On today’s episode of the While She Naps podcast we’re talking about sewing your own clothes with my guest, Heather Lou. Heather is a Montreal based sewing pattern designer and blogger at Closet Case Files. She was once a shopaholic Vogue-reading fashion obsessive, a lifestyle she says left her with a packed closet, nothing to wear, and a whole lot of consumer debt. Then a few years ago she made a deal with herself that the only “new” things that could come into her closet would be things she made herself.
Sewing quickly took over her life and today Heather is a successful pattern designer with a thriving business.
In this interview I ask Heather to tell us about her family life growing up. She also talks about what the creative and small business scene is like in Montreal where she lives. Heather tells us how she named her blog and created the moniker “Lou” for her last name online.
Heather loves to blog and she’s an avid reader of blogs and supporter of the sewing blog community. She started her blog in 2011 and we talk about what keeps her blogging after five years.
We analyze what made the Bombshell Swimsuit and the Ginger Jeans such successful patterns and what it’s like to try to work on the design that comes after a massive success.
I ask Heather to tell us the path she took to quit her day job as a commercial interior designer and become self-employed and I ask her where she found her new assistant.
Recently Heather decided to begin creating print patterns in addition to digital and we talk about how she funded this venture (with a bank loan rather than Kickstarter) and how it’s gone so far. We also conjecture about the future of the Big 4 pattern companies. Finally, I ask Heather to tell us who she admires right now in the indie sewing scene.
During our conversation Heather references:
- Sallie Oh’s blog
- Gertie’s Blog for Better Sewing
- District Fabric in Seattle
- Sarai Mitnick of Colette and Seamwork
- Jen at Grainline
And, of course, I ask Heather to recommend great stuff she’s enjoying right now. Heather recommends:
Today’s episode is sponsored by Amy Barickman, founder of Indygo Junction sewing patterns and books. Visit AmyBarickman.com to find vintage imagery, sewing and craft books and her new Vintage Notions Monthly magazine which is based on material from the Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts. Although the Institute was founded 100 years ago, the treasure trove of lessons and stories are still relevant today and offer a blueprint for living a contented life. Check it out at Vintage Notions Monthly.
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