Interview with Heather Ross

on April 13 | in Interviews + Profiles | by | with 161 Comments

We are excited to share our interview today with Heather Ross. Heather is busy these days with events for her beautiful new book, Weekend Sewing: More Than 40 Projects and Ideas for Inspired Stitching. Her latest Far and Away collection started to fly out our doors the moment we added it to the shop, and we know about your lasting love (see the comments!) for her Mendocino and West Hill collections.

Heather keeps everyone up to date with her Heather Ross blog. She also has a Weekend Sewing Flickr group where you can see a great selection of Summer Blouses, Flower Girl dresses and much more, all from patterns in the book.

We’re expecting more Far and Away by the end of April, and the rest will be in the shop at the end of May. We can’t wait to see what you create with Weekend Sewing patterns and the beautiful cotton double gauze of Far and Away.

Sew,Mama,Sew!: Congratulations on the success of Far and Away! We were one of the first stores to get it and it flew out of the shop… This must be such an exciting time for you with the new collection and the book. Your days must be so full. Have you had time to enjoy it all? How do you use your own fabric and patterns?

Heather: At the moment I am using my book patterns and my fabrics together, making display samples for some upcoming shows and events. I am so in love with this double gauze, it’s perfect for dresses and skirts and blouses. Of course, not every grown woman would wear a blouse covered with unicorns!I am happy to see that my extremely geeky little creatures and odd fellows are finding their way into peoples hearts and homes, I was a little afraid for them. When we were all getting organized on my desk last fall we seemed a rather shy and vulnerable crowd. Now we are quite pleased with ourselves.

SMS: Where do you stash inspiration and ideas so you can pull them out at the right moment? Do you have journals? Notebooks? Inspiration boards?
Heather: I try to save ideas, but usually its the things that set up camp in a corner of my brain and refuse to leave, eventually ending up in my sketchbook. Some of them, like the donkey that is currently becoming fully formed (inspired by my third birthday in Mexico, when my grandparents arranged for my sister and I to go for a donkey ride and when the festooned but humble little steeds appeared on or doorstep we thought that they were ours to keep), have been waiting for a very long time.


SMS: You mentioned sewing patterns at Quilt Market last spring… Do you have plans in the works?
Heather: I decided to do books instead. I wanted a format that would help me to tell a story and to show that sewing can be integrated into anyone’s life and home in a stylish and practical way… I wasn’t sure I could do that as well with patterns.

SMS: We loved the Weekend Sewing Design Challenge. How is your personal quest going to make a closet-full of new clothes from Weekend Sewing?
Heather: Very well, thank you! My husband refers to the right side of my closet as my “imaginary beach house wardrobe.” Wasn’t it amazing to see what everyone came up with for the challenge? So inspiring!


SMS: We were so sad to read that you won’t be designing fabric for awhile. What is going to happen with the great clothespin doll fabric you designed?!
Heather: The clothespin people are getting a little restless, but they are not strangers to persecution and I expect that they will make a pious but proud entrance when the time is right.

SMS: We read on your blog tour that you’re looking forward to a few “lengthy projects that will hopefully be loved and enjoyed by kids.” Can you tell us a little more?

Heather: I used to spend a lot of time swimming the remote rivers of Vermont and Northern California. I would swim as hard and for as long as I could upstream against strong currents and then turn around and swim back to my starting point, which usually only took minutes in comparison to the hour it took on the way “up.” When the river was especially clear I could watch my reflection on the sandy bottom while I was being swept along and look and feel as though I was flying. I have been thinking about that feeling for a while now. I think that I wasted a bit of time trying to develop a more sophisticated, serious style. I was wanting to move away from “novelty” in an effort to be taken more seriously. I have decided to swim with the current for a while, embrace all things young, and I have a feeling that it will feel a lot more like swimming downstream. I am in the very beginning stages of illustrating a children’s book and hope to write a second sewing book– about sewing for your children.

Thanks, Heather! Images are from Weekend Sewing and Heather Ross.

