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Kindle & Inspire Me: Megan Nielsen Interview + Giveaway

megan_nielsen

One of the questions I answer on my i am page is what my goal is both professionally and personally. The best way I could answer this question was not to write what my goal is but who I want to be in 5, 10, or 15 years from now. I achieve best through visualization – I keep my focus on the end prize and inch towards it every day. One of a few ladies I want to become (me at the age of 30 is a hybrid of many people) is Megan Nielsen. An independent pattern maker, she has always come across as cozy, humble, and unaffected. She refers to me as “honey” in her emails and I love it. She doesn’t act like she stands above me – she’s on my level and we’re eye to eye.

When she emailed me before the release of her new pattern line, Breakwater, I snatched the chance to promote it. I’m thrilled about the collection, yes, but it shows me that I can do it too.

You’re awesome Megan and you inspire people around the world. Seriously. Thank you for taking the time to answer the following questions about the inspiration behind the collection.

Q1

b I had quite a few different inspirations for each pattern’s direction but as a whole the collection is inspired by the ocean, the coast, and the breakwater. Lately I love to drive up the West Australian coast and watch the waves and smell the salt air and just let wind pummel me a bit. It’s a pretty special feeling I get on the coast – it’s beautiful and refreshing. All the Breakwater patterns speak to that feeling – lots of flowing rippling lines, and joyful freshness.

I could talk for ages about each pattern but I’ll try and sum it up as best I can! The Crescent Blouse is very lunar inspired – the shapes are intended to mimic the crescent moon. The Tania Culottes are inspired by a dear friend who rides her adorable bike everywhere; I wanted to create a stylish “skirt” that she could ride her bike in comfortably. The Eucalypt Tank is mostly inspired by the Eucalypt leaf – the strong seaming down the centre front and smooth curves of the hem are a nod to that but also gives the pattern a lot of flexibility for sewing variations. The Cascade Skirt is most closely linked to the water – I wanted the hemline to look like cascading ripples or waves. I imagined them blowing in the breeze and catching in wind.

Other than that (from a more technical standpoint), I had a few goals with this collection. I wanted to add more beginner level sewing patterns to my line because I just love newbie sewers! But I also wanted to create really wearable wardrobe staples with some wow factor, which means that the silhouettes had to be very versatile for differing body shapes and also easy to adapt and alter.

Q2

b Time. These days I have very little. I’m not kidding when I say it took me a year to create those four patterns and it’s because I worked on them during weekends and from the second my kids went to sleep till midnight every night. I cobbled together minutes. I’m a great believer in organization being the key to success so I made myself a very strict schedule and I kept to it. It helped a lot on those days when I was tired and I could have aimlessly not done anything  but instead I had some direction to go in. My husband was my rock, he spent all is free time for months working as my personal assistant – filling orders, managing emails, enquiries and customer service. He was amazing and I really couldn’t have done it without him.

Beyond that, I also had one little hiccup before release that almost killed me. On the day my patterns arrived from production, I discovered that all the covers had been misprinted! It was a nightmare and completely stressful. But the error was rectified and now that my patterns are out I’ve almost forgotten about the stress (kidding hehe).

megan_nielsen-2

Q3

b I am SO thrilled that the patterns are released and I’m so blown away by the response they’ve received! I hate not sharing what I’m working on and it’s been killing me to spend almost a year working on patterns I can’t really tell anyone about. I’m sure my family and close friends got super duper tired of me shoving the new designs in their faces and asking 100 times over “do you love them?!!? Aren’t they amazing!?” hehe.

The other side of that is I’m really quite tired. I’ve spent this last year working pretty constantly, in every second I can squeeze in. It’s been very very hard so I’m treating myself to some “lazy” time. Actually more like I’m kind of forcing myself to relax and recharge. I don’t relax very well – I always feel like I “should” be doing something and then stupidly I feel guilty – so I’m doing my best to fight that! I’ve got a selection of TV shows lined up that I missed while I was working so much and I’m doing my best to watch them in close succession hehehe. I’ve also been putting aside time to make things for myself. When I’m working on new patterns I don’t often get time to make myself little things, so its been really nice to just knock up a few pieces just for my own pleasure.

Celebration wise – we went the route of big family dinner with too much Chinese takeout and a bottle of wine– that’s my style.

