I have a special place in my blogging heart for Salme patterns because one of the very first items that I blogged and received attention for was my neon version of her Loose Fitting Pleated T-shirt pattern. I love that top and sewing it up was a great experience. I was reminded of Salme a couple of months ago when I noticed that she had recently added a few children’s patterns. I can’t wait to try out her little girl playsuit pattern once it gets warm again. If you are not familiar with her patterns you should be. They are simple and classic which means the possibilities are endless. Here are a few of my favorites.
I was very excited when Elisa of Salme agreed to do an interview for the blog so that we can all get to know her better. She has also generously offered a giveaway so make sure you enter with a comment. Details can be found at the bottom of the post.
Tell us a little about you and where you come from.
I’m an architect, designer, patternmaker, and diy fanatic with roots in Scandinavia and home in London.
What is your design/sewing background and how did you get started with your business?
I managed to fit in a course in pattern making while doing my master’s in architecture. Clothing and textiles was an interest I’d always had – I’ve been sewing since I was 6 – but I didn’t think it would ever give me a “proper” job. Little did I know, the job market for architects isn’t exactly booming at the moment!
I don’t think I changed careers as much as just shifted into slightly different design work. An architect’s job is not very different from a technical clothing designer’s. Creativity, a technical mindset, attention to detail, eye for proportions, and above all the ability to sit still by a computer and draw lines for hours are the skills needed. ( No my life is not all creative brainstorming, most of it is pretty boring to most standards! )
I got started simply because I couldn’t find any patterns out there that I liked. I remember looking for a playsuit pattern as those were a huge trend, but couldn’t find one. I couldn’t believe it. Obviously, the big sewing pattern companies were not keeping up with the trends. So I started selling my first five designs on etsy, with poor images and not many different sizes, but people kept asking for more.
It’s been amazing to follow how sewing has been revitalised in the last few years. Once associated with the likes of my grandmother, sewing classic suits for herself and knitting amazing woollen socks for us grandkids, there’s now a young crowd of diy fashionistas out there with an appetite for trendy, fresh designs.
Where do you get the inspiration for your designs and how would you define your style?
People ask me all the time about how I come up with ideas. I have so many ideas I can’t sleep at night! Inspiration is everywhere, there is almost too much of it. I obviously look at fashion magazines but the most inspiring thing for me is to get my hands on some lovely fabric and start experimenting.
As for my style, it’s definitely very simple. If I had a clothing line I would add more detail, but for sewing patterns I feel like I don’t want to give people an overly designed garment, as I want them to add their own touch to it instead. I would like for two girls in a dress made from the same pattern to be able to pass each other on the street and not realise it’s the same design!
I think my Scandinavian roots also show in my designs. Even if I try to make something different people always comment on it looking simple, modern and Scandinavian!
I noticed that you recently added a couple of hip children’s patterns. Where did the inspiration for these come from and will there be more?
My nieces and nephews have definitely given me the inspiration to start thinking of children’s clothing. There’s a lot of kids’ patterns out there, but nothing that really relates to my style, so I saw a market there. I think kids can look chic and modern too, and don’t necessarily need to wear kiddy prints and bows all the time. Having been to France a lot lately I really love all their children’s clothing shops, French kids are so stylish!
I have a few new designs in my head so there will definitely be more children’s patterns in the near future.
Which is your favorite of your designs and why?
My favourite is always the next one on my mind!! Otherwise the Silvia Dress is probably my favourite at the moment. I know a lot of people who sew like the vintage look, which is not really my style, but this one has a bit of a vintage, girly flare to it making it a bit different.
Where do you see your business going in the future?
I’m full of ideas for the future. My fan base is continuously growing which is amazing. I’m blessed to be able to work full time with Salme at the moment, so I’m furiously working on new patterns and will be releasing several monthly going forward. I’m always as excited about releasing a new pattern, and in awe over the fact that someone actually buys them!
I would also love to design some fabrics to go with my patterns and am planning to find time for this in the future.
Elisa has offered $7 US towards her shop for one lucky reader. To enter simply leave a comment with the pattern you would choose to buy if you win (or even if you don’t 🙂 Comments will be open until Sunday night at midnight and the winner will be announced on Monday morning. Good luck!