Meet the authors of Break the Pattern
Hi Saara and Laura, how are you today? What’s in your diary at the moment?
Hello, we are doing great, just recovering from a photo shoot that we had yesterday! At the moment (in addition to our basic day-to-day tasks) we are working on an add-on pattern for our Anni Building Block pattern, which is actually what we were shooting yesterday. The book project has thrown us a bit out of our normal routine of releasing two pattern collections a year, but it has been fun and refreshing to work on smaller and very different projects like the Anni pattern for a while! And of course we are also working on the book every day – Saara is currently finalising the PDF patterns that will be available our site to download for those who have purchased the physical book (which comes with printed pattern sheets of course) as some people like a PDF copy.
Can you tell us a little about Breaking the Pattern? What inspired you to write the book?
As the title suggests, Breaking the Pattern is all about ‘breaking’ the patterns. What it means is that the book actually comes with 10 patterns (and instructions), but almost every pattern includes more than one variation, and details that you can mix and match within one pattern and even from one pattern to another. The aim is to offer as many possibilities for personalising and customising the patterns as possible, and create chances for making garments that are truly unique! There is also a chapter that offers more tips for pattern hacking in several ways.
We have sewn 20 samples for the book, but it is possible to make even more variations by using the patterns in this book. We have always offered two-in-one patterns that include more than one variation. But the more we follow sewists and bloggers, the more we see that many seamstresses are very excited and inspired by pattern-hacking, customising and designing their own garments rather than sewing them exactly the same way as the sample. Which is of course what sewing is all about – making garments that fit well and match your personal unique style, as well as give you a chance to be creative! We wanted to make a book that encourages sewists to be more creative and give them tools to do that.
Who did you have in mind when you were putting the book together?
We wanted to design a collection that suits a wide variety of body types and senses of styles. Of course the patterns in the book follow the same clean-lined and simplistic but clever style that Named is all about. The book is made for a modern seamstress who wants to improve her sewing skills, explore making pattern hacks and personal modifications. Which basically could be anyone!
What are your favourite garments in the book and why?
Both of us really love the Solina Jumpsuit. It is a show-stopping look with the wide legs, pleats and slits, yet it’s very elegant, classic and not too extravagant. The ice blue crepe that we used to sew the sample was a perfect choice for the style, as it drapes beautifully and has a beautiful, cool colour. We also love the patchy Palo Jeans – they are a very unique and fresh style. It’s fun that a pair of jeans can be a bit more special than the basic five-pocket jeans and still be a wardrobe staple that is easy to match with any top. Needless to say we are very proud of both of these styles, as well as for the entire collection. It is a nice mini wardrobe that is easy to wear and match, like our pattern collections usually are.
How do you split your design process between you? Do you have different roles?
When we start designing, we usually agree on a specific theme or style that we want to achieve in the collection. Then we take a day or two to design on our own and get back together to show and see each other’s ideas. Usually at that stage we cut out some of the styles and decide on a group of garments that we want to focus on and develop. It is very rewarding, since we are usually able to develop and fine-tune each other’s designs to make them even better and more interesting! We take a couple of days to design separately and then have another day to review everything together. Eventually, as soon as we have all the designs and details ready, Saara will make the patterns, we sew the samples together and Laura will write the instructions.
What do you both love most about dressmaking?
We absolutely love sewing for so many reasons. It is a lovely discipline because it develops both the artistic side and technical skills. It is amazing to see a piece of fabric turning into something beautiful, flattering and wearable in your own hands – it’s such an ego boost! Sewing also develops logical thinking, which is good for the brain, and patience, which is very good for balance in life. Having the chance to be creative and artistic is also very important. Dressing is a way of expressing oneself and dressing up in self-made garments is even more so!
What’s your favourite item to sew for winter?
Laura: For me it must be sewing coats. Coat making is very rewarding and most coat fabric is just divine to sew. It’s almost a pity that one actually doesn’t need that many coats, so there’s no need to make a new one every year. In the winter I also love to knit. Also, I usually don’t sew much during the summer, especially if the weather is nice. So winter is actually my favourite sewing time (which is good since winters in Finland tend to be very long).
Saara: In the winter I love to knit too, but other than that I don’t think my sewing habits change that much. Of course the changing of the season and moving from summer to winter then back to summer is very inspiring! In the autumn it’s nice to do a little inspection of your winter wardrobe to see what new attire you might need and could sew for the coming season. The same goes for the end of the winter, when you can start dreaming about summer and new summer garments.
Do you have any sewing/business resolutions for 2019?
Laura: I will try to finish all my unfinished projects. I’ll also do my best not to shop for any new fabric but instead try to use the fabric that we already have in our fabric stash. That is certainly going to be a challenge!
Saara: Like every year, I will also promise to finish all my unfinished projects. I also hope that we wouldn’t be quite as busy at work and instead I would have more time to selfishly sew for myself.
Are there any more exciting plans on the horizon for Named Patterns?
Right now our plans are quite open! Of course we want to focus on the book and the styles in it, as we think they deserve a lot of attention. So next year we will probably focus on Breaking the Pattern, but in which form, we don’t know yet. Maybe we will plan sew-alongs, tutorials, blog posts or something. We will see what people want!
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