Meet the Designer: Olga of Coffee & Thread

This week meet Olga of Coffee + Thread patterns! Olga is a mom of four kids who loves to sew. She learned how to sew and to draft patterns when she was in 8th grade. As so many home sewists she stopped sewing at some point and picked it up when she had her first daughter. Keep reading to know more!



Why do you sew?

 Sewing is my creative outlet. I love the idea that you can make something unique and beautiful out of a piece of fabric.


When did you started to sew? And what was your first make?

 I grew up in the Soviet Union and started to sew in school. We had a mandatory vocational training starting in 8th grade. The purpose of it was to prepare us for the workforce right out of high school, if a person doesn't get into college. I was taught how to draft and sew. We were required to draft and sew a pair of underwear out of woven fabric. They looked like something you put on babies to cover the diaper. Awful! We also sewed a nightgown, completed with French seams. I really liked mine and wore it quite a bit. I made a few other things in high school and college, mostly because I wanted to look fashionable. Some of the things needed not to ever see the light of the day, but at the time I loved them. Life got busy and I stopped sewing until I had my first daughter.


When did you start to draft patterns? How was the learning process?

 As I mentioned before I was taught in high school. Once I picked up sewing again, I brushed up on my drafting skills and learned quite a bit of new things and nuances once I started my company. I own quite a few of the drafting books that I refer to while working.


How is your creative/design process?

 It usually starts with an idea or even a small detail that I like, then I draft a pattern based on the idea and sew the first sample. The process continues with the adjustments, changes, etc.


Polina dress pattern by Coffee + Thread

How/where do you see yourself and your business in the future?

 I hope to expand more into women patterns. I only have one now.


What sewing machine do you own? Is it the machine of your dreams?

 I have a Janome, it's ok, but I can't say it's my dream machine.


What is your favorite make ever? Why?

 That's a hard question to answer. I have a few that I like, but my favorite is probably a dress, my Eleena pattern, that I made for my youngest daughter out of hand embroidered table cloth. I love how unique it is. I picked up the tablecloth from a Greek woman at a garage sale. It was stained in places and not usable. I love that I was able to give it a new life. Sadly, it's almost too short on her now. I will be sad when she can't wear it any longer.


What is on in the background while you're sewing?

 Nothing. I like to work when it's completely quiet, it makes me feel peaceful.


Which is(are) your favorite pattern(s)? 

 There are so many awesome designers, I really can't pick!


Who's your sewing/blogging/style/fashion/designer/quilter hero(s)?

 I admire Mie of Sewing Like Mad. I learned quite a bit from her. Her sewing is impeccable and she has such cool aesthetics.


Ila dress pattern by Coffee + Thread

What are your favorite sewing techniques?

 I like clean finishes, when the inside looks as nice as the outside.


What is your least favorite sewing technique/step?

 I never enjoy hemming, I just want to be done!


3 things that make you happy: 

  • Sunshine,
  • Perfect topstitching,
  • chocolate


3 random things about you:

  • I have eaten the same breakfast - oatmeal with raisins and brown sugar - pretty much all my adult life.
  • I am very introverted, though that's usually not the impression people have of me.
  • I think cilantro is the root of all evil. Celery is a close second.

    Life or sewing motto: 

     Seize the day!


    Sirocco Top & Dress pattern by Coffee + Thread

    Thank you, Olga! 

    Enjoy 20% off on all Coffee & Thread patterns during this week! (Valid until Friday, February 2nd 11:59pm CST)


    January 29, 2018 by Sara Soares
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