Thursday, May 18, 2017

Designer Spotlight-- Emma of Emkie Designs

Today's Spotlight Designer is Emma from Emkie Designs:

Emkie Designs offers a range of fabulous PDF Sewing Patterns, many with the confident beginner in mind. Emkie’s Patterns aim to teach you new skills while giving you a professional finish. Emkie Designs Patterns are all fun as well as being completely functional.

Emma’s designs are easy to follow sewing patterns that allow the user to create original and professional handbags. All Emkie Designs Patterns include a vast amount of color photographs alongside the written instructions. 

How long have you been sewing and what inspired you to start designing your own patterns?
I've been sewing since 2011. When I was pregnant with my first son (T), Hubby and I walked into a quilt shop because I had seen this beautiful toy in the window. I walked past all the fabric grabbed the toy and asked how much it was – I was promptly told it wasn’t for sale, but I could purchase the pattern and make my own. I looked at all the patterns they had in store and ended up choosing a different one to the toy that had originally grabbed my attention, I paid for it and walked out of the shop. Later, I read the pattern and thought “I can do this!” I borrowed my mothers unused sewing machine that had been sitting in the cupboard for the last 20 odd years and taught myself to sew on it. After a short time and using a Melly and Me pattern, “Dilbert” was born and he waited patiently for the little baby in my tummy to arrive and love him. After finishing this project I realised I had discovered a new passion and hobby in sewing.
In the years that followed I started a business selling my originally designed toys as well as sewing things for friends and family, but when I became pregnant with my second son (M) I shut that business down...I didn't have the energy for it anymore.
Prior to becoming a stay at home mum, I was a teacher - I am trained in Contemporary Arts and Psychology, and I taught in schools for 9 yrs (teaching teenagers). When I was pregnant with M, I decided to combine my love for sewing, teaching and handbags (I have always had a love of handbags, I used to buy a new bags all the time when I had a disposable income – lol!), and try my hand at pattern writing!  I had already designed my own original toys, but because of my love for handbags, I found this new direction much more inspiring!  The rest, as they say, is history ;)
If you want to read more about my story you can do so here:

What do you love most about your job?
There are a few things I love....
I love bringing new designs to life – often they have been alive in my head for such a long time it's nice when I can finally hold them in the flesh!
I love seeing other sewist's create using my patterns, I love seeing the fantastic bags they make and I especially love how proud they are of their creations!
I also love that I can work around my children and spend quality time with them. 

What is the hardest part of the design process for you?
I don't really enjoy the editing process that takes place after a pattern has been tested – lol, does anyone?!
The testing process is such an important part of bring a new pattern out, but the editing required after this lengthy precess can be tedious, especially when you just want to share your new pattern with the world ;)

What do you enjoy doing when you aren't working?
I like spending time with my family, reading, watching TV and sewing other projects that may or may not be bags ;)

What is your favorite pizza topping?
Pineapple on a margarita pizza – yummmmmm :)

What is your favorite thing about bag making?
Topstitching that last seam!  You can finally see all your hard work come to fruition.

What is your least favorite part of bag making?
Cutting and Interfacing.  Worst. Part. Of. Bag Making. Ever!

Is there a pattern of yours that is your favorite?
Yes I have favourites, but there isn't just one I love best...I have 3 favourites, I love the Peekaboo Clutch, the Hippo Hobo, and the Ingenious Tote.

What is your favorite pattern by another designer?
Oh tough one!  I really enjoyed making Mrs H's Saddlebag, and still use it quite often :)

What is your favorite snack?
Well if you had asked me a year ago I would have to have said Hot Chocolate as I had about 3 a day...but I haven't had one since September 2016 when I gave up sugar!  Right now my favourite snack is cheese on crackers – not very fun I know, but healthier than what I used to have because there is a lot less sugar ;)

What is your favorite piece of bag hardware?
Another tough question – you really know how to ask them!
I'm going to say rivets as they can really make an ordinary bag look extraordinary while often being functional too.

What machine do you sew on most often?
I sew on a JUKI TL-98P and love it!

What advice would you give to someone who is new to bag making?
I always say, “Give it a go!  You'll probably fall in love with it and won't be able to stop!”  I have had a fair few people make my patterns as their first forage into bag making, and I am so pleased to have helped them catch the bug ;)  If you need a little extra advice recently I published a series of posts for beginner bag makers, so check out the tutorials section on my blog to find out more

Who is your favorite fabric designer?
Can I really only choose one?! 
I fall in love with pretty much every range Katarina Roccella brings out.  I usually purchase my favourites and then hoard them for anything I deem a “special” project.  But I am trying to get better at actually using them, and not just patting them – lol ;)

What is the best compliment you've received as a designer?
The best compliment I could ever receive as a designer is people are enjoying my patterns.

How organized is your sewing space?
It's not very organised most of the time!  I have quite a small space, you can view it here: Because it is so small I try to keep it relatively organised, but it often does get out of hand and need a clean up before I can work.

Are you a mess maker or everything in its place kind of person?
I make a MESS and then usually have to clean it all up before I can start something new...I can't actually work very well in mess – lol!

What is your favorite color?
PINK! I love love love pink :)

What is your favorite thing to listen to while working?
I watch Netflix while I sew, ok so I listen to Netflix while I sew ;) I try not to choose something too exciting or no work actually gets done ;)

Is there anything you wish others knew about you or what you do?
I sometimes wish people knew how much work goes into my patterns.  I often will re-write a pattern numerous times until I'm happy with the look of it.  I also always use my bags for 4 to 6 weeks to ensure they function as I want them too.  After I'm happy with the look and the functionality of the bag, then the pattern can be written and sent to testing. So the whole process for me can take a really long time, 6-8 weeks is the minimum.

How do you make sure that your patterns are accessible to bagineers?
All my patterns are available via immediate download, and can be printed on a home printer.
I also sell my patterns on numerous platforms, my website:
and on Craftsy:

How do you promote your work?
I am most active on Instagram, on Facebook and in my Facebook group  I also blog at and I have an email list you can sign up for if your interested

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Reece said...

I love the story of how Emma got into sewing!

dalla nonna said...

What a creative gal!

Unknown said...

So interesting. love her work.