Archive for the ‘Studio peeks’ Category

studio peeks: sample making

March 20th, 2014

Megan Nielsen Studio peeks// sample making

It seems that in the midst of pregnancy, moving and general slowing down i haven’t shared any studio peeks for months!

So here’s what i’m working on right now: pattern samples for the next 2 patterns i’ll be releasing through Simplicity! I’m trying really hard to get these finished and sent off in the next few weeks – as i really don’t want to leave it too late and find that this is the pregnancy where i go into labour early. What am i saying, that’ll never happen hehehe.

So here we have the progress on some Ruched Maternity skirts in some lovely grey ponti knit. Oh ponti, i love you so. Definitely one of my favourite fabrics for sure. Once these are done and dusted and the pattern is reformatted, i’ll be moving on to the Ruched Maternity tshirt. So exciting!! I’ve loved seeing how well received the previous two patterns i’ve done for Simplicity have been, so i’m dying to get these out. I believe they’ll be available for purchase towards the end of the year.

So what are you working on at the moment?!

studio peeks: not writing a tutorial

August 31st, 2013

Studio peeks // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

So the biggest thing i’m trying to teach myself right now, is sharing without necessarily writing a tutorial.

It may sound weird, but after the last few years, tutorials are second nature to me. If i’m making something i just take photos as i go, just incase i want to make a tutorial later. I have hundreds of unused photos along those lines on my computer. It all becomes a giant To Do list. I feel guilty if i post a project without a tutorial attached. Its kind of stupid that i do it to myself.

After my little health scare I’m trying my best not to overdo things, and blog at a slower more manageable rate. Which means teaching myself to chill out on the tutorial front. It’s amazing how hard it is to teach myself that i don’t have to write a tutorial for every.single.thing. The world won’t crash down around me, no one will die. It’s okay.

You know? So that’s the view from my studio right now. Making a few things and just enjoying it. No pressure. It feels pretty nice, even if its a bit new hehehe


studio peeks: habitual

April 30th, 2013

Megan Nielsen Patterns studio peeks

As you may have gathered from this post, i am a creature of habit.

What i didn’t realise is how stuck in my little habits i am when it comes to sewing. I sat down to sew some things the other day, and just couldn’t because i was so uncomfortable. It was a few minutes before i realised it was because i was wearing shoes. What? I can’t sew with shoes on. How odd.

I guess i’ve always sewn barefoot or in my sockies, but i never really noticed before. how silly :) But the more i think about it the more it makes sense – that feeling of complete control over the foot pedal is something i just can’t deal without. I can live with this oddity, but i must admit, it makes me laugh at myself!

So my dear friends, do you have any silly habits you find yourself falling into when you sew or craft or whatever? Just me and my barefoot sewing all on our lonesome?!


the new and improved Megan Nielsen patterns newsletter!

April 4th, 2013

Megan Nielsen monthly newsletter

A few months ago my amazing graphic designer¬†Melissa and i worked on a new design for my newsletter. I rolled it out in January, and i’m so excited about the new format!

At the end of each month i share a few of my favourite Design Diary highlights, things that are inspiring me, sneakpeeks of new designs – plus an exclusive monthly freebie (downloadable pattern pieces! totes!) and a discount code just for subscribers to use on a different pattern each month. It’s really fun and i’m really thrilled with the response so far – yay!!

So if you haven’t signed up yet – click here to sign up! It’s a great way to connect with whats going on at Megan Nielsen patterns. You’ll get the newsletter monthly as well as an update/special deal every now and then when new patterns come out.


the first 5

March 25th, 2013

Time Management Tip: Take the first 5

I get a lot of questions about how i get things done. I’m not going to lie, it’s hard. I work a lot, and often at times of day when other people do not like to work, like the middle of the night.

Most of the time when i sit down to start working its 7pm and the kids have just gone to bed – it’s a hard time of day to start working because by that point i’m pretty exhausted from the days activities. Sometimes I work a little during the kids rest time in the afternoon, but that only lasts 45 minutes and i usually have something else pressing to do. It can be incredibly stressful when you see your tasks piling up and your time¬†whittling away.

So i fall back on a strategy i’ve used since as long as i can remember – it worked when i was a teenager studying to get into college – it works now that i run a business – and it worked for all the things inbetween.

I give myself the first 5 minutes.

I use them to calm down, focus, get my head in gear, strategize and plan my tasks.

Generally it looks like this: When i’m getting ready to work – whether it be at night or during the kids rest time – I go make myself a coffee, and i sit at my desk and drink it quietly. I clear my head, take deep breaths, and think about the tasks that need to be completed. I prioritize and make an ordered list of what i want to accomplish. Then i begin. As i work i cross things off my list, because it registers a success. If something doesn’t get done, i leave it on the page ready to look at the next day.

It’s such a small thing – 5 minutes. But it makes a world of difference. There’s no point in attempting to work when you aren’t calm and in a good headspace. It can be hard, i know – since when you are time crunched it’s tempting to simply rush at it and throw yourself into a random task – but interestingly enough i’ve found that method to be significantly less productive than taking a few minutes to think, plan and calm yourself.

So try it! If like me you find yourself with a small amount of time, and lot of work to do – try using your first 5 to declutter your head, refocus and plan out your time. I promise it will be worth it!


behind the scenes: maternity patterns lookbook

March 19th, 2013

behind the scenes: Megan Nielsen Patterns maternity lookbookbehind the scenes: Megan Nielsen Patterns maternity lookbookbehind the scenes: Megan Nielsen Patterns maternity lookbookbehind the scenes: Megan Nielsen Patterns maternity lookbook

I think our maternity lookbook shoot was a huge success last week! There were a few hiccups (like a nasty thunderstorm the night before) that made me rather stressed that everything might fall apart at the last minute – but it all worked out beautifully!

I think greatly due to this wonderful woman: my dear friend Yvette, who came along to help with running the shoot, styling and calming down a freaking out meg. Since our model was pregnant we had a very short window to shoot in (she could only work 3 hours) – and I knew getting all 7 looks done including hair and makeup time was going to be a challenge. Which is why Yvette saved me – she organized the looks, helped plan each shot, and kept us on track all afternoon. I really can’t stress how invaluable it is to have an assistant to help you on shoot day.

behind the scenes: Megan Nielsen Patterns maternity lookbookbehind the scenes: Megan Nielsen Patterns maternity lookbook

Anyway, i thought you might enjoy seeing a few behind the scenes shots before we get the final pictures back from the photographer. How gorgeous was our model? She totally rocked it!

behind the scenes: Megan Nielsen Patterns maternity lookbookbehind the scenes: Megan Nielsen Patterns maternity lookbook

and please excuse the photo overload – believe it or not, this is the greatly edited back version of what i wanted to post hehehe