Our Reflections + Predictions Series continues with Kelli Ward of True Bias. We selected 10 Sewists for 2013 who we felt not only reached new personal highs, but also changed the way we think about sewing, quilting, writing and teaching. Read what our sewists have to say about 2013 and the year ahead: Anna Graham of Noodlehead, Lisa Sipes of That Crazy Quilty Girl, Pat Sloan, Luke Haynes, Victoria Findlay Wolfe of Bumble Beans Inc., Heather Grant from The Modern Quilt Guild + QuiltCon, Vanessa Wilson from Crafty Gemini.
Interested in seeing if any predictions from previous years have come true? You can see them all here.
We’d love to hear from you too! Please answer any or all of our questions on your own blog and share the link to your reflections and predictions in the comments on any of the series posts. We love seeing photos of your sewing this year and we enjoy clicking into your site to learn about what you’re looking forward to in 2014! (The complete set of questions for the series is at the bottom of this post.)
Why we chose Kelli:
We always admired Kelli’s work, but then she entered and won the Super Online Sewing Match and we became Super Fans! Not only is Kelli an incredibly skilled sewist, but she has a fantastic sense of style. Her contest entries represented everything that’s wonderful about home sewing– being able to take a pattern and choose fabrics and make slight modifications to make it fit your style and flatter your body. Every time Kelli posts a new project at True Bias we take notes.
SMS: Looking back on 2013, what trends stand out?
KW: As far as clothing patterns go I feel like there are a couple of trends that really stand out. One of them is the shapeless top. I am totally on board with this trend (and my muffin top agrees!) as it’s flattering and modern while being very easy to sew. A couple of examples are Grainline’s Hemlock Tee and Tessuti’s Fave Top, both of which are free! I just love that they can be worn with both leggings and jeans and are super comfy.
Another exciting trend of 2013 has been the bathing suit. Thanks to Closet Case File’s Bombshell swimsuit pattern tons of newbie swimsuit sewers have given it a go with amazing results. I have it on my must-make list for next year.
Was there a personal or an industry high point?
Winning Sew Mama Sew’s Super Online Sewing Match, of course! Seriously though, this was a big deal for me. Not only did I win an incredible prize, but more importantly it was a huge confidence booster for me. I was just six months postpartum when I started the competition and was in a real sewing funk. This competition not only gave me focus as I prepared for each round, but it also gave me an amazing sense of accomplishment when it seemed like other things in my life were so unpredictable and often discouraging.
What did you make that you’re most proud of?
Going along with the last question, with no contest my It’s A Cinch Tote from the Great Online Sewing Match was by far my favorite make this year. It’s perfectly my style with a balance of natural leather and modern stripes. I use it all of the time and get compliments on it when I do. I am just so proud of the way it turned out.
What was your favorite fabric collection or print?
I have to admit that I don’t keep up with fabric collections, but one fabric experience on my radar this year has been Spoonflower. I love the idea of being able to create one print, but in many different types of fabric. I have spent hours looking through different patterns and am especially crazy about Wiksten’s designs. I am dying to buy a few yards in silk to give it a try.
What are your thoughts about social media? How is it going for you? What do you love or hate?
I opened both a Facebook page and an Instagram account just for my blog this year and I have been especially smitten by Instagram. I have had a personal account for awhile, but often felt embarrassed to post about the little crafts I was always making or selfies every time that I wore something that I made. Now that I have one just for my blog I have LOVED being able to share all of the small DIY/sewing-related elements of my life with people who are obsessed with those things too. All of the little things could never make it to the blog so it’s a great way to showcase the creative aspects of my everyday life.
What do you predict for 2014?
As a continuation of 2013 I predict even more independent pattern designers on the scene and a greater acceptance of PDF downloadable patterns. I love all of these small, boutique style pattern companies popping up, all with their own unique style and personality. I say the more the merrier! I have been happy to see that more and more of them are offering their patterns as PDF downloads too. I know that this has been controversial (ready to cut vs. print at home patterns), but I am a big fan of the PDF/print at home option. I prefer to assemble a pattern instead of tracing it, and I like the option of keeping a digital master on my computer instead of storing a paper pattern. I think this medium also allows a lot more pattern designers to enter the market without as much overhead which is a big plus in my book.
Can you tell us anything about what to expect from you in 2014? Any projects or life-changing goals you can share?
This year I started taking classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology in patternmaking. I took a few patternmaking classes years ago as an undergrad, but am so excited to be focusing on it once again. One of my big goals for 2014 is to release one independent pattern through my blog. I already have the design in place and am now working on turning it into a universal pattern. I just want to make sure that it is perfect before I do. My goal is April, but it’s a pretty loose deadline so we will have to see.
Is there anything else about the sewing industry or community that you’d like to talk about?
I am super excited about all of the meet ups that I am starting to see happen. As nice as it is to sit safely behind a screen and blog the things that I make and think about, it’s been amazing to finally meet some of the people that I “know” through blogging in person. I have had the opportunity this year to shop the garment district here in NYC with some of my favorite bloggers and I can honestly say that each of them is even greater in person than I could have imagined. I feel so blessed to be a part of this community
We’d love to hear from you! Please answer any or all of our questions on your own blog and share the link to your reflections and predictions in the comments on any of the series posts. We love seeing photo collages of your sewing this year and we enjoy clicking into your site to learn about what you’re looking forward to in 2014! Here are the questions we sent the Sewists of the Year:
- Looking back on 2013, what trends stand out?
- Was there a personal or an industry high point?
- What did you make that you’re most proud of?
- Whose work inspired or awed you?
- What was your favorite fabric collection or print?
- Do you have a book, pattern or class from the past year to recommend?
- What are your thoughts about social media? How is it going for you? What do you love or hate?
- What do you predict for 2014? (It could be related to style, social media, manufacturing, etc.)
- Who do you think will be a rising star of 2014?
- Can you tell us anything about what to expect from you in 2014? Any projects or life-changing goals you can share?
- Is there anything else about the sewing industry or community that you’d like to talk about? (It could be good or bad, but hopefully constructive.)