Join us for Spring Sewing Month. Comment to win this week’s prizes from Fiskars/Gingher: one winner will receive a Gingher Nickel Rotary Cutter and a 12-in-1 Sewing Multi-Tool. We’re also giving away four $20 gift certificates to Sew,Mama,Sew!
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161 Responses to Interview with Heather Ross

  1. Jennifer says:

    I’m going to get a copy of this book as soon as I can. Wow, Just wow!

  2. Kelley says:

    I am interested in looking at this book and her blog…thanks for featuring her.

  3. Ali says:

    Just got my book in the mail this week, and am awaiting the arrival of some of Heather’s fabric. Love it!

  4. What a great book! I bought it a week ago and I have already made two patterns—-they both turned out GREAT. They’ll show up on my blog next week…

    Thanks, Amber

  5. urbanoceanix says:

    I made my first attempt at the summer blouse last weekend, from an old sheet to practise as it was my first ever attempt at sewing clothing, and it looks great. I have a parcel waiting for me at the post office that I believe is my far far away frogs fabric, so I am going to give it another try in that tomorrow once I have picked it up.

  6. rebe says:

    Looks like some fun projects, and I love the cute fabric!

  7. Joy L. says:

    Okay, I am convinced I need to buy this book! Thanks for the wonderful interview. Looking forward to trying out these fun patterns!

  8. Ruth says:

    The book looks fabulous! I must get my hands on a copy!

  9. Stacy says:

    I just purchased this book and am excited to try out a few of her patterns!

  10. Sara R. says:

    This book is officially on my “birthday wish list”. 🙂

  11. deb g says:

    What a lovely, earthy lady — she seems to have such inner peace, no wonder her fabrics are so wonderful.

  12. Tessa says:

    I really like this book! I wonder when it will get to NZ??!!

  13. Liz says:

    i’m a grown(ish) woman, and i’d wear a shirt covered in unicorns. 🙂 my cousin would too. beautiful fabrics!

  14. Hahaha, I totally agree with the hubby’s “imaginary beach house wardrobe” comment. Mine’s the same, but mine is more imaginary corporate work clothing. Is that weird??

  15. Jenadina says:

    I looked through this book the other day at the bookstore while waiting on my mom…It’s just lovely! The photos are fabulous! While I wouldn’t make everything in the book, I think it would be worth it to have around just for the inspiration factor.

  16. Charity says:

    This looks like a neat book… I love the skirt! 🙂

  17. Emily says:

    I can’t wait to get the book!

  18. Lynne in NC says:

    I’m definitely getting this one!

  19. Melissa says:

    LOVE the Heather Ross fabrics! The book looks equally exciting. Can’t wait to get my hands on it.

  20. Wendy says:

    Recently bought this book and can’t wait to try out so many of the patterns! Thanks!

  21. katie says:

    I think I may just spur the economy by picking up a copy. I’d also be interested in your (future) book about sewing for children.

  22. Great interview! Good Luck Heather on your sewing books!

  23. brittany says:

    i would love to get my hands on a copy of this book soon…

  24. Sonicka says:

    I love this book! I have already cut patterns for the trapeeze sundress, summer blouse, flower girl dress and the bloomers! Now I am off to the Sew Mama Sew store to get more fabric!

  25. knitteresq says:

    I can’t wait to read this book, thanks for posting the interview!

  26. Julie says:

    Very fantastic interview….and I love the refreshing photos!

  27. Joan says:

    Great interview. I have heard lots of wonderful things about Heather. Can’t wait to get this book. Thanks for sharing the interview.
    Enjoy your day!

  28. Lacey says:

    I really want to buy this book! I already checked our library, but of course they don’t have it. Now if I can just convince myself that I actually need the book…

    I really enjoyed looking through all the completed projects posted in the flikr group. It looks like a fabulous book!

  29. Tiina says:

    The book sounds quite interesting. Perhaps I should try to check it somewhere…

  30. katie says:

    I’m looking forward to buying this book and the interview with Heather makes me run to my virtual fabric store to BUY HER FABRIC. So much for my budget!

