We’re thrilled to have Sharon of Maven Patterns as our featured designer this month (August, 2018). To celebrate, their patterns are on sale all month! Use the coupon code MAVEN at checkout. Read on to get to know the designer a bit better.
How long have you been sewing? Designing?
I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t sewing or designing, it was a way of life in my childhood home. My Mum sewed, or would tell my Dad where to chop furniture up to change it. It was perfectly normal in my family that if you wanted something you’d have a go at making it first. So I had always enjoyed creating and making but my passion was cemented when I went to college in London. I had initially gone to be a fashion designer, however, I fell in love with the art of pattern cutting. I think I just really liked the practical application of an art. After a long stint in the fashion industry I decided to set up on my own to make designs that would be worn and loved over years.
Tell us a bit about where you live/work.
Our lovely home studio is based in our kitchen at home in the UK. Although we have vastly outgrown the space I don’t feel ready to commute to a studio just yet. I love being able to jump on the computer in the morning and twiddling on illustrator all day without having to leave the house. Being able to pick up my work at any time in my own house is the best and worst thing about working from home, there is no clocking out time.
How do you describe your personal style? Your pattern company’s style?
I have always been drawn to a quite minimal style. I like the cut to do the talking, I’m not keen on fussy or frilly clothes at all. I like clothes that are versatile and timeless. Above all else it has to be practical and functional but with design details that draw you in and feed the creativity.
Have you been pregnant or nursed? Did you sew for yourself at the time?
When I was pregnant with my eldest daughter Eve (1994) I was working as a pattern cutter for a large company based in London, so pattern cutting was my day time job, and luckily I could jump on a sewing machine at lunchtime and whip up a couple of dresses to wear. Full disclosure: they were hideous and really not me at all! I’m really lucky as Eve and I now work together on Maven (and we’re keeping a space at the sewing machine for her sister too!)
Have you sewn for someone else who was pregnant or nursing?
I made quite a few smock tops for my daughter, Eve, when she was pregnant. She wore them throughout her pregnancy and afterwards whilst she was nursing.
Tell us about the Wendy Smock you have for sale on Maternity Sewing.
The smock top was designed to be a quick sewing project that would result in an everyday top that you could reach for over and over again. I love making smock tops and I make them in so many different fabrics to achieve different looks. My favourite fabrics to use are, double gauze, cotton lawn and linens. This pattern keeps on giving as we have some upcoming blog posts on how to adapt this pattern so you can achieve completely different looks all from one sewing pattern… stay tuned!
Do you have any words to share about body positivity or self-confidence and how it can relate to sewing?
One of the great joys of making your own clothes is the chance to get to know your own body and the confidence that brings knowing that you can be in charge of how you look, and therefore how you feel. We called our pattern company Maven because it means expert in a particular field, and someone who seeks to pass on that knowledge. I think we can all be our own expert in what works for us, in how we want to show ourselves to the world – we just have to take charge of it! And to be that expert doesn’t mean you have to know everything, it means you are willing to learn – that’s what we have an amazing sewing community for, ready to share the hive knowledge!
Loved getting to know our featured designer? We’ll have a new featured designer every month!
Maternity Sewing was founded by Lisa Kievits and Erin Weisbart. They created Maternity Sewing to help you love your body and your wardrobe while pregnant and after. Read more about Erin & Lisa.