Q4

b Right now I’m working on four patterns, which is kind of silly! I should narrow it down! Eeek! There isn’t much of a break between patterns, so these will be my winter 2013 release. I’m excited! The next thing on the to-do list is testing. The first of the next patterns is ready to go, I just need to find some quiet time to get myself organized! For me the hardest part is just not going too quickly. I suppose I should actually put “chill the heck out and go slower” on my to-do list! But I suppose then I wouldn’t be me. Accomplishments-wise , I’d really love to release those four before the end of the year so cross your fingers for me and someone put the coffee on!!!

win-a-patter

For a chance to win ALL FOUR PATTERNS from Megan’s Breakwater Collection, all you have to do is like both Madalynne and Megan’s Facebook page. After, write a comment saying you did so, how Megan inspires you, and you’re contact information. If you’re already a fan of our Facebook pages, you are still eligible. Contest closes on Sunday, May 26th, and the winner will be notified and announced shortly after. Good luck!

*contest is open internationally*

63 Comments

  1. Reply

    Kirsty Maurits

    I liked both of you on Facebook! Megan’s patterns are gorgeous, and I love that she is an Australian pattern designer – it’s great to see work inspired by such a beautiful country close to my heart.

    purringcat [at] gmail [dot] com

  2. Reply

    crystalpleats

    I already follow you both on fb. Megan’s new release is just amazing. I am inspired by how she started her business on such a small amount of money, and that she keeps following her dreams as the mom of young children.

  3. Reply

    Natasha Jane

    I’m very excited about Megan’s latest pattern collection too! Megan inspires me through her blog. There are so many great reads!

  4. Reply

    cathy

    I follow you both by rss, so not really eligible – but doesn’t matter as i’ve already ordered the patterns and i’m just waiting for them. MN is inspiring me because she’s made it all work – she’s in a place she loves, with the people she loves, doing what she loves! That’s all I can ask for my future as well.

  5. Reply

    stevie

    I follow you on Bloglovin and have likes Megan’s FB.
    I really love Megan’s Aesthetic and she was one of the first blogs I followed before she made patterns. I find the designs inspiring and gorgeously summery! Great for me to fantasise about here in rainy England. I’d love to try out the Breakwater collection and see how they would work for a short curvy sewer like me. Plus the beginner patterns would mean quick satisfying makes! Congratulations Megan on a lovely collection! x

  6. Reply

    anna

    I liked you both on facebook! Have been reading your blogs for awhile, though.

  7. Reply

    annabelvita

    I like you both on facebook! I’d love to make a pair of culottes, they look like the perfect recipe for a fun day!

  8. Reply

    MaryLouise Thomas

    I have liked you both – though I followed you guys anyway 🙂

    I am in LOVE with the cascade skirt. Looks so graceful – it will def go on to my wishlist….

  9. Reply

    Megan meggipeg

    As a fellow Perth sewist, also called Megan, I have been following Megan N for a long time. I discovered you around the time you released Amerson – and I’m still wearing my pair! Both liked on FB.

  10. Reply

    Brigid Boyer

    Megan is such an inspiration to me as an aspiring indie fashion designer. Just like you Madalynne, I want to be like her in the next 5 years, with some sort of business around fashion. Without Megan, I don’t think I would have ever thought it possible to have one’s own pattern line.
    Thank you so much Megan, for all your inspiration to all of us who love to make our own clothes!

    P.S. I liked both of your Facebook pages.

    P.P.S My email is brigid(dot)boyer(at)mac(dot)com

  11. Reply

    Becky

    I love Megan’s aesthetic, and I have a feeling that I’ll be relying very heavily on her maternity patterns whenever that time comes! They’re the cutest ones I’ve ever seen! I’m definitely eyeing the Cascade skirt in particular from the Breakwater collection. Just liked Megan’s FB page, was already following Madalynne’s.

  12. Reply

    Dawn Smith Odland

    Anyone who has children, and is able to run a small business is inspiring to me. As someone who aspires to start my own, I love interviews like this to see how they do it. Thank you for posting!

