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Behind The Scenes / From The Workroom

the idea behind my sewing patterns

I was chatting to a friend a while ago about my passion for my sewing patterns – when it struck me that i’ve never really talked about why i started my pattern line. About the little idea behind it. I know I’ve mentioned off hand that it came out of frustration with all the commercial patterns i’d used over the years, and I talk a little bit on the about page of my store about the philosophy behind my patterns – but funnily enough, i’ve never gone into too much detail here on Design Diary.

Well it started with a little idea.

For me it really comes down to this – making sewing easier and more fun. It’s sounds pretty basic doesn’t it? But it’s amazing how much the kinds of patterns i grew up with killed the joy of sewing things for me. The tissue paper, the tiny envelope, the confusing instructions, the cramped pattern pieces. Everything was overcomplicated. It made me feel like they hated people who sewed!  I wanted patterns to be different. I wanted them to be a joy to use.

So when i started getting requests for the patterns from my clothing line – I realised my two passions could be combined into one. My love of designing clothing with my desire for patterns to be simpler and easier to use.

There’s a common theme through all my patterns – the pattern pieces are simplified and without too many markings so they’re easy to read, cut and sew, and the instruction booklets are very detailed, thorough and loaded with illustrations – and each design is able to be adapted in lots of ways.

And now that I’ve been working at this for almost a year, I’ve been thrilled to see how many people share the same desire as me for sewing patterns to be more enjoyable – actually i’ve been overwhelmed with the response –  and that pushes me to keep going.

So there it is… my little idea, that become a pattern company.

the end.

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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Trudy Callan
9 years ago

Since your patterns are so easy to follow, would you consider designing a pattern that a fashion-conscious 12 year old girl might like to sew up for herself? As you know, my Emily loves to sew; and I am sure she would enjoy working with your patterns. Making patterns for that age group and older would help give young girls a love for sewing at a young age if they don’t have to work with those complicated patterns. Love to know what you think of that idea.

Trudy Callan
9 years ago
Reply to  Meg

Thank you, Meg. I look forward to your first tweens to teens pattern.

Lizzy
Lizzy
9 years ago

Often the most versatile pieces in our wardrobe are simple. They become indispensable because we wear the clothes not the other way around. Sewing complicated patterns with fancy design lines is great fun – however not everything needs to be a statement piece. There is room in our sewing lives for both!
Me? I’m loving the simplicity of the Kelly skirt. I’ve nearly finished my second – this time putting my own spin and finishing touches on it. For me that’s the fun bit of making up a pattern – the finishing touches or choices of fabric that make it mine :-)

the other emily
9 years ago

Hear hear! I hope more independent designers start following your lead, it’s been years since I used a commercial pattern because I just got so fed up – the styles are always so limited, and even if you can find something you can tweak into what you’re looking for, the sizing is a nightmare! Honestly, who wants six inches of ease in the waist of a sheath dress?? Ugh!

I really love the sew-alongs you’ve been posting, all the great fitting and variation tips you’ve given to go with your patterns are an amazing added value. I’m hoping to pick up a Darling Ranges pattern soon and start making a whole closetful of them for fall. :)

Lizzy
Lizzy
9 years ago
Reply to  Meg

Just finished Kelly No.2 – love it!

maddie
9 years ago

Thanks for sharing the “reason” behind your pattern line. Simplicity is always a good thing but for some reason, we never achieve it. There are a lot of pattern lines that add “junk” to their pattern. It’s suppose to help but it instead confuses. Thanks for taking the leap to create and easy, simple, chic pattern line!

Ginger
9 years ago

You’ve totally achieved your goal! I recently made the Rie dress (just waiting on my sis to send some photos!), and I whizzed through the project in record time– it was so easy, straightforward, and simple, but really, really cute! Thank you!

katherine landreneau
katherine landreneau
9 years ago

Very interesting! I just started following your blog so I don’t know much about what the patterns are all about but will definitely check it out! Haven’t sewn for myself in years, hate to open up those envelopes and fight all the paper and multiple sizes! Yuk! Spent lots of time sewing for my kids and grands but now they are all grown. :(
Keep up the good work!