Saturday, May 20, 2017

Designer Spotlight-- Christine of Chris W Designs





Today's Spotlight Designer is Christine from Chris W Designs:



Chris W Designs provides unique and easy to follow patterns for all levels of sewing. Christine's patterns are incredibly detailed and thorough, you'll be amazed at the professional results that you can get from follow a Chris W pattern! Christine is also a Bag of the Month designer, and is this June's designer. I can't wait to see what gorgeous design she comes up with. 


Let's learn a little bit more about Christine:




How long have you been sewing and what inspired you to start designing your own patterns? 
I have been sewing for as long as I can remember. When I was a child, my mum was always sewing clothes and things for our home and she was the one who taught me how to sew. She inspired me to try new techniques.  

The very first bag I ever made was such a chore simply because of poorly written instructions. It didn’t even have any punctuation and one sentence just flowed into the next! That was such a battle! I made myself a pact to one day design and write bag patterns that anyone can follow. After that first attempt, I made many bags. Some were from free patterns and some from purchased patterns but many were my own experiments to learn as much as I could about making bags. 

What do you love most about your job?  
Definitely the designing part of my job. I really love working out different ways to do things and designing different features and pocket types which are unique….at least for a while! 

What is the hardest part of the design process for you?  
Knowing when to stop with adding features! I just love pockets and special features in a bag so I really need to remind myself that not everyone likes to make bags that take forever to make because of a ton of features! 

What do you enjoy doing when you aren't working? 
Sleeping! 

What is your favorite pizza topping?  
None! I am allergic to cheese so pizza is off the menu! 

What is your favorite thing about bag making? 
Designing! But other than that, attaching the strap at the end and carrying a new, fun bag that nobody else has one of the same! 

What is your least favorite part of bag making? 
Cutting out! A ton of features means a ton of cutting! I would love to find a cutting fairy hiding in my studio! 

Is there a pattern of yours that is your favorite 
My wallet, The Penny Inn. It took me ages to figure out how to make it have so many pockets and still be something you can sew on most machines. 

What is your favorite pattern by another designer? 
Gosh…..The NCW. Who doesn’t love that pattern! 

What is your favorite snack? 
Potato Crisps! (Chris sniffs Smiths Crisps –Try saying that FAST! LOL) 

What is your favorite piece of bag hardware? 
Rivets! 

What machine do you sew on most often? 
A Bernina QE550 

What advice would you give to someone who is new to bag making? 
Don’t be frightened to push your boundaries! Take your time to make your bag. It’s not meant to be a race to the finish line! Enjoy the process, read over the instructions to get the bigger picture but then tackle your bag one step at a time. Trust the designer’s instructions, even if you don’t ‘get it’! It’s much less daunting that way and before you know it, it’s done! 

Who is your favorite fabric designer?  
Good question! I really don’t have one! I hoard fabric from everywhere and everyone!  

What is the best compliment you've received as a designer?  
“WOW I can’t believe I made this myself!” 

How organized is your sewing space? Are you a mess maker or everything in its place kind of person? 

I am an “Everything in its place” person…..until I have started my next project…..then I make the BIGGEST mess imaginable 

What is your favorite color? 

My favourite colour is green BUT I rarely use it in my bag making. 

What is your favorite thing to listen to while working?  

Country Music 

Is there anything you wish others knew about you or what you do? 

I pour my heart and soul into my bag making. Designing bags that are fun and unique is important to me, as is providing the best quality pattern I possibly can. It takes me a ridiculous amount of time to write and test my bag patterns, especially my Advanced ones or ones that have a lot of features. My pattern PDF’s are long, not because they are difficult but because they contain a lot of options and details many other patterns don’t. In fact the opposite is true, those things make it easier to make a more complicated design! Unfortunately, some people just look at the length of the PDF and assume it must be difficult without even looking at its content. That’s something I wish people would know about what I do. It’s not as hard as it looks!  


How do you make sure that your patterns are accessible to bagineers? How do you promote your work? 

I provide a couple of free patterns on my website for people to try so they can see if they like my style of pattern writing. I sell my patterns solely as PDF’s via my website and a number of other online outlets such as E-purse Patterns, Etsy and Craftsy. Promotion is via word of mouth, Facebook and Instagram. I also have a newsletter which you can sign up for on my website. Newsletter subscribers get 20% off all new pattern releases. 



Check out Christine's latest pattern, The Ellen's Esplanade:



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10 comments:

dalla nonna said...

I really enjoy Christine's Instagram Tips on Bag Making, too. There are thousands of new "bagineers" - which is GREAT but it makes me sad to see pics when the bag isn't sewn well. I hope that people are reading her IG posts and learning from them Folks are jumping into the deep end of the pool before they can swim well. One can always learn - Christine's well-written patterns can help bagineers to sew better bags.

Ronkie said...

I really loved learning more about Christine. I loved making the Penny Inn. She's right, making a bag is as simple as following each step, until you have finished it. That way it will turn out like it is supposed to.

Judith Clauss said...

Christine is an awesome designer with patterns that are well written and easy to follow. Loved learning some new things about her in this post.

Karen said...

Christine's patterns are all so unique and very useful. I really appreciate well designed patterns that really work for me. Great interview!

Terry Lerner said...

Love the Spotlight on designers learning about one of my favourite designers. Love the Carriers Conquest especially the name it was a conquest to finish it.

Daryl @ Patchouli Moon Studio said...

As a bag tester for Christine I do know a lot about her, but didn't know her favorite snack or that she is allergic to cheese, lol! Her patterns are well written and her bags are the best!

Pam Vaughan said...

My first bag making experience was with Christine. Thanks for making the interview interesting. Imagine, Green is her favorite color!

serger said...

I really appreciate a well written pattern. Make the task of making a bag so much more enjoyable Less frustration and less time trying to figure out what the next step is. Thank you

Kelsey Keeney said...

Love these designs. Always so visually interesting.

Norma's Bag Boutique said...

I'm proud to call Christine a friend even when we've never met. I'm one of her testers. Every time she makes a new bag pattern I'm amazed on how her brain works. She really puts a lot of engineering behind each pattern. She includes new techniques and features that I love!!!