    I liked you guys on face book.
    My email is dawnsnny (at) mac (dot) com

  13. Reply

    Heather

    *liked* both! Megan inspires me to sew for myself! And that is out of my comfort zone. I usually find myself sewing for my daughter (1 year olds arent concerned with a perfect fit, and screw ups are cheaper when h only use 1/2 a yard). Her maternity patterns are on my wish list as we speak!
    – heather (littleprettyx @ gmail / littlestprettythings.com)

  14. Reply

    Katrina Toice

    I already liked you both on facebook! I admire that Megan manages to put out pretty unusual patterns that are so pretty but are also wearable. you don’t see patterns like that everyday and that’s awesome!
    email is aruwien (at) yahoo (dot) com

  15. Reply

    Erin Leuenberger

    Liked both on FB! I am currently pregnant and I am constantly online for DIY maternity inspiration. Megan has some awesome info on her website and she makes amazing patterns! Would love to win this collection to sew up after the baby comes!

  16. Reply

    anto

    What a great interview! I love Megan’s brand and her story. She’s a huge inspiration to me and I am filled with joy to see women running successful fashion and sewing pattern businesses.

  17. Reply

    Emily Hoffman

    Liked! Megan is inspiring because she is following her own career as a designer, but is also a mom and wife too! I don’t think I will ever achieve a fashion design career like hers, but being able to be a successful woman like her and have a family is definitely a goal of mine. I am also inspired by her faith and passion for Jesus! emmalemma56[at]gmail[dot]com

  18. Reply

    Melanie Yarbrough

    I liked both you and Megan’s pages on Facebook (I’m Smelanie Yarbrough)! Love love her patterns; I already have her Banksia top and would love her dresses. What a great giveaway.

    thingstheymade at gmail dot com

  19. Reply

    Off the grid

    Yes, both are liked on facebook!
    Not only am I obsessed with M.N. patterns, but also Megan as a person. I’m so inspired that she lives a creative lifestyle and has a family- so well rounded. I am also inspired by so many of these independent pattern designers because they are encouraging ethical clothing production and cultivating the creative spirit.

  20. Reply

    Amy Moore

    Both liked 🙂
    I think Megan is amazingly organised and must be superhuman . . . .she inspires me to do more in my day

  21. Reply

    Peneloping

    I already liked both (I’m Ping Lynn Mathre on fb!). Megan is one of my favorite pattern designers so I loove this giveaway. I love how her passion really shines through in her work, especially in all the tutorials and variations she provides! Plus she’s adorable and I feel like a tea/sewing party with the both of you would make me die of squee.

  22. Reply

    Jennie Melton Strope

    Liked both and most impressed by the way Megan’s patterns fit into any wardrobe: great basics to make again and again.

    jenniestro at yahoo dot com

  23. Reply

    Erin

    I liked both! 🙂

    Wow! Thanks for introducing me to Megan’s patterns! They are amazing! I’m so inspired how she’s following her dream and creating beautiful things to share with the world!

  24. Reply

    Latrice Smith

    Like both. Megan inspires me to set more time aside to be creative.

    I can be reached at sewtell [dot] trice [at] gmail [dot] com

  25. Reply

    kriston lion

    LIKE! more like LOVE!

    Megan is totally inspiring because all of the pieces are great wardrobe staples that be remade with many variations-like, this would be enough to build a full wardrobe, you know?

    plus she’s such a hard-worker, totally fulfilling her dream!

    ohhhh i LOVE these patterns! If I don’t win they are going on the Christmas list!

  26. Reply

    Angela

    I liked both! Megan inspires me by being a mom and being able to get so much done! I absolutely love her patterns, it was great to hear a little about what inspires her.

    • Reply

      Angela

      sewbecause(at) gmail.com

  27. Reply

    Nianest

    I liked them both!! I just loved this collection so much, specially the Culottes pattern and the cascade skirt.

    nianest.alers@gmail.com

  28. Reply

    Heart Torres

    As always, Megan’s designs are breathtaking. <3 Love the originality~ And the interview was so adorable! Keep it up guys! ^_^

    Well, for me, Megan (and Madalynne) is inspiring because she taught me how to be creative, how to appreciate art and how to work hard. Before, in our Art class, I'd always get a low grade because I lacked 'imagination'. Now, my teacher praises me because of how I put 'detail' on each of my drawings. Before, whenever someone asked me to design an outfit, I would only draw a plain tee and a skort, then that's it. But now, I elaborated my designs a lot more. Before, in my Home Economics class, when we needed to make an apron, I'd get all frustrated and just give up. But I discovered Megan and Madalynne. I passed because of them. I don't even care if I win or whatever (I'd be pretty darn lucky if so, haha. :3), but as long as my heartfelt gratitude reaches them, I'm happy with that. 😀
    I like those two pages, by the way (but on another account, and an another, because I thought a like wasn't enough, haha). :)) Plus, you could reach me at torres_heart23[at]yahoo[dot]com.
    Stay awesome, guys! :*

