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Interview with Stephanie Bull from Felicity Sewing Patterns

Today we’re chatting with Stephanie from Felicity Sewing Patterns. Stephanie submitted the pattern for the Willow Shirt to Issue 10.


 

Stephanie Bull - Felicity Patterns

I live high up in the Blue Mountains where I grow the best tasting, totally organic apples and cherries in my monster garden. I have one grown-up daughter.I am now retired after 40+ years in the rag trade in Sydney as a designer, pattern maker and product developer. I started Felicity Sewing Patterns in 2012 because I wanted to have a more creative, fun and easier way of earning an income. As a bonus I enjoy the closer interaction with my customers. It’s great to know that my patterns are helping people to create their own lovely items.


How did you get into pattern making?

I have been sewing almost as far back as I can remember. My mother taught me to sew and to make patterns and sketch, she was always there to help me and I was very keen to learn. I went straight from high school to the National Art School as it was known in those days. I studied Clothing Design; this was the only course available back then if you wanted to work in the Clothing Industry as a designer. That was just the beginning. I spent the next 40+ years working as a women’s wear designer, pattern maker and product developer for many well know companies. I started Felicity Patterns in 2012 which meant learning a whole new skill base; actually I am still learning.

What/where/who inspires you?

I am interested in a lot of things and have a strong creative urge. I am a very DIY person and will try almost anything including building things. I renovated my old weatherboard house in Sydney before I moved to the mountains. The gorgeous picket fence around 3 sides of the front garden was my proudest creation. When I was 9 I built my own cubby house in the backyard and insisted that I was moving in there but mum ‘convinced’ me otherwise. I am an odd mix of artistic and practical.

When it comes to pattern design if I am not ‘inspired’ to create a new pattern then I just don’t; I have to really like the design and it has to meet certain criteria before I will put the energy and time into turning it into a pdf pattern. I take more notice now of what kids are wearing and what is on offer in retail stores plus I spend much more time in fabric shops.

What’s your best tip for people getting started with sewing?

I think you need a lot of patience and some good hands-on help to get you started so I would suggest taking introductory sewing classes. I believe most people learn much faster with someone to show them just how it’s done. Sewing tutorials and videos are great but hands-on is better by far if you are just getting started. Then it’s all down to practice to improve your skill level.

What’s your favourite pattern/ thing you have sewn? What you are working on now?

I don’t think I have an absolute favourite pattern and I am always itching to get onto the next new project. At present I am working on updates to most of my older patterns. I would like to freshen up some of my earlier items with new samples and promotion photos etc.

What’s something people might not know about you?

I am a very keen gardener and I am a qualified horticulturalist. I really wanted to get out of the rag trade in my late thirties so I did a 4 year diploma course in horticulture but ended up never leaving the rag trade. Growing things has always been my favourite thing and my way to escape the pressures of work.


Willow Shirt Stand Alone Cover from One Thimble Issue 10 You can purchase Stephanie’s pattern for the Willow Shirt as a single PDF HERE
or visit her website to see more of her sewing patterns HERE
or purchase Issue 10 which contains this pattern HERE.

 

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