I learned of Heidi and Finn patterns during last fall's KCWC. So many people sewed up her Urban Hoodie for their kids, that I had to go check it out. And it is fantastic. Heidi and Finn patterns are simple and comfy and, as you can see by the bubble dress below, stunning. Christine is the woman behind this wildly popular etsy shop. And I am happy to introduce you to her...
1. How did you get into designing patterns?
Probably a very similar story to others on etsy....When I had my daughter, Heidi, three years ago I had a hard time finding clothes that I wanted to put her in (and could afford!). So, I decided to get a sewing machine and try making my own. I have always loved designing and making things and was up for the challenge. Although I am not trained in fashion design (I studied architecture in school), i knew what I liked and figured I would give it a go. Knowing nothing about sewing, my mother showed me the basics, handed me a store bought pattern and some fabric and wished me luck. It went horribly! I found it really hard to follow "big name" patterns when I knew so little about sewing. I started to go online to find tutorials and videos and to teach myself. Soon, I got better, and began making outfits for my daughter. After lots of positive comments, and a lot of asking, I started to make patterns for my designs.
2. Do you have a specific kind of child in mind when you are working on your designs?
No specific child, but a specific parent, I guess. Let's face it, it's the parents that dress the child most of the time, so if they don't like it, it most likely won't end up on their kids. I think I appeal to most parents that want simple and comfortable clothes for their kids. Trendy, but not following any fads that you end up hating a year later.
3. How do you think children should dress?
I truly believe, that a happy child is a comfortable child (and a happy child is a happy parent!). So if your kid is going to be tugging at their clothes all day, no matter how great it looks, it doesn't work. I also really really really can't stand crazy patterns on kids. You know the ones....the ones that look like it should be a curtain or a couch or a tablecloth. I don't know many people that would wear a shirt with zoo animals or vegetables on it, so why put that on your child? :) I guess, I would like my daughter to look back at pictures of herself and not ask "mom, WHY would you dress me in THAT?!!!", and see the cute kid and not the clothes.
4. Do you think what you wear influences how you dress your kids or design your patterns?
For sure! i always wear solid colors, lots of black, gray and muted colors. And almost all my designs are inspired by clothes i already own, or have seen for myself. I also try to dress in natural, soft materials like cottons, linens, sweater knits, and wools. I mainly use these in my designs.
5. Do you also sew clothes for yourself?
I wish I had time! i don't, but I hope to start. My daughter is much better dressed then me half the time! :)
6. What children's clothes designers do you admire?
I don't have any specific designers work that I follow, but I get very inspired when I just search the web. My favorite children's wear sites that I love to check out are Imoga New York and Sudo clothing - both are so creative and beautiful lines.
Christine has generously offered all Elsie Marley readers a buy one/get one deal for her pattern shop! Purchase any single pattern in the shop and let Christine know which free pattern you would like, along with the coupon code EMBOGO in the note to seller section (package deals and comfy yoga suit excluded).
Christine has another shop called Heidi and Finn Studio (the dress pictured above is from HF Studio) where she sells ready to wear children's clothes. For Elsie Marley readers she will ship any items from the studio shop for free with the code EMSTUDIO (only good for Canada and the US). Both offers will be valid until May 12. Amazing!! Thank you so much Christine!