To kick off the "A Year in Indie Patterns" challenge I thought it would be a nice idea to get the ladies behind Named themselves to speak about their pattern company. So I put together a couple of interview questions and Laura and Saara from Named generously took the time to answer them. Here is our little interview:
How long have you two been sewing your own clothes? And what inspires you to sew your own clothes?
We have loved sewing, all sorts of handicrafts and self-making since we were just little. Part of it might have been inherited from our parents, our mother is a very talented sewer and she has been sewing clothes for us when we were kids, and our dad too is quite artistic. We loved to sew Barbie and doll garments before we started to sew for ourselves. There are a lot of things that inspire us to making our own clothes. Obviously it is a way to be creative, which is very important to us. It is also so rewarding! When you make your own garments, you can modify the patterns as much as you want, choose the colors and materials you like and end up with something that you love and want to keep for the rest of your life – and nobody else has the same thing. The sewing process is as important as the result, it’s just simply so much fun.
My mother is from Norway and on my visits to Norway I have not sensed that there is a major trend to sewing your own clothes in Norway. Is this different in Finland? Is DIY and sewing your own clothes popular?
DIY and sewing seem to be growing trends in Finland right now. Of course it’s not as popular as it might be somewhere else (we Finns tend to pick up the international trends a little late), but there are constantly more and more new business ideas and collectives that encourage and support self-making and handicrafts. As that cheap mass-produced stuff is not cool anymore, there is more space for self-made garments, and they are actually perceived trendy and valuable, unlike before when they were considered kind of cheap. The ethical and ecological fashion is a big trend right now, and self-made garments are a good example of ethical yet affordable way of dressing!
What struck me immediately about your pattern collection is that your aesthetic is so different from the current vintage vibe many independent pattern companies get their inspiration from. Your designs have such beautiful clear and clean lines and a very modern aesthetic. I think many home sewists will find your patterns very inspiring. How did you develop your ideas and what kind of person do you envision sewing up your pattern designs?
This is actually exactly where our business idea started from; we felt like there is not so much variety to choose from if you are looking for contemporary, simplistic and interesting patterns. Our collections pretty much reflect our own style and what we love in sewing, the garments are simple but nicely detailed, and there is also room for personal modification. We see Named more as a fashion brand among others – the only difference is that we don’t sell ready-to-wear garments.
The inspiration could come from anywhere, from the nature, furniture, materials or just a feeling. Interesting forms and details make us wonder how they could be transferred into a piece of clothing, and we are also very interested in the technical details. We hope that in our collections there is a little something for everyone. Since the styles are quite simple, it is possible to create a million of different garments with just one pattern, by changing the fabric and modifying details!
Many independent sewing companies seem to home in on a specific figure for sizing their patterns (for example: curvy women, petite women, etc.) How are your sewing patterns sized? And are your patterns designed with a specific figure in mind?
We have chosen to size the patterns for an ‘average sized’ woman, this way the patterns are suitable for as many as possible. Of course there is no such thing as an average body! Each body is different, this is why we have collected some basic pattern alteration instructions on our website so that people would have the chance to make their garments fit. This Instructions-section of our website is also something that we will be improving so that there would be a good sewing instruction package available to everyone for free.
Personally, I quite like sewing from PDF patterns. But I know that for some home sewists PDF patterns are big no-go. Why did you decide on making your collection PDF only and are you planning on offering print patterns in the future?
The PDF patterns were a simple way to get started, and to see how people will react to our patterns before moving to the paper patterns. The PDF patterns are a little more work, as they have to be taped together, but there are also good things. They are cheaper since there are no delivery fees, and also faster to receive, so you don’t have to wait for a week for the pattern to arrive. In the future we will definitely sell also paper patterns (hopefully starting from the SS14 collection that will be launched in January), these are also more suitable for retail.
One last question, if you could not sew clothes from your own pattern collection, what patterns would you sew from?
We like the style of By Hand London, they are very fresh and stylish. There is also this Finnish sewing magazine ‘Suuri Käsityö’. Their patterns are not always the trendiest ones, but with little modifications they are ok. We have been sewing a lot of their patterns in the past.
Thanks Laura and Saara for the interview!
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Named are also generously offering up one pattern for one of my readers. You can enter the giveaway by commenting on this post and stating which Named pattern you would like to win. You can find their full collection here.
The closing date for this giveaway is Mon, 9 Sep 2013. The Giveaway is open internationally.