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Interview with Toni from Make it Perfect

One of the most exciting things for me about One Thimble Issue 3 was including our first ladies-wear pattern – the Daisy Chain Pattern by Toni from Make it Perfect.  I find it so satisfying and liberating to make clothing for myself and it felt like a massive leap forward to have such a fabulous ladies dress pattern in One Thimble!

Picture Toni Coward has been sewing for over 20 years and started her business, Make It Perfect in 2008.Her aim is to create hip, fresh and funky sewing patterns which are geared towards the new generation of younger sewers and stylish fabrics on the market today.

Toni contributed the Daisy Chain Dress Pattern to Issue 3.  Be sure to visit her website & blog for lots more Make It Perfect goodness!

What, where or who inspires you?
I usually find inspiration when I am not looking for it! And then it comes in waves…because of our technological world I am always inspired by things I see online, but I’m loving Instagram at the moment, and all of the wonderfully creative people I meet there. Things usually have to be quiet and orderly for me to feel inspiration, I don’t work very well in a messy, crazy environment.

What is your favourite haby item?
As much as I detest using it, I would have to say my stitch unpicker! It’s never good when you have to use it but trying to unpick stitches without an unpicker is not fun!

Do you have a  favourite pattern you have created? If so which and why?
Ooh, this one is tricky because I’m always saying that “this” pattern is my favourite!! My favourite women’s pattern at the moment is the Poppy Tunic. It is so comfortable to wear and great for layering. I like it because I feel dressed up without having to think too hard about it! My favourite girl’s patterns are Sprout and Zip-It. And for boys, the Hero Vest and Long Boards – I have 3 boys and these are the two patterns that get used over and over again.

Do you have any tips for balancing family life, building a new home with business?
It always takes a lot of thought, effort and reassessing to achieve a good balance. I have always made a point of making sure that family always comes first. Because of this, most of my Make It Perfect work happens during day time naps and when the kids are in bed at night – resulting in lots of late nights!! My Make It Perfect “work” doesn’t actually feel like work though, so designing, sewing and writing patterns is actually my reward at the end of the day! As soon as Make It Perfect starts to feel like a chore, I set it aside and do something else. I try really hard to keep it fun and enjoyable or else I lose motivation and I don’t don’t I could  write a pattern well without enjoying myself.  I am also lucky to have a supportive husband who works from home so it’s always helpful to have another adult around. It writing, it sounds like it all happens easily, but it really is a juggling act and something that I am continually trying to get my head around every day. As for building the new house – lucky again that my husband is an architect so he does most of the hard/stressful jobs that come with building a house and I just get to focus on the fun design aspects!!

Picture Tell me about “Make it Perfect” the book
I was approached by Penguin Publishing in the beginning of 2009 and offered a book contract. It was something that I hadn’t even thought about doing previously and was really shocked by the phone call (and all I could think about as we were talking was that the stir-fry I was cooking for dinner was going to go soggy!) It was a long process – about 18 months from that first phone call until the book was released for sale, and in that time I gave birth to my third (thankfully super happy) baby and managed to put together 21 patterns for women’s and children’s clothing. It was a busy 18 months, and a lot more involved than I thought it would be but I’m grateful for the opportunity, and hey – I can say I’ve published a book now! The book is starting to become hard to come by because it was released almost 4 years ago, but you can still find it at some craft and book stores and I sell signed copies online here.

Make it Perfect Daisy Chain Ladies Dress Pattern from One Thimble Sewing e-zine Issue 3 You can purchase Toni’s pattern for the Daisy Chain Dress as a single pattern or visit Toni’s website to find out more about her other patterns HERE
or Purchase Issue 3 which contains this pattern
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