  31. Ramona says:

    I haven’t had a chance to check out this book yet but I guess I better get to it!

  32. Christi says:

    Oooh, I can’t wait for the kids book. My 19 month old daughter has gotten me back into sewing, but I’m much more inspired to sew for her than me. She can pull off wild patterns that I never could AND she looks great in everything.

  33. Debra says:

    Great interview. I love the book. I also love the unicorns. I have reproductions of the tapestries of the Lady and the Unicorn. Maybe not for a shirt, but it would fit in my old world home.

  34. jackie says:

    i really want this book. i love everything she does!

  35. wendy says:

    I LOVE Weekend Sewing… one of the best books I’ve bought in a long time.
    Can’t wait to see the next one(s) 🙂

  36. Melissa says:

    Great interview-can’t wait to read the book!

  37. lynn whelan says:

    I am a weekend project kinda girl!

  38. ruth says:

    I saw some of the projects that were made from patterns in the book and all I have to say is I can’t wait to get my own copy and start some projects myself!

  39. Huong says:

    The book looks great. I plan on getting it the next time I get paid. Thanks for the inspiration

  40. Julia in MI says:

    This interview was so inspiring. Heather sounds like a wonderful person. I will have to get aquainted with her blog.

  41. BabkaGal says:

    I just got this book, and I can’t wait to try out the projects!

  42. Robin says:

    Oh….I ordered this book…..but it hasn’t come yet……so looking forward to it.
    Hope you had a beautiful day.

  43. Veronica says:

    I love the projects in this book and the photography is really beautiful. Thanks for the interview.

  44. Sarah Lee says:

    I just bought this book today! I cannot wait until I have a chance to crack it open!!!

  45. Rachel says:

    I love this book!

  46. Steph W says:

    I LOVE this book and its corresponding website. I’m planning to make the “All-weekend sundress.”

  47. emedoodle says:

    Oh I can’t wait for this book!… but I have to! lol. Someday I will be able to spend all my money on sewing! Great interview!

  48. Caroline says:

    I can’t wait to check out this book!

  49. Kelli says:

    oooh, I love the new fabric and can’t wait to get my hands on that book!

  50. mjb says:

    So glad to see another interview with Heather!

  51. Jennifer says:

    That double gauze looks scrumptious! And I can’t wait to see if my library has a copy of Weekend Sewing…

  52. leah says:

    that sounds wonderful!

  53. Maggie says:

    This book is on my wish list. Her fabric is divine. Truly. The designs with the quality and feel of the fabric can’t be beat.

  54. Catherine says:

    What an inspiring interview! Thanks.

  55. Christine says:

    I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book! And a book about sewing for children, oh my!

  56. mishalee says:

    i love the variety in this book. i don’t know where to start, but i just may start with that cute baby kimono! or maybe the summer top if i can figure out how to make it maternity.
    thanks heather!

  57. Anne says:

    Gorgeous! I love the little girls dress

  58. Ellen B says:

    I’ve been enjoying my copy of the book and collecting Heather’s fabrics! Can’t wait to put them to use!

  59. MaryAnn says:

    Great interview- I too have heard good things about Heather’s book. Right now, it’s on my “must get” list.

  60. Mrs. Rachel says:

    This book sounds like just what a new mom with very little crafting time needs! Thanks for the interview.

  61. Cinnamon says:

    I’m desperate to get my hands on this book. Every time I see it I want to sit down and sew something right there!

  62. Mama Lusco says:

    heather’s designs are wonderful! Thanks for sharing with us!

  63. Katie says:

    I got to flip through the book this weekend and can’t wait to pick up my own copy. Lovely.

  64. Anna says:

    I just picked up Weekend Sewing, and I absolutely love it.

  65. Becca B says:

    What a great interview! Thank you!

  66. Beth says:

    Love the interview! really like the ‘beach house wardrobe’ Wish i had one!

  67. Morgan says:

    I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy! Good interview!

