1. Tell us a little about yourself! What makes your world go ‘round as a designer and in general?
Hey there I’m Jessica! I am a mother to three crazy boys and married to my five-star rated husband, Chase. I am known for drinking Dr. Pepper and cracking inappropriate jokes during my live sewing classes. I’m also known to put silly GIFs in my emails and work all hours of the night. My family and the members of the DIBY Club are what makes my world go round.
2. How did you get your start as a pattern designer and how long have you been designing?
I actually started drafting patterns for purchase just over a year ago. I began sewing and designing due to a basic need of mine. My religion requires a certain dress code. It has always been very challenging to find clothing that adhere to my religious guidelines, but are still trendy and attractive. I began sewing my own clothing to create the styles that made me feel both beautiful and true to my religious obligations.
I quickly realized how many women felt similar frustrations, but for different reasons. Larger women rarely enjoy the same style variety that smaller women receive in any given store. Women with unique body shapes are told to just accept their proportions will never look good in store bought clothes. Women with unique clothing needs, whether for religious reasons or otherwise, have been excused from the fashion counter.
In short, I found my frustration with fashion was far from isolated and I wanted to create something that could help ease someone else’s pain as well my own.
3. What makes DIBY Club unique? How do you try to differentiate your patterns from others on the market?
DIBY Club is unique because it is far from just a pattern company. It began as a blog because I have always believed that once you know something you are then called to teach it. I love teaching. Which is one of the main things that makes our patterns unique. We have by far the most comprehensive instructions of any pattern I have come across. Our instructions have been called “sewing classes in a pattern” on more than one occasion.
Another notable differentiator is our size range. Many pattern companies will sell plus and misses sizes separately (or omit plus sizes beyond size 20 completely). It was important to me to include these upper plus sizes. All of our patterns are drafted up to size 36 plus and are sold in a single transaction with the misses sizes so you can sew for all of the women in your life without have to pay twice.
4. Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs? Who are you designing for?
I draw inspiration from our DIBY Club members. I am a digital and content marketer by profession so I have a bunch of tricks up my sleeve for identifying the trends that I feel will resonate most with our audience. As much as I would like to design everything on my personal shopping list, the large majority of our library was created with our members’ desires in mind first.
5. How would you define your ‘style’ to someone who has never seen your designs?
This is a tricky question that I don’t really know how to answer. Instead, I will echo some of the sentiments that others have shared with me to describe the DIBY Club style – I’ve been told that our designs are modern, classy and trendy. Which, of course, makes me very happy to hear!
6. What is your favorite part of the design process?
My favorite part of the design process is when I sit down a couple of evenings before a new pattern launches and download all of our testers’ final pictures. Don’t tease me, but I legit get teared up every single time I do. It is an incredibly rewarding experience to put in such an immense amount of work to create a pattern and see women in so many shapes and sizes looking so joyful wearing it. That’s honestly what it’s all about for me.
7. What do you have planned for the remainder of 2018? What are you most excited for as a designer?
The rest of 2018 will be all fall and winter fun for me. I have what I like to call a Fall Fetish so I’m in heaven right now. Sweaters, cardigans, dresses, it’s all coming. I’m mostly excited for pattern freebies, printables and other fun resources I have planned to share.
8. Do you have a favorite pattern in your collection? Why? What do you love about it?
Oh gosh, this is like asking what child I would save if the house was on fire. I can’t possibly pick a favorite. I’d love to see in the comments what everyone else’s favorite is!
9. What is your least favorite thing to do in regard to sewing and/or designing?
My least favorite part of sewing would be cutting fabric. One day I will have a large cutting table, but for now I’m a floor cutter. I also have three toddlers. And anyone with toddlers knows that the second your knees hit the floor, you become a human playground. Which makes cutting fabric a challenge lol!
10. If you could do/accomplish anything as a designer, what would it be? What is your ultimate goal or wish in the realm of pattern design?
I am happy to say that I have reached my ultimate goal. My goal was to touch people with inspiration through my patterns. I have received so many emails from women sharing their hearts with me. Telling me how they have never felt so wonderful wearing their clothes before. Telling me how proud they are of themselves for learning a new skill from one of our tutorials. Thanking me for giving them a pleasant distraction from a difficult time in their life. How could I possibly wish for more than that?
11. What’s your favorite kind of fabric(s) to work with?
French terry is my favorite knit fabric to work with by far. It is stable enough to not get munched up by even the most basic sewing machine, yet the rayon blends are floppy enough to drape beautifully. Not to mention it is incredibly comfortable to wear.
My favorite woven fabric to work with is denim. Thick, sturdy denim just zips under the presser foot without any fuss whatsoever. Plus, topstitching denim is straight up mesmerizing.
12. Any type of fabrics on your “Do not sew” list?
There is no such thing as a “do not sew” list in the DIBY Club ;) Gotta sew em all!
13. What kind of machine(s) do you sew on?
My sewing machine is a Singer Quantum Stylist 9960, but I would like to mention that I upgraded this less than a year ago. Up until then I was sewing on a Singer Simple and some of my favorite garments were made on that baby. So ladies, if you are sewing with a basic machine, you’re still in the game. My serger is a Juki MO 654DE and my coverstitch is a Brother Cover Stitch 2340CV. I know many Amazon reviewers would loudly disagree with me, but looking back I do wish I had waited to upgrade to a higher quality coverstitch.
14. Anything else you want our followers to know about DIBY Club?
That the DIBY Club is all about believing in yourself when you aren’t quite certain how. I don’t teach people how to sew, I teach people to believe that they can do something that they never thought they could. Be afraid, but do it anyway.