We’re thrilled to have Rebecca of Candy Castle Patterns as our featured designer this month (September, 2018). To celebrate, their patterns are on sale all month! Use the coupon code CANDY at checkout for 15% off. Read on to get to know the designer a bit better.
Hi there! I’m Rebecca of Candy Castle Patterns and I’m so glad to be the featured designer this month! It’s a rather busy and creative month for me too, because September marks the last month of designing before my maternity leave starts!
How long have you been sewing? Designing?
I come from a family where most of the women were seamstresses and fashion designers. I spent a good amount of time watching runway shows my sister designed for, and it never really spoke to me – I missed the element of fun in those designs, and it never seemed like something that was right for me. After high school, I got into dentistry; I never even considered designing. I did sew a lot, but mostly to spend my time productively.
When my youngest daughter was born almost seven years ago, with severe breathing problems due to a birth defect, I couldn’t get back to my work in dentistry, and I couldn’t sew either, as we spent many months in the hospital. It was then that I started designing and drafting, to use my creativity to take my mind off things.
How do you describe your personal style? Your pattern company’s style?
I’ve put everything I value into my patterns. Most importantly, I find that instructions need to be understandable for all levels of expertise. Regardless of skill, I want a seamstress to be able to create a garment as magical as our most twirly dress without any issues, no matter if they’ve been sewing for twenty years or for two weeks. I aim all instructions at beginner seamstresses, and often add hacks and extra’s for those who’ve been sewing for a longer time and are looking for a challenge.
When you use one of my patterns, it’s like I’m right there with you, sewing and explaining. You just got to bake the cupcakes yourself, unfortunately. It’s not just a pattern. It’s like a class where I like to teach you a new thing or two that you can take with you in your sewing journey.
What I’ve always missed in fashion design when I grew up was having FUN! My designs have a European vibe. I’m from the Netherlands, Europe, and I love designing things that speak to me or give me a happy feeling – not your every day type of designs.
Have you been pregnant or nursed? Did you sew for yourself at the time?
I’m currently 29 weeks pregnant with my fifth baby. I’ve nursed all my other kids for a long time and plan to do so with this baby too (we don’t know what we’re having yet, but I notice I say ‘he’ all the time!). In my past pregnancies, (15, 14, 11 and 7 years ago) there were not a lot of resources online for sewing patterns. Maternity sewing was not a big thing either. Besides sewing up a skirt or two, I’ve never done much maternity sewing back then unfortunately.
Nowadays however, I’ve felt so inspired to design for a pregnant belly! Maternity sewing is all the rage now! I’ve made most of my wardrobe myself, mostly consisting of Cappuccino Cardigans, Citron Twist Shrugs, ponchos, sweaters and shirts.
I’ve been planning my designs around my pregnancy a lot over the past months and I’ve felt more stylish than ever.
I’m hoping to be able to design a couple more maternity items before the baby arrives – it’s great to be able to wear my handmade garments and sew something that looks really great on me. Maternity clothes in the stores are so expensive and often not flattering, and whenever I see something I actually do like, I most often think “Yeah, I can make that myself though!”.
Tell us about the patterns you have for sale on Maternity Sewing.
The Cappuccino Cardigan and Citron Twist Shrug are both awesome for maternity wear, because you can wear them after baby arrives too. I’ve always been opposed to buying true maternity clothes because it seems so wasteful to only wear them for six months and then giving them away or storing them somewhere. The cardigan and shrug extend the wear of your wardrobe into the next season. My due date is in November, and I have a lot of basic tanks and shirts I got this summer; I can just grab my cardis and shrugs and wear them throughout the remainder of my pregnancy!
What’s great about the Citron Twist Shrug is that it works so well for nursing too. Just lift up the shrug, pull down your cami, and you’re well covered.
Sewing is an important way to be confident in a changing body. Do you have any words to share about body positivity?
I’ve always gained a lot of weight during my pregnancies, and this pregnancy has been no different. I’ve always felt insecure in the last trimester, wearing just sweaters and joggers from my husband, not having anyone take my pictures. This pregnancy though, I’ve been sewing up a storm for myself! I know quite well what works for me and what doesn’t, and I don’t have to spend hours in stores finding exactly that shirt that looks flattering on me, or something with a print that doesn’t make me look like a gumball machine. I can just make whatever I envision! I’ve felt much more confident now I make my own outfits and can adapt to what look I’m going for.
Thanks Rebecca – we sure do hope that pink sweater will become a pattern! Loved getting to know our featured designer? Check out our other featured designers!