One of the questions I answer on my i am page is what my goal is both professionally and personally. The best way I could answer this question was not to write what my goal is but who I want to be in 5, 10, or 15 years from now. I achieve best through visualization – I keep my focus on the end prize and inch towards it every day. One of a few ladies I want to become (me at the age of 30 is a hybrid of many people) is Megan Nielsen. An independent pattern maker, she has always come across as cozy, humble, and unaffected. She refers to me as “honey” in her emails and I love it. She doesn’t act like she stands above me – she’s on my level and we’re eye to eye.
When she emailed me before the release of her new pattern line, Breakwater, I snatched the chance to promote it. I’m thrilled about the collection, yes, but it shows me that I can do it too.
You’re awesome Megan and you inspire people around the world. Seriously. Thank you for taking the time to answer the following questions about the inspiration behind the collection.
I had quite a few different inspirations for each pattern’s direction but as a whole the collection is inspired by the ocean, the coast, and the breakwater. Lately I love to drive up the West Australian coast and watch the waves and smell the salt air and just let wind pummel me a bit. It’s a pretty special feeling I get on the coast – it’s beautiful and refreshing. All the Breakwater patterns speak to that feeling – lots of flowing rippling lines, and joyful freshness.
I could talk for ages about each pattern but I’ll try and sum it up as best I can! The Crescent Blouse is very lunar inspired – the shapes are intended to mimic the crescent moon. The Tania Culottes are inspired by a dear friend who rides her adorable bike everywhere; I wanted to create a stylish “skirt” that she could ride her bike in comfortably. The Eucalypt Tank is mostly inspired by the Eucalypt leaf – the strong seaming down the centre front and smooth curves of the hem are a nod to that but also gives the pattern a lot of flexibility for sewing variations. The Cascade Skirt is most closely linked to the water – I wanted the hemline to look like cascading ripples or waves. I imagined them blowing in the breeze and catching in wind.
Other than that (from a more technical standpoint), I had a few goals with this collection. I wanted to add more beginner level sewing patterns to my line because I just love newbie sewers! But I also wanted to create really wearable wardrobe staples with some wow factor, which means that the silhouettes had to be very versatile for differing body shapes and also easy to adapt and alter.
Time. These days I have very little. I’m not kidding when I say it took me a year to create those four patterns and it’s because I worked on them during weekends and from the second my kids went to sleep till midnight every night. I cobbled together minutes. I’m a great believer in organization being the key to success so I made myself a very strict schedule and I kept to it. It helped a lot on those days when I was tired and I could have aimlessly not done anything but instead I had some direction to go in. My husband was my rock, he spent all is free time for months working as my personal assistant – filling orders, managing emails, enquiries and customer service. He was amazing and I really couldn’t have done it without him.
Beyond that, I also had one little hiccup before release that almost killed me. On the day my patterns arrived from production, I discovered that all the covers had been misprinted! It was a nightmare and completely stressful. But the error was rectified and now that my patterns are out I’ve almost forgotten about the stress (kidding hehe).
I am SO thrilled that the patterns are released and I’m so blown away by the response they’ve received! I hate not sharing what I’m working on and it’s been killing me to spend almost a year working on patterns I can’t really tell anyone about. I’m sure my family and close friends got super duper tired of me shoving the new designs in their faces and asking 100 times over “do you love them?!!? Aren’t they amazing!?” hehe.
The other side of that is I’m really quite tired. I’ve spent this last year working pretty constantly, in every second I can squeeze in. It’s been very very hard so I’m treating myself to some “lazy” time. Actually more like I’m kind of forcing myself to relax and recharge. I don’t relax very well – I always feel like I “should” be doing something and then stupidly I feel guilty – so I’m doing my best to fight that! I’ve got a selection of TV shows lined up that I missed while I was working so much and I’m doing my best to watch them in close succession hehehe. I’ve also been putting aside time to make things for myself. When I’m working on new patterns I don’t often get time to make myself little things, so its been really nice to just knock up a few pieces just for my own pleasure.
Celebration wise – we went the route of big family dinner with too much Chinese takeout and a bottle of wine– that’s my style.
Right now I’m working on four patterns, which is kind of silly! I should narrow it down! Eeek! There isn’t much of a break between patterns, so these will be my winter 2013 release. I’m excited! The next thing on the to-do list is testing. The first of the next patterns is ready to go, I just need to find some quiet time to get myself organized! For me the hardest part is just not going too quickly. I suppose I should actually put “chill the heck out and go slower” on my to-do list! But I suppose then I wouldn’t be me. Accomplishments-wise , I’d really love to release those four before the end of the year so cross your fingers for me and someone put the coffee on!!!
For a chance to win ALL FOUR PATTERNS from Megan’s Breakwater Collection, all you have to do is like both Madalynne and Megan’s Facebook page. After, write a comment saying you did so, how Megan inspires you, and you’re contact information. If you’re already a fan of our Facebook pages, you are still eligible. Contest closes on Sunday, May 26th, and the winner will be notified and announced shortly after. Good luck!
*contest is open internationally*