Designer Spotlight - June 2018
Ellie and Mac
1. Tell us a little about yourself! What makes your world go ‘round as a designer and in general?
I am a mother of four cool kids. They are ages 6, 8, 10 and 16. We sold our house in 2016 and most of what we owned to set off and travel North America together. We homeschool our kids while on this adventure and that takes up most of my morning. After lunch, I start my design work. I am inspired by new trends, past decade pieces and bold fabrics. I love watching a design come to life in the testing stage and then seeing the excitement of customers as they share things they have made using my patterns.
2. How did you get your start as a pattern designer and how long have you been designing?
I used to design and sew girl’s custom boutique dresses. I felt very blessed by the amount of money I was able to charge for my work, however, I knew that not everyone could afford such an expensive dress for their daughters. I wanted to give back by making sewing patterns so that others could sew their children boutique clothing who might not be able to afford it. That was the start to my love affair with pattern designing. I have been designing patterns for seven years.
3. What makes Ellie and Mac unique? How do you try to differentiate your patterns from others on the market?
I don’t honestly worry much about what others are doing in the market. I love seeing other patterns being promoted because I am in awe at the amount of creative talent that is out there in this big world! I never have really checked out what everyone else has because I feel that it is better to focus on what I like and what makes me excited. I feel that we all have our own way of doing things and that is what makes us unique. I don’t see it as better, because we all have awesome patterns to offer. I just make sure that I try to be better than I was the day before. I feel that if I focus on my business and how I am affecting those around me, have a positive mindset and give often, then I am on the right track.
4. Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs? Who are you designing for?
I draw most inspiration from browsing my favorite stores, watching my children play in clothes, and seeing the new trends. I love to create trendy patterns that people can tailor to fit their bodies correctly by grading sizes and feel amazing when they wear them. I love designing for kids through adults. I really have found that I love designing for plus size women because I hear often how much they love the patterns and how many compliments they received when wearing something they made. They tell me that they feel confident again and I love that! I think no matter what shape and size we are, that we are all beautiful and have so much to offer this world.
5. How would you define your ‘style’ to someone who has never seen your designs?
I would define my style as trendy. My women’s patterns are always stylish, fun and flirty. The children’s patterns focus on trendy boutique styles and my men’s patterns focus on comfort with a trendy fit.
6. What is your favorite part of the design process?
My favorite part of the design process is seeing the tester fit pictures come in. I love to see something I envisioned come to life through the sewing process. How cool is it that a simple piece of fabric can turn into a garment!? Genius!
7. What do you have planned for 2018? What are you most excited for as a designer?
We have a lot of fun things planned. I am adding sew-a-longs later this year, plan to update all my older patterns, are retiring over 40 patterns this month to make room for new ones, adding mens patterns to the site, blogging more, collaborating a lot, and just continuing to do what we do.
8. What is your least favorite thing to do in regard to sewing and/or designing?
My least favorite thing to do with designing is editing the pattern during testing. I wish they would be perfect the first go around, but usually it takes 3-4 versions before we get it right. I am so thankful for my tester group for putting up with my edits. Getting a good fit is important to me. I think it is my least favorite because I don’t want to disappoint anyone and I worry that the testers are upset they have to try again. I know it is part of the testing process, maybe one day I will just see it as that instead of viewing it negatively.
9. 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 not sure what exactly my end goal is as a designer, I am just enjoying the ride and am excited to see where it takes me. I am open to evolving as a designer and person into whatever this big universe has for me. So far, it has been an incredible journey!
10. What’s your favorite kind of fabric(s) to work with?
Knit fabrics are my favorite. I love that they don’t wrinkle much and after I got over being afraid of them, they became my go-to.
11. Any type of fabrics on your “Do not sew” list?
I am not really sure. I guess I struggled with organza a time or two. I haven’t sewn with a lot of special occasion fabrics.
12. What kind of machine(s) do you sew on?
I have a two Babylock sergers. I use one for rolled hems and one for overlock stitches. I have a Brother coverstitch machine, two Babylock sewing machines and I used to have a 5-needle Babylock embroidery machine.
13. Anything else you want our followers to know about Ellie and Mac?
My greatest wish for you, is to dream big, create fearlessly and go after the things that bring you and those around you joy! Thank you for taking time to interview me.