Meet the designers selling on UpCraft Club! There are over 120 indie pattern designers selling their PDF sewing patterns with UpCraft Club. Each week we will publish an interview with one of them! We are having a lot of fun getting to know more about them and we are sure you will love to know more about the people who makes the best PDF sewing patterns!
Today we are meeting Lindsey of Sew To Grow. She grew up in a small country town in East Texas (USA) but her (sweet)heart took her to beautiful Australia in 2011. Lindsey has a degree in Business Marketing and has worked as a Sales Manager for a sewing machine distribution company before she became a sewing instructor. Read through the interview to learn a few fun facts about her!
Why do you sew?
I sew because of the joy it brings me. I also sew because I love the creative process and seeing my visions become reality. Taking a flat 2D object and moulding it into something that fits around a 3D shape, is a process that never gets old.
When did you started to sew? And what was your first make?
I started sewing when I was 16 years old. I took the sewing machine out of the closet, read the manual, threaded it up and set to making my first bag. After that, I was hooked. I still have that bag and look at it as a reminder of how far I've come and that we all began somewhere.
When did you start to draft patterns? How was the learning process?
I started drafting and designing bags when I was in High School and started my first business called Sassy Bags. In College I started working for a local quilt shop, Fran's Sewing Circle in NC. This is where I learned most of what I know about sewing, quilting, and drafting from the incredible and talented women I worked with. I then started designing simple PDF patterns under Lindsey Rae Designs. I always kept practicing, but never believed I was much good at it. I loved teaching people how to sew and always did it a means to have something to teach and make extra money. I kept practicing, reading, and learning until I was brave enough to leave my job as State Manager for Husqvarna, Pfaff, and Singer sewing machines in Australia to start Sew To Grow. That was a massive learning curve. It was kind of like fly or fall flat on your face... So I decided I better start flapping my wings as hard as I could. So for me the learning process was over a long period of time, from lots of different sources, but ultimately took courage and believing in myself to make it my career.
Bondi Top pattern (Sew To Grow)
How is your creative/design process?
I travel a lot for my business and always find myself people watching. Looking at what women are wearing, how they are wearing it, and what trends emerge. When Im inspired I madly start drawing out ideas and try to flush out whats in my head. Even if I'm working on something else, I will drop everything to design if the creative juices really start flowing. I start by "Frankensteining" things together to create a working sample. I then tweak and change until I'm happy. I make more samples in different fabrics to check the flow and try different options. I finally set to doing the nitty gritty stuff to make the garment that you can create for yourself at home. I always have a bit of criteria when Im designing. Can it be made in a day or taught in a day workshop? Is it simple to construct but still has nice lines and shape? Is it teaching a new skill? Does it suite a multitude of shapes, sizes and ages?
How/where do you see yourself and your business in the future?
The mission of Sew To Grow is to plant the seeds to grow the future of our craft. I want sewing to be around for generations to come. I want to teach women and children, all over the world, how to sew for themselves and build inner confidence in achieving a new skill. I hope to create videos, fabrics, patterns and materials that inspire women to create and share with them the joy that sewing gives to me. Yes, I hope I have a successful business that helps me provide for my family, but more than that I want to build something that is lasting and makes an impact.
Flatter Me Frock pattern (Sew To Grow)
What sewing machine do you own? Is it the machine of your dreams?
I own a Husqvarna Opal 670 sewing machine and a Husqvarna HClass 200S Overlocker/Serger. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE my machines and they have never let me down. Ive sewn on the top end $10,000 machines and wow, they are fabulous, but my machine does everything I need it to. If I was to upgrade, I would love an automatic sensor system and a larger "c-section". (The space between the needle and side of machine)
What is your favorite make ever? Why?
