In Episode 6 of the Maternity Sewing Podcast, Erin talks with Gabriela, owner of Chalk & Notch patterns, about a couple of her most popular sewing patterns and why her patterns seem to work so well for pregnant, nursing, and postpartum sewists.
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If you want to learn more about Gabriela, read her featured designer interview on our blog!
We sell several Chalk & Notch patterns on Maternity Sewing. Find them all here!
Gabriela also mentioned Alina of Alina Design Co. in her maternity version of the Fringe Dress.
On the Maternity Sewing blog, we’ve had Lara of Lara Handmade write a tutorial for how to make the Fringe Dress even more maternity friendly.
We also mentioned the Sew Frosting challenge.
Do you have an idea for a podcast episode – something or someone you’ve always wanted to know more about? Do you have expertise or an experience you want to share? Email us!
Transcript:[0:11] Welcome to episode 6 of the maternity sewing podcast. Maternitysewing.com is your source for maternity, nursing and postpartum friendly sewing patterns. The maternity sewing podcast is where we have frank conversations, share stories and offer help and inspiration on things like sewing and body positivity, especially during pregnancy and postpartum.
Hi. I’m Erin Weisbart also known as Tuesday stitches. Today I’m talking with Gabriela of Chalk and Notch. We talk about a couple of her most popular patterns, the waterfall and the Fringe, we talk a little about her design process and why her patterns happened to work so well for pregnancy, nursing, and postpartum. [1:03] Hey Gabriela thank you so much for being here. Do you want to start off by introducing yourself? Sure. I’m Gabriela as you just mentioned. I’m the owner of Chalk & Notch patterns. I’m also a mom. I have 3 kids but I also went to school for fashion design. And after fashion design school I transitioned into the apparel industry working both as a pattern designer and then later as a product developer. [1:31] After having kids though I decided to stay home and be with them and then back in 2015 decided to start Chalk & Notch patterns, initially with girls patterns and then I have since moved to producing mostly women’s patterns.
That’s great and so was your waterfall top and dress was that your first women’s pattern? It was. It started as a girl’s pattern. It was my 4th girls pattern and then a lot of I received a bunch of requests for it to be turned into a women’s pattern so I figured that was a good sign to go ahead and move forward. Yeah. It seems like it took the sewing world by storm all the sudden you know you’re seeing waterfall tops everywhere. Do you have thoughts on why why that particular pattern kind of resonated so much? [2:20] I do think that it helped that it was a girl pattern first and then a women’s right after that. I think there was a lot of momentum kind of like pushing it out there a lot at the same time. But overall I think it’s kind of a easy to wear style it’s basically like a dress up t-shirt so it’s a pretty simple sew but on the flip side wearing it you feel just more dressed up, put together. It’s pretty flattering on most people so there’s a nice balance of like a decent amount of ease through the body but a nice slim sleeve so I think that combination you know feels flattering and looks good on most people. Nice and so you know what seems also it was [3:05] a little bit classic but a little bit on-trend too. Just you know my thoughts like having the ruffle kind of [3:13] also helped it to grab the attention of what’s going on right now. Right. I think the peplum right when it was released was definitely on trend. The peplum on the waterfall is a little bit lower I would say than some other patterns and being knit hangs a little bit lower and I think that proportion helps with being just flattering. Like you have that ruffle but you don’t necessarily have it so high up. [3:38] You know it was just a little bit different than some of the other peplums which I think people were drawn to.