  68. Deb V says:

    What a great interview. I am going to have to get my hands on that book.

  69. Amy says:

    Thank you for this. Your blog is such a great way to start the day. I missed out on Far and Away the first time it was offered…can’t wait to try again in a couple of weeks. I think my daughter and I could each use a unicorn skirt!

  70. Darl says:

    I am loving all the PR about this new book, but am a newbie to sewing and need to really give it a thorough browse to see if it’s something I can feel comfortable with (loosely translated…I still need a bit of “hand holding”).

  71. Jessica says:

    Good for you, Heather, for returning to that “swimming downstream” approach and feeling! Will miss your fabrics for sure, love seeing everyone’s Weekend Sewing creations :-).

  72. Cheryl says:

    I just purchased Heather’s book and I just love the projects she has! I’m excited to get sewing on some of them, the dresses are great

  73. lesley says:

    I’ve been waiting patiently til payday to pick up this book…. Love it!

  74. sariah says:

    I’m eagerly awaiting a child-influenced sewing book from Heather! Weekend Sewing was so much fun to read and devour but projects for children are my absolute favorite. Thanks for the great interview.

  75. finnysmama says:

    I’m sold just on the pictures above! Must look to see if our local bookshop has a copy!

  76. Jessica T says:

    Everyone needs an imaginary beach house wardrobe! Also the world definitely needs clothspin people fabric, I (im)paciently await it’s arrival. 🙂

  77. Jenni says:

    I love this book- I bought it as soon as it arrived in my local store. The pictures are beautiful and so inspirational. Hope to retreat one weekend to the sewing room to get started on the awesome projects. Can not wait for her children’s sewing book!

  78. Isobel says:

    I had a dress just like that when I was a little girl – one of my favourites! I’d like to make something like that for my niece.

  79. Brittany says:

    Great interview – I’m really looking forward to getting a copy of this book. Sounds like a lot of fun!

  80. Robyn says:

    Thank you for bringing this book to light for me! I am so excited to order a copy soon!!

  81. Lisa says:

    I love the book! I just got it and can’t wait to get started!

  82. sandra says:

    love how idea are ALWAYS floating in Heather’s head! Love the book hope to soon see another.

  83. min says:

    I agree….go with the flow. I think everything goes full circle in our opinions of what we should be doing. Go with the flow sounds good.

  84. Deb says:

    sounds like a very interesting book with delightful pictures.

  85. Kerri says:

    I love this book by H. R.–the projects are very dear and she comes across as so genuinely nice. AND a twin! Be sure to check her blog for the ‘errata’ updates. Saved my bacon on a couple of projects already. Bravo!

  86. kero says:

    I didn’t even know about this! Can’t wait to try it!

  87. Kris says:

    I’m seeing this book everywhere and it looks so wonderful!

  88. Beth Prince says:

    Thanks for a great interview. I got my copy of Weekend Sewing a few weeks ago and I LOVE IT! Her style and spirit inspire me.

  89. Barb says:

    Thank you so much for this interview. Heather is my favourite designer. I love to hear about the behind the scenes aspects of fabric design.

  90. Emily S says:

    Heather Ross is my favorite fabric designer and i can’t wait to get my hands on the far, far away line!

  91. Charlotte says:

    I sooo need to purchase Heather’s Weekend Sewing book!!! wonderful interview!

  92. katie says:

    Going to amazon to buy right now! Thank goodness for PRIME shipping….only have to wait 2 days!

  93. Libby says:

    Love Weekend Sewing.

  94. Jen V says:

    I’m looking forward to the sewing for your children project! My son is the thankful recipient of the majority of my projects and is a generous model in return! Thanks for the great interview.

  95. Michelle says:

    I just love the images and simplicity of all the patterns I’ve seen from this book so far. I don’t own it *yet*, but I plan to fix that pretty soon!

  96. i just received my copy of this book a few days ago and can’t wait to start sewing!