My favorite make was my very first quilt, wonky bits and all. That quilt taught me so much about sewing and about myself. It was a sample to be on display, in the shop I worked at. One day, while I was having my lunch, a local member of the quilt guild came into the shop. She saw my quilt, not knowing I made it, and proceeded to vocally share her opinions. She said things like, "That's so ugly." and " I just don't like it." She commented on the poor sewing, the choice of fabrics and basically tore it to shreds verbally. I shed a tear. At 19, words can have a huge impact. From that moment on, I swore that sewing police were not going to have any hold on me or on my sewing journey. It also gave me the desire to teach people to enjoy the process of making with out feeling judged or ridiculed. I guess that quilt isn't the most beautiful thing I've ever made, but it definitely has had the greatest impact on me and my sewing journey.
What is on in the background while you're sewing?
Sometimes I listen to rap music on my Pandora Station. Recently I've been listening to the Outlander Series on Audible. Most of the time Im in silence because Im weird and forget to turn anything on.
Noosa Shift Dress (Sew To Grow)
Which is(are) your favorite pattern(s)?
My favorite patterns are the Date Night Dress and Staple Dress by April Rhodes. Not only is April one of the sweetest people I've ever met, but I honestly feel she helped pave the way for so many indie pattern designers. She really bridged the gap between online PDF and Printed patterns from people who aren't professionally trained pattern makers. My favourite pattern I designed would have to be the Bondi Top. Not only has it taken my business to a whole new level, it is the pattern I find myself making over and over again and wearing all the time.
Who's your sewing/blogging/style/fashion/designer/quilter hero(s)?
Amy Butler. The very first pattern I ever made when I was 16, was a bag by Amy when she was designing for Country Living Magazine. Amy is a large reason why I am in this industry and so passionate about what I do. When I first met Amy at Quilt Market I remember going up to her and asking, "What would you say to someone who wants to be as great as you one day?" And Ill never forget what she told me. She said, "Be true to yourself. There will be a lot of Nay sayers and people who try to put you down, but just keep working hard and never loose focus." Amy not only paved the way for the modern movement in the sewing industry, but she also built her business from the ground up by reinvesting in herself and her brand. She is so generous with her time and advice and I look up to her so much. I am also really inspired by Caroline Hulse of Sew Caroline. She is completely self taught. She has a business degree (like me) and decided one christmas she wanted to learn to sew. Now she designs fabrics, patterns, teaches and has just written her first book. If she didn't know how to do something, she never let that stop her. She figured out how to do it and has made such a name for herself. Caroline is a freaking Rockstar!
What are your favorite sewing techniques?
I absolutely love using my sewing machine feet! Like using my edge stitch foot for topstitching or my invisible zipper foot. It makes me look like a freaking rockstar and it was really the foot doing all the work! LOVE IT!
What is your least favorite sewing technique/step?
I H.A.T.E. hemming. Just hate it!
Describe yourself in 3 words: Passionate, Gregarious, and Strong Willed.
3 Favorites - color, texture and fabric:
- 1. Color - is Robyn's egg blue
- 2. Texture - Soft sheep skin leather
- 3. Fabric - Designer Rayon Challis
3 things that make you happy:
- 1. Watching dogs play at the beach.
- 2. Going on random trips with no itinerary or set plans.
- 3. Learning a new skill like resin art, photography, or painting.
3 random things about you:
- 1. I grew up an only child until I found out (at age 22 through googling) that I had a sister that lives in Austria with my same middle name (Rae).
- 2. I use to only eat chicken and rice. Now I eat pretty much everything except mushrooms... I hate mushrooms.
- 3. I taught a sermon at a homeless mission in The Bowery NYC when I was 14.
Life or sewing motto: There are no mistakes... Mistakes are simply creative opportunities.
Thank you, Lindsey!
Make sure to have a look at Sew To Grow PDF pattern collection on UpCraft Club shop and enjoy 15% off through this week! (Ends Friday, April 28th, 11:59 Pacific Time)
Don't miss next week's Meet the Designer interview!
See you soon, and happy sewing!