeno Patterns
Describe yourself in 3 words:
3 things that make you happy:
- 1) My son's smile
- 2) Watching movies in bed with my husband when it's raining
- 3) Eating delicious food with family and friends.
3 random things about you:
- 1) I make really good Eggs Benedict 2)
- 2) I am learning to speak Italian (my husband is Italian)
- 3) I spent a year living on a sailboat in Mexico with my family when I was 12 years old.
Life or sewing motto:
Do what you love, and don't sweat the small things.
Pocket Joggers, patterns by Elemeno Patterns
Thank you, Liesl!
Enjoy 20% off on all Elemeno Patterns through this week! (Good until Friday, July 28st 11:59 PM PST)
Make sure to come back next week to meet another pattern designer!