  29. Reply

    Mary Mudrick

    I really like the new line, as I do see them as more wearable, everyday stuff that will actually get worn. I’m always inspired by people who can set their own schedules and stick to them. I can tell you that if it were me, I would last a few weeks staying up late working on things …. and then get lazy. 🙂
    Thank you Megan and Maddie.

  30. Reply

    Heather Lou

    I died when I saw the new collection – so lovely. Can’t wait to make the cascade skirt and culottes (I also bike everywhere….) I like both of you, contest notwithstanding, and am particularity inspired by Megan’s “inspiration” – it’s nice to see such a high fashion “concept” approach to sewing patterns. There is a real cohesion and thoughtfulness to the 4 she released and I can’t wait to see more from her.

  31. Reply

    MadebyMeg

    I have been thinking a lot about those culottes (especially on my morning bike rides!). I would love to win these patterns!

  32. Reply

    Toni-Maree

    I liked both of your pages as Toni-Maree Fuller
    Megan inspires me in a lot of ways. She is Australian, she has children and she is totally amazing. You get a sense of warmth from her blog and her posts, instantly draws you to her… I love her patterns and would be so grateful to win the Breakwater Collection!
    Thank you both for a generous giveaway.
    toni (dot) maree (at) ymail (dot) com

  33. Reply

    Elena Knits

    I liked you both and I’d like to mention that Megan’s designs are so fresh. I’d love to win 🙂

  34. Reply

    Amy

    What a lovely collection and interview. I agree with Heather, very cohesive and thoughtful! Love that cascading skirt, so perfect for summer!

  35. Reply

    Linda Faye Lewis

    I clicked “LIKE” on facebook be I definitely do like (love) these patterns! I love the designs because they look easy to make and easy to wear.

  36. Reply

    Lindsay Schwarz

    Liked both of your pages. I’ve read Megan’s blog for a while, and it’s very awe-inspiring how well she juggles her career and motherhood. lindsayschwarz (at) gmail (dot) com.

  37. Reply

    Cynthia Pyatt

    I love the entire Breakwater collection. All of the pieces are effortlessly easy breezy. I already follow both of you on Facebook.

  38. Reply

    NjeriJackie

    I already did. I have been a fan of Megan’s blog for years now since she released her first maternity collection.

  39. Reply

    Yasmin Hamied

    I liked both facebook pages.

    My contact data: yasmin903 (at) yahoo(dot) com
    My name on facebook is Yasmin Nimsay

  40. Reply

    Jess Z

    I follow both on Facebook. I love Megan’s patterns! As a soon-to-be first time mom, I fell in love with the maternity collection and am now looking at her other patterns for my post-maternity wear. The patterns are simple, but very flattering, and they’re easy to follow. Thanks for hosting! mfrapp_83 {at} yahoo {dot} com

  41. Reply

    Erica

    Holy moly! Sign me up! Liked both you ladies on FB.

    Megan inspires me in that she really sticks to her gut with her designs. She wanted to make culottes despite their tacky reputation and lo and behold the cutest culottes ever were born. Kudos Megan! caughtonawhim@gmail.com

  42. Reply

    Krista

    I adore Megan! Her patterns are so accessible! I’d love to become like her as well! I liked both your pages on Facebook 🙂 What a fabulous giveaway!

  43. Reply

    sophie

    Like you both! Megan makes beauty look so easy…
    sinophie(at)hotmail.com

  44. Reply

    Sara

    I’m in! I liked your pages on Facebook, and can’t wait to try cascade and tania, and eucalypt.. I want them all!
    sara.alvarezv (at) gmail (dot) com

  45. Reply

    Melissa | I Still Love You

    I loved reading this post! I am such a fan of Megan and all of the wonderful things she has done for the sewing community. It was an honor to see some bits and pieces of the behind-the-scenes action with Megan. She’s a true creative through and through, which makes me love her patterns that much more.