Yeah that’s great. It seems like the other pattern of yours that I feel like we see everywhere is The Fringe dress and particularly from the perspective of maternity sewing, it’s been a really big hit with pregnant and nursing sewist because while it’s not it wasn’t designed for pregnancy and nursing in mind it accommodates both of them nicely. One of the views buttons down the front that makes it easy to access for nursing and then it has a kind of empire waist that [4:15] allows for growth of a belly underneath. Did you have any thoughts about pregnancy and nursing and fitting well with that with a fringe dress when you developed it? Well I think in designing any pattern you kind of run through the list of things that a pattern would work for you know like can it fit a regular bra? nursing? pregnancy? You think about those things
as kind of a checklist but it’s not something that’s like a requirement I would say when I’m designing a pattern. So I knew that the button front obviously could be work for nursing. I don’t know that I necessarily thought of the dress where the waist line hit being so, you know accommodating for a pregnant belly but it really does I mean. We had a tester during the testing process that was pregnant so that was kind of my first you know first time I saw it on a pregnant body and it looked great. From my memory I don’t believe that there was even adjustments. [5:18] that were that were made to that testing sample. I have to go back and look but the tester was Chloe I believe from no Idle Hands and so she wasn’t super pregnant when she made the sample but she looked great so it was a good indication early on for me that it would work for pregnant bodies. And then shortly after Alina from Alina design co wrote an Instagram post about the adjustments she made for maternity which were pretty minimal. And since then we’ve had a couple others that have popped up so it’s been great to see it work on so many bodies that pattern I think. [5:55] can work for obviously not pregnant but those things even after being pregnant. [6:03] It’s really forgiving and flattering. Definitely. We actually have a tutorial up on our blog with how to make minor adjustments to the Fringe to make it even more accommodating to a very large third trimester belly. [6:22] And I think it’s something that you mentioned I think it’s interesting you said as designers run down the list of different ways different criteria that you might want to have in publishing a pattern and you know I certainly “can you wear a normal bra with this?” That’s something that I think everyone thinks about it and but saying you know “would this work for a pregnant nursing or postpartum body?” I don’t think that is something that all designers think about and I think that probably speaks to you know your life experience having had kids. That you know personally I know it’s something that I now think about a lot but that only happened once I went through having been pregnant and postpartum and nursed. But it wasn’t really something I knew it was something that was kind of I knew it existed but it wasn’t something that until I had personal experience with it that I would have really stopped to think about how I can incorporate aspects into my own designs. Right so I didn’t start my company until after I had three kids so certainly the body that I had [7:35] was different than you know and maybe my company would have looked a lot different if I started it before having kids. But I think you know if you look at the kind of the collection of my women’s patterns, my latest pattern the orchid is the first pattern that even has a waistline. All the other patterns don’t. [7:58] So just by that it’s super you know accommodating for a body that is early on pregnant just you know just having had a baby you can feel really feminine in some of these other styles without having to worry that you’re you know body is in the right or in the place that you want it to be. Yeah that’s that’s great so it sounds like sew and wear your own patterns for yourself? Yeah. I know I certainly do too and you can see whatever I’ve been working on because that’s what appears in spades in my wardrobe at the moment. What are your favorite things to sew for yourself? [8:48] So I mean honestly I don’t have a lot of time to sew for myself outside of the testing. I test sew my own patterns for myself but I’m not like the fit model size or the fit model for my pattern company so I sew things knowing you know that I have to make personal adjustments. I would say [9:11] you know my preference is so sew a dress. It’s not the most practical thing but it’s one of those I love just having like one garment to throw on. So like the waterfall dress I make myself often because it’s just kind of nice to have something that you feel totally put together but you don’t really have to think about it too much. And then also I don’t really like you know enjoy just I make a lot of like tank tops and sweaters and things things like that cuz that is really like what I wear working from home and being a mom and just kind of doing pick-ups and drop-offs. But it’s more fun to do like a woven dress pattern that I know I’ll wear for an event. That’s more exciting I think than some of the basics. Definitely I think all of us sewists it seems struggle with the frosting versus cake thing.
You know we all I think it’s easier also to like. Yeah, I love sewing frosting. I think it’s easier also to [10:19] share you get more excited maybe to share, not that that’s what you know sewing is all about. [10:25] I find it hard to like make a tank and then take the time to like get ready. Right. Take a photo and post it. It shouldn’t be you know what’s the word, [10:42] contrived you know like a picture of something. But you know that’s kind of like where we live right now with Instagram and everything so it’s a lot easier to spend time [10:53] making a fun dress and then showing that. Yeah it’s a lot easier to “take a look at my fancy frilly awesome you know unique thing I made” instead of “hey look at my basic t-shirt that I wear with sweatpants”. I know that’s not the right way to think of it because you know it’s really. [11:14] the process and if that’s what you’re really wearing you should be showing that. But I think in general for me it’s like so hard to find the time and I think that’s true for everyone. Most definitely I agree. Well thank you so much for talking with us today. We really appreciated your insights and hearing a little bit about your patterns and your process so thank you for taking the time to be with us. [11:43] Thanks for having me. We’ll talk to you later. That’s it for today’s episode of the maternity sewing podcast
you can find maternity sewing at maternity sewing.com. You’ll find our curated pattern shop of maternity nursing and postpartum friendly sewing patterns, our blog where we have sewing tutorials and inspiration for pregnant nursing and postpartum sewists. The show notes from our podcasts at maternity sewing.com/podcast where be linked to everything we talked about today. You can also stay in touch with maternity sewing through our Facebook page Facebook group and on Instagram as maternitysewing. I’m Erin Weisbart, your host today and co-owner of maternity sewing. You can find me at Tuesdaystitches.com and on Instagram as Tuesdaystitches. Today I talked with Gabriela of Chalk and Notch. You can find her at chalkandNotch.com or on Instagram as chalkandnotch. Make sure you check out our show notes at maternitysewing.com/podcast to see links to everything we talked about in this episode including links to Gabriela’s awesome patterns, and the pregnant and nursing sewists who have sewn them up and shared photos.