  97. Liz says:

    What beautiful pictures! I always enjoy reading your interviews and getting other peoples’ perspectives on sewing and inspiration.

  98. Hilary says:

    Thanks for the great interview!

  99. Francis C. Moore says:

    I must check out this book on Amazon. Francis Moore

  100. Andi says:

    Another inspiring interview! It’s always fun to “meet” a designer. Thanks!

  101. Mel says:

    Beautiful photos & beautiful prose. I’m loving the writing style, so visual, it’s inspired me to buy the book.

  102. Tanya Barrett says:

    Interested to see the sewing for children book… I hope it will have some stuff geared towards boys! I have three of em!

  103. stacie says:

    I love the new fabrics. Just a little afraid of them:) Not sure what to make… I’m sure I will think of something! On my way to check out the Flickr page.

  104. Kristin says:

    I love these project books. They are wonderful to learn from for new sewing enthusiasts. Thank you.

  105. Christine Bolin says:

    Great fabrics!!

  106. Debbie says:

    The fabric is lovely and the book looks like it has some great ideas.

  107. Ariel says:

    Can’t wait to check out Weekend Sewing….I have a special place in my heart for illustrators and Heather is such a neat gal!

  108. Kara says:

    Thanks for the interview – I have her book and it is great!

  109. Sylvie says:

    I really like Heather’s fabrics and her book looks great. I’ll be sure to pick my copy of that one!

  110. Pat says:

    I love quick and simple and that seams to be the theme of Heather’s new book. I checked out out the display pages and they are so inspiring, I would like to add this book to my collection. Thanks Heather.

  111. Frogdancer says:

    Thanks for this interview. Just the thing to read over my first cup of coffee for the day.

  112. Shellyfish says:

    I have this book on my wish list – looks so relaxed and fun!

  113. Ayelet D says:

    Thanks for the interview and good luck Heather on your sewing books!


  114. lesley says:

    fantastic, i absolutely love heather ross’ fabrics + weekend sewing. i am so busy at the moment setting up a small business and sewing in all my spare time, but i can’t wait till i can catch a moment to sew something for myself and my babes from this beautiful book. thanks for the continued inspiration!

  115. Amber says:

    I have been hearing so much about the book. I really need to grab one for myself!

  116. Ariane says:

    I love this book. This was a great interview. I’m excited to see her up and coming books. Ariane

  117. Roseanne says:

    I can’t wait to get my hands on this book! And the next book she mentioned sounds great! I sew for my kids more then anyone else! Who else would I invest so much time in?

  118. Krista says:

    I think I’ll adopt the flowing-downstream-with-current philosophy myself and cut out all this against the current nonsense – I need a breather and this book looks like a great place to start!

  119. Shawna says:

    I can’t wait to get my hands on some of that fabric! It’s so much fun!

  120. KZ says:

    I love this book and am already planning to make several things from it.

  121. truedrue says:

    Twice now I have come across this book, picked it up, browsed, but refrained from purchasing it. Too many books end up just sitting on my shelf so I try not to buy unless I’ve gotten good reviews about it first. Next time I see it though… I’m getting it!

  122. Tina Kay says:

    I really would like to be inspired to make a wordorb in a couple of weekends. I cannot wait to get her book. I am sorry that I missed out on her fabrics though.
    It was nice getting to know her better.

    Tina Kay

  123. Jennifer says:

    oh no! heather won’t be designing fabric for a while?!?! i LOVE her fabric! guess i’ll have to stock up on it now and hoard it. like so many other fabrics that i can’t bear to cut up. 🙂

  124. Tabitha says:

    My book should be coming soon, too!

  125. Barbara Sindlinger says:

    I just got my order with some of her Mendocina fabrics and it’s kind of cool to know a little about the person who designed it. I look forward to her book.

  126. Trudie says:

    I can’t wait to read this book and get started on my weekend sewing! Okay, so I’ll have to modify it to “Sewing a couple hours at a time while my kids nap”. But at least it’s a couple of hours, right?!

