I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world! I have had the opportunity to host wonderful features and giveaways of late and I'm delighted to have the chance to showcase Victory Patterns. Victory Patterns is owned and operated by the lovely and talented Kristiann, a fellow Canadian, I'm proud to say! From the website:
I’m a designer, teacher, and lover of “making” of all sorts. I started sewing as a kid when I had the great idea to turn a towel into a shirt. I forecast that terrycloth would be huge next season. shockingly, it was! I was hooked.
After studying fashion design, I worked as a designer, stylist and costume designer, and then became a sewing and drafting instructor. I fell in love with teaching! The best part is seeing the pleased smile on a person’s face when they’ve made something with their own two hands. Being a part of that process in a small way feels amazing!
Victory Patterns came from a desire to create a responsible and ethically produced clothing line, combined with a love for DIY, and the desire to contribute to that growing movement. I decided to make a user friendly, fashionable DIY clothing line. I hope that you like it! I have lots of ideas up this sleeve of mine, and I hope to share them all with you soon. In the meantime, sew your heart out!!
Take it away, Kristiann!
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You have a lovely meandering path that led you to pattern designing. What was it about designing patterns that spoke to you?
I have always daydreamed about running my own business. After teaching for some time, I saw all of the great ways that independent designers of fabrics and crafts goods were using their skills in unique ways to cater to this growing market of DIY. I realized that my passion was not only fashion design, but generally in just making things. I loved helping to give people the skills to do the same. I decided to create patterns because I saw that there was a need for it, I enjoy the technical challenge of it, and because it allowed me to design clothing while avoiding some of the complicated and undesirable factors involved in developing a physical clothing line.
How has your desire to create responsible and ethically produced clothing impacted your design process?
The decision to produce a clothing line in the form of patterns means that I have to reconsider who is making the product, and design it with their ability and skills in mind. Normally a professional contractor would be sewing the line, but with patterns, it's a sewing hobbyist. It's the first time I've had to design while considering sewing skill set, but it's a new limitation for me and it's a good challenge!
What was the inspiration behind your first pattern collection?
I looked to classic vintage silhouettes and detailing and updated it with a modern touch. I wanted to keep the styles versatile and I tried to incorporate little details here and there to make it feel special.
I absolutely adore the Lola and Anouk patterns and I want to sew both of them this year. Out of your current collection, what are your favourites?
Hmm, it’s hard for me to pick. I get a lot of wear out of them. I love Madeleine because I find it goes well with a lot of things. I love Lola for lazy days, and Ava for fancy ones, and Hazel when I want to dress up, but not go over the top. It's also easy to dress up or down depending on the fabrics you choose.
In your opinion, what elements are imperative to both garment and pattern designing?
You can give two people the same design, and you can end up with two very different looking dresses based on how each person interprets the design, or how their hand is at drawing. In both design and drafting, I think it is important to understand balance and proportion. In drafting, I think having a have a good sense of line development really helps.
What drew you towards the modern PDF rather than the more traditional printed tissue for your patterns?
I originally wanted to print the patterns, but in the beginning it was difficult to source a tissue printer and I found that PDF’s were a great way to start out if you have limited capital. I’m still considering printing the patterns, but for now, having a digital product allows me to spend the time developing the company and creating more patterns that would otherwise be spent facilitating orders. But I’d love to get feedback from people to know what their preferences are on this topic.
I love to see an independent organization so embraced as you have been by the sewing community! What is most rewarding about being a part of this community?
Oh my gosh, it really is amazing. People have been so welcoming, positive and supportive. It completely makes my day when someone takes the time to drop me a line to tell me that they like the patterns. I love how passionate this group is, and how eager they are to learn and share with each other. The most rewarding thing is feeling like I've inspired someone’s creativity in a small way, and also seeng the final creations people make with the patterns! It's always such a nice surprise.
Who / what has had a significant influence on your style?
I’ve always loved vintage clothing from various decades, and I’m drawn to that aesthetic when designing. I always loved going through old family photo albums and looking at old pictures of my mom in the 60’s and 70’s. I always thought she had the best style, and I think those photos had a big influence on me.
Like any creative person, I’m sure you have ideas simmering away for new pattern designs. When can we expect a sneak peek and/or debut?
Always! I fall asleep at night thinking about sleeves, collars, and dart manipulations. I’m currently designing a new line, and I’m hoping to have it ready for the late spring. I’ll do my best to keep you all updated through bog posts, without leaking too many secrets
What’s your biggest success to date? Biggest challenge?
The biggest success is just seeing how positively people have responded to the patterns. After all the work that goes into them, it's a huge delight that people like them. It also great to see sales increasing month by month too! The biggest challenge is balancing work and life and fitting it all in to a day. I can easily be a workaholic if I’m not careful. I love every part of running this business, but I have to make sure to dedicate time to taking care of myself, spending time with people that I love, and doing other things that make me happy.
What short and long-term plans do you have for your business?
Aside from the new line of patterns that I'm currently working on, I'm researching printed patterns and may decide to go in that direction down the road. I have two big time dreams for now... #1. I would say textile design is one of my biggest passions, and I would love to one day have the opportunity to develop some prints. I have some projects in mind for this which I'll keep a little secret for now, but it would be a dream to even produce beautiful prints for yardage fabric. Big time dream #2. To work with a charity called Plan with their "Because I'm a Girl" initiative to empower and enable women in developing nations. I'd love to help to teach girls and women valuable skills in sewing and production to help them to gain employment.
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Isn't she amazing? I know I'm looking forward to watching Victory Patterns grow. Be sure to like them on Facebook and follow Kristiann on Twitter.
Kristiann has put together a generous giveaway for all of you! She is offering a three-pack of her patterns to one lucky reader!! To enter, leave a comment in this post and tell us which three patterns you would choose and why.
The giveaway closes on Monday, March 12th at 11:59 EST and the winner will be announced on March 13th.