  46. Reply

    Mady

    I really love Megan’s patterns!I already own the Banksia top and the Darling Ranges dress patterns and I’ve been dying to get my hands in her new patterns,especially the Tania Culottes and the Cascade skirt!Megan really inspires me because she achieved all these amazing things with hard work and she remained humble at the same time.Thank you very much for the giveaway!I already like both your fb pages!

  47. Reply

    magali

    I am in !! I did see the new range of patterns on teh blog of SALLIEOH and found the culotte so wonderful!! Megan is so inspiring because she put together so many great ideas and transform them in beautful patterns.
    magali.vasserot@free.fr

  48. Reply

    parker.fiona

    I love all of the new patterns (especially the Tania Culottes!) so I am definitely in! You are both liked on Facebook! I think Megan is massively inspiring for turning something she enjoys into a career and for figuring out the complicated business of producing patterns

  49. Reply

    Haylee

    I already follow both of you lovely ladies on FB and Megan has also always been one of my biggest inspirations. From the way she runs her company (cutest patterns ever!!) to the way she treats her customers (totally agree with you on the equal thing, she has always treated me like an equal designer- friend even when in reality she is a freaking genius and could totally treat me like an amateur if she wanted to), Megan is the best.

    happy_haylee_3(at)hotmail(do)com

  50. Reply

    Kim

    Please count me in! I already liked megan on fb, but im happy to add you aswell! Should have done that earlier. I love te way megan talks about her patterns and how many different sttles and variation options she includes!
    Kimmeijer (at) live (dot) nl

  51. Reply

    Katie Duncan

    I liked both fb pages : ) Megan is an inspirational figure to me in several different ways. One is that with her set of maternity patterns focuses so closely on a particular niche – one that has been somewhat ignored but has a lot of growth opportunity! As a small business owner, it’s important to look at the market and see what gaps we can fill and needs we can meet. I could go on and on…. but I will leave it at saying i’m super stoked about this pattern giveaway! Katie: derbycitydreams@gmail.com

  52. Reply

    Ginger

    Hey, that’s me! 😀 I love Megan– her designs are the coolest, and like you said, she’s super sweet and totally down to earth. You can leave me out of the giveaway, but I’m so happy you shared this interview!

  53. Reply

    Hanne

    I liked both facebookpages.
    I really admire Megan Nielsen for all the creative work and time she puts in to her company. I juggle jobs and study, but I can’t imagine what it’s like to juggle jobs, kids, husband…
    I also really like the fact that her patterns are cool and down-to-earth and completely different from the vintage vibe that’s going on. I like that too, but this is refreshing.
    hanne[dot]vds[at]gmail[dot]com

  54. Reply

    Hazel

    Such an awesome giveaway! I already ‘liked’ both pages. Megan inspires me as shes such a creative mind and her patterns are always beautifully thought out and you can tell how passionate she is about her business. That coupled with her move last year and how it’s helped her evolve her collections. I am totally in love with the Crescent top and have it on the top of my wish list for late summer sewing sewing. I can be contacted at hazel.berryman(at)hotmail.com

  55. Reply

    Carrie Ann

    Love the new collection! The cascade looks like something I’d wear all summer.

  56. Reply

    Sarah Norman

    I have liked both pages 🙂 I think it is inspiring knowing how much love and work has gone into these patterns and she sounds really lovely and down to earth 🙂
    blondie19012k(at)hotmail(dot)com

  57. Reply

    Joolz

    I liked both of your pages! Hatchdeal gmail dot com

  58. Reply

    Sara

    Liked and liked!

    I find Megan’s patterns refreshingly different, with nice cute details and also, its great all patterns give you so many variations. Very thoughtful.

  59. Reply

    Jinshen Ka

    Hello ! I liked the pages, thank you for the giveway. I don’t own any of Megan’s patterns but would love to discover them.

  60. Reply

    Debi_myhappysewingplace

    Count me in! Liked both pages!

  61. Reply

    Jill Wasiewicz

    Such a cool giveaway, thanks! I have liked both pages. I love Megan’s patterns but the Breakwater collection really made me swoon! These patterns look just perfect for summer. Just looking at this collection is so inspiring, and it’s got me in the mood for summer!
    jill(dot)wasiewicz(at)gmail(dot)com

  62. Reply

    Tatiana

    I have liked both pages, I just loved this new collection, specially the cascade skirt, thanks!
    tatimaio@yahoo.com.br

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