Can you keep a secret? I secretly am very jealous of independent pattern makers. I have a fabulous day job working in technical design but would trade my job any day to draft, slash and open, and sew mock-ups of designs all day, every day. I have notebooks filled with sketches that I hope to one day make into patterns and sell to all you lovely readers. So it’s no surprise that I constantly peruse various independent pattern makers’ website and ooohhh-and-aaaah over all their offerings. I’m very smitten with one such pattern company, Victory Patterns, and being the curious one that I am, I emailed the owner, Kristiann Boos, and asked if I could interview her. She sweetly said yes. I email many bloggers but I have never received such open and warm regards as I did with Kristiann. I only hope that one day I muster up the courage to do exactly what she is doing. She’s just enchanting and I know you will love her.
So with further adieu, here are my questions and Kristiann’s answers…
Can you briefly explain why and how you chose to start Victory Patterns?
I knew I wanted to run my own business, and while I considered the possibilities of having a clothing line, there were a few roadblocks preventing me from starting it.
I realized while teaching sewing classes that there was a need for stylish sewing patterns, and that creating patterns would be an alternative way of producing a clothing line. It seemed like a perfect solution to my roadblocks. I love creating something that can help to inspire people to create something for themselves. It’s great to be able to promote sewing and DIY, and also amazing to become a part of a really supportive online community.
When you started Victory Patterns, did you feel nervous, ready, or that you would just wing it?
Once I did research to prove that the idea was viable and after writing a business plan, I had the confidence and direction I needed to feel ready. I was so tired of working at jobs that didn’t satisfy me. I knew that this would make me happy and I couldn’t wait! I was so excited to see this idea come into fruition.
Do you have a design process and if so, what is it?
I always consider whom I’m designing for. For Victory Patterns it’s a different process than I usually use. The important thing with sewing patterns is to design them so that they are not only stylish, but user friendly and appeal to various levels of sewing skills. This creates limitations and parameters I’ve never had to consider, but it’s a good challenge.
I think about what skills a beginner, intermediate and advanced sewer might have, and from there set out to find inspiration. I sketch away until I have lots of designs to choose from. I love vintage fashion, and I try to update it with modern ideas.
Do you have a favorite pattern and why?
My favorite out of my stash is a beautiful Balmain dress from the 50’s which I’ve not yet made. I’ve made some of the pieces from the Japanese “drape drape” book, and they’ve ended up as really comfy wardrobe staples. There’s also a collar from the Pattern Magic book that I’ve been dying to draft. It’s SO beautiful!
I once cut a sewing project in two I was so fed up with its progress. It was a dress I was making for my cousin’s wedding. The wedding was in the dead of summer (July) and I rightfully chose to make a sleeveless maxi dress. I bought the most gorgeous vintage cream and purple polka dot fabric. The polka dots were large, irregularly-sized, and variegated throughout the fabric. The fabric was absolutely stunning (and expensive). I correctly drafted the pattern and the fit was perfect but when I finished sewing the garment and tried it on, it was hideous. Absolutely, positively hideous. The pattern was correct, the design was good, and the fabric was amazing but together, it didn’t work. I tried to resurrect it many times but it just wouldn’t come back to life (only Jesus can do such a thing). So, on a Saturday night, with my scissors in hand, I cut it in two, and bought a dress for the wedding. Have you ever had a similar disastrous experience?
Similar, no, disastrous, yes. I was creating my final collection for university, which was a series of hand-painted silk dresses. The dye needed to be steam set for an hour. I was really overworked and I hadn’t slept in 5 days. I was pretty exhausted and stressed out. I had just enough time before sitting an exam to run home and steam the fabric. As I waited, I fell asleep cuddled to me oven with an egg timer in my hand. I woke up and moved to my bed, expecting that an egg timer could wake me up, but 5 days of no sleep pretty much puts you in a coma, and makes you do really stupid things! I woke up to pounding on the door, and I couldn’t see anything, there was smoke everywhere and the fire alarm was going off. I ran to the door and a security guard was trying to get in to rescue me, and there was a fire on the stove-top.
The water had boiled all the way down, burnt the bottom of the pot right off, and set all of the fabric on fire. Luckily it was the only thing in flames. It took forever to get the smell of smoke out of the house, my roommate wanted to kill me, I had to repaint the fabric, and while writing my exam, had a breakdown and failed terribly. But I lived!
Best time to sew? Night time with a glass of wine
Best place to buy patterns, vintage or new (can’t be your own pattern)? Second hand stores
Favorite pattern (i.e. polka dots)? Florals
Favorite fabric (i.e. lace)? Silk and leather
Turquoise or pink? Pink
Coke or Pepsi? Coke
Iphone or Blackberry? Iphone, but what do I know. I don’t own either
Lavender or vanilla? Lavender
Cotton or silk? Silk
Degas or Picasso? Geese, that’s tough. Picasso
Thanksgiving or Christmas? Christmas. We eat the same thing at either occasion, but it’s AMAZING!
The Notebook or Big Fish? Big Fish (my Dad is just like the main character)
Saturday morning or Sunday morning? Saturday because then there’s a whole other day to look forward to
Hugh Grant or Cary Grant? Cary Grant. Hubba hubba!
Chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin? Chocolate!
I have even more for you (yay!). Click on the image below to see a slideshow finished garments using her pattern.