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Interview with Laura from Ellie Inspired

When I first met Mr Fox he was working as an international tour guide for an American company.  I really enjoyed meeting his travellers and found it fascinating discovering the ways we were similar as well as the ways we were different.  I was excited and nervous in equal measures to have Laura on board for Issue 3 and expected it to be a similar learning experience.  Turns out I was wrong.  Working with Laura was a delight from beginning to end.  Sewing really is an international language!


Laura Johnson is the owner/designer behind Ellie Inspired sewing patterns.  She started Ellie Inspired in the beginning of 2010 with a vision to create classic clothing sewing patterns.  They are designed for children who love to giggle with their friends, dress up for tea parties, and also climb trees and soak up the sun.  The style is classic and timeless.  The patterns will allow you to create fashionable clothing while celebrating the innocence and joy of childhood.

Laura resides in Illinois, USA with her husband and four children.  She has created over 150 patterns and has a passion for teaching others to create a legacy for future generations.  She has completed many self-courses in pattern drafting and design and is currently finishing her degree in Fashion Merchandising.  Her patterns are available world-wide.  More information available at

Who/what/where inspires you?
Classic clothing is what I love!  I probably am most influenced by styles from the 1940’s and 1950’s.  In America, this was when some of our biggest style icons emerged like Chanel, Christian Dior, and Anne Klein with their classic, elegant lines.  I grew up watching movies from that era and just adore their style.

Do you have a  favourite pattern? If so which and why?
My FAVORITE pattern of ones that I have created is Nantucket Girl.

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The front can be smocked or shirred.  I just love the collar on this one!!

Do you have a favourite sewing notion or gadget that you couldn’t live without?
My most loved sewing notion are my Wonderclips!!  I never use pins anymore.  My husband wishes I had discovered these amazing things many years ago.  I tried to be careful when I was sewing but he usually stepped on the pin I missed shortly after getting home from work!

Do you have any tips for juggling motherhood, business and study?
Oh man – tips for juggling business, motherhood, and schooling.  I’m still trying to figure that out I think!  I don’t sleep much but you can quickly become burned out and sick when you push yourself too hard.  In order to get everything done, I live by my lists and calendars!  I took a typical week and added in all my kids’ activities.  Then, I added in any community and church obligations.  Then, since I’m finishing up my degree, I added in what nights I need to devote to which subjects so I wasn’t spending the weekend cramming.  This was the first year that all four of my kids were in school all day so that helped a great deal too.  I try to devote one day a week to sewing, two – three days to writing/drafting, one to marketing and paperwork, and one to photoshoots or research.  But, since I LOVE everything I do, duties can easily spill into other days.  It’s hard finding a balance.  The thing I neglect…is me.  Working out, eating right…those kinds of things and I’m trying to figure out how to schedule that in as well.  My kids and husband also help out a lot around the house too which I’m so thankful for!

Tell me how you got into smocking.

I got into smocking shortly after Ellie was born.  I had three boys and then was surprised to find out I was pregnant again.  Most people thought I would be thrilled when I found out it was a girl – but I was actually panicked!  I had NOTHING for a girl!  So, I started sewing up a storm!  A friend of mine introduced me to an online sewing forum and it was a fun place to share pictures of projects.  From there, some woman saw something in me and asked me to be part of a private group with some of the most amazing seamstresses I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting.  I met ladies who designed clothing for heirloom sewing magazines, owned heirloom shops, and sewed for royalty.  I was amazed at the level of quality I didn’t even know was possible.  They took me under their wing and taught me how to smock and construct clothing with such attention to detail and professional finishes.  I am so thankful for those few years of studying their techniques and getting to know them.  It set me on a quest of my own studying and learning.


You can purchase Laura’s pattern for the Stardust Dress as a single pattern for regular fit HERE
or for slim fit HERE
Purchase Issue 3 which contains this pattern
or visit Laura’s website to find out more about her other patterns.

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1 Comment to “Interview with Laura from Ellie Inspired”

  1. Cathie Brown 08/06/2014 at 4:53 pm

    We had the pleasure if making Laura’s Stardust Dress a few weeks ago. It is a wonderful pattern, and very easily constructed.


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