  127. Heather O says:

    Oh wow! I would love to see a sewing book geared towards children from Heather! When I think of Heather i think of whimiscal, freedom, playful. It always puts a smile on my face. I am so happy to see her go back to her roots. Yea!!!!!

  128. amy says:

    Great interview! I have heard lots of great things about Heather’s book!

  129. Marissa says:

    I’m excited to see what else Heather does!

  130. Margie says:

    I gotta get this book. I love all your fabrics & patterns Heather! Great interview.

  131. Carrie says:

    Absolutely gorgeous fabrics. I love the little dress too!

  132. Angela C. says:

    This book is on my wishlist. Thanks for the giveaways.

    accoupons at gmail dot com

  133. Kendall says:

    I love interviews with designers–you get such a great image of who they are and how they work. It gives me an even better connection with her fabric and inspires me to get my hands on some (as well as her book) and start creating.

  134. Kristine in WA says:

    Does it count that Im drooling over the book and dont even have it in my hot little hands yet? Thanks for the great interview, Im so inspired!

  135. Shawna says:

    I really want to get this book! I have it in my cart on Amazon but haven’t bought it yet…

  136. Hana says:

    The more I see this book reviewed and interviews about it, the more I think I want it!

  137. Nova437 says:

    I’ve got my copy!

  138. craftytammie says:

    I was sad to learn she wouldn’t be designing fabrics too, but happy to hear about new books on the way! I’m in total love with the unicorns – she needn’t have worried 🙂

  139. Beth says:

    Oh, how I need to get my hands on Heather’s book! Everything looks fabulous!

  140. Southern Gal says:

    I love Heather’s fabrics. I need to get her book!

  141. Grand dad says:

    Unicorns or donkeys…both are festive for a special birthday outfit. Would enjoy the new rotary cutter also. thanks!

  142. Mary on Lake Pulaski says:

    Great interview. It will be fun to see what Heather will be making with the double gauze.

  143. jess says:

    i’m so glad it’s spring, but that picture still makes me want to pick apples…

  144. Lynn says:

    I love heather’s stuff, and am so excited so see that she is definitely open to writing more sewing books. I LOVE weekend sewing!

  145. Laura says:

    It looks like there are some really neat patterns in that book!

  146. Pam says:

    I love Heather Ross and her fabric. Now I have to go out and bye the book. Thanks for the interview.

  147. DebbieKL says:

    Love that womens skirt! I’ve been looking for a pattern.

  148. Sarah S says:

    I can’t wait to make some things from this book…so many fantastic projects!

  149. Amber says:

    What a wonderful interview. I love Heather’s book and her fabrics and can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!

  150. Katie says:

    I’ve heard so much about weekend sewing! I might have to invest….!

  151. Sarah says:

    ooh my favorite things sewnig for children and childrens books.. HORRAY! Now I just have to find a way to live without any more new HR fabrics ;-(

  152. Carolyn says:

    That unicorn fabric is adorable!

  153. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  154. Whistlepea says:

    I just got her book and I love it. I’ve been trying to pinpoint the exact fabric used in the casual shirt / tunic (can’t remember the exact name!) above. Anyone?

  155. Shannon says:

    I need this book!!! Can’t wait for the second one too! I need to put this in my little one’s ears so she can tell daddy:)

  156. Josiane says:

    That was an interesting interview: it was great that you went beyond simply talking about the book, and it was nice also to get a glimpse of Heather’s personality showing through her answers to your questions.

  157. Sherri says:

    Good luck Heather on your sewing books. They should be great!

  158. Michelle says:

    Thanks for sharing this interview. Heather Ross is one talented lady. I think I need to get my hands on this Weekend Sewing book!

  159. Kaye Prince says:

    I love Heather Ross! She is so creative and super-inspiring, thanks for the interview!

  160. Bethany says:

    Great interview! I love the comment about the “imaginary beach house wardrobe”! I wish I had one…and a real beach house to go with it!

  161. Michele says:

    I am in love with this book! I received my copy in the mail last week and cannot wait to give it a try!

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