The internet is a funny place — sometimes you find a site written by someone clear across the country, but you just KNOW that if you lived in the same town with that person, you’d be best friends. That’s how I feel about Louise Edu of Design Stitch Go! My blogger pal MJ pulled Louise and I together to collaborate on a blog hopping project and, immediately, I sort of fell in love with Louise. She’s witty, warm, hilarious and crazy talented. Totally my kind of girl. I loved Louise’s first blog, Laid Off Mom, but I’m incredibly excited about her new site, Design Stitch Go! I am so envious of the gorgeous creations she pulls together for her girls — I mean, really, she pretty much deserves an award for sewing up a Princess Elsa costume, am I right?
1. Tell us a little about yourself and your site.
I’m a thirty-something stay at home mom/blogger/apparel designer/costume designer… slash dreamer… slash wanna-be-entrepreneur… slash future world dominator… hehehe. “Design Stitch Go!” recently came about after 2 years of blogging at my previous blog, “Laid Off Mom.” It’s a space where everything I do is purely design and sewing related. I share apparel that I’ve made, tutorials + tips on sewing + pattern making, sketches, words of wisdom, etc.. Having previously worked in the costume + apparel industry, I learned a lot, and my heart just keeps getting bigger when it comes to design. Not a day goes by where I’m not sketching or touching my sewing machine.
2. How long have you had your site?
Design Stitch Go! is actually fairly new. I did a soft launch back in January after I realized that my heart wasn’t fully invested in my previous blog, “Laid Off Mom.” I guess you could say I outgrew Laid Off Mom, and I wanted to focus all my energy on one specific love, rather than bounce back + forth with so many different things. Design pretty much trumped crafting, lifestyle + cooking. So by Oct/Nov of 2013, my heart pretty much said “Hey Laid Off Mom, it’s been real, but I gotta go…see ya!” I took a couple months to really think about + conceptualize the new blog, and by December, Design Stitch Go! went live.
3. When did you start sewing and who taught you?
I can remember vividly when I first learned how to hand sew. It was in first grade, and someone at school taught us how to make puppets. It was my first real taste of sewing at such a young age, and after that, I would steal socks out of our dresser drawer and make funky lil’ Barbie clothes. It was not until high school when I learned how to use a sewing machine properly. That year, I remember making a top, a pillow and shorts. Then for senior prom, I actually designed my dress and had it made. I think I still have that dress tucked away somewhere.
4. Your projects, especially that gingham coat, are adorable. Where does your inspiration come from?
Well, I can’t totally take credit for that gingham coat. It’s an Oliver + S pattern… one of my favorite go-to pattern companies for my littles, actually. But my inspiration comes mainly from previous time periods (mainly the Victorian era + the roaring 20’s, paintings, and different cultures… right now I’m in awe with Korean fashion.) There’s a bravery and brightness in their style, and I love how form and function play a role as well. I’m also captivated by landscape. I can be on a road trip, or even somewhere as simple as the park, when inspiration strikes. I never leave home w/out a notebook just in case my light bulb goes off.
5. From idea to completed piece, how long does a project typically take you?
Depending on the difficulty of the project, I can finish something as early as 2 days, from concept to finished garment… and sometimes I can take months to complete 1 piece if it’s very detailed, or if I keep changing my mind!
6. What’s your most/least favorite sewing technique?
Gah! My least favorite thing to do is setting in a zipper! Even after all these years, I still get so nervous + anxious about them. I’m pretty sure all zippers have it out for me!
7. Can you tell us about a sewing catastrophe you’ve experienced?
Oh gawd… I’ve had my share! Cutting out pattern pieces on the wrong grain, cutting out 2 pieces when I was supposed to cut on a fold, or running out of fabric. One time, instead of cutting just the excess thread, I snipped a big hole in a dress that was almost finished! Ahh! So horrible!!
8. What are some of your favorite projects of all time and why?
My heart will always belong to all the Disney inspired princess dresses I’ve made for my girls. I love taking the character that my girls see on the screen and turning it into something tangible for them!
These are some of my recent princesses:
… and of course, you can’t forget the most recent princess …
9. What’s next in the pipeline for Design Stitch Go!? Can you give us teasers or hints?
There’ll definitely be lots of project sharing and tutorials for sure! I recently did a post on how to take proper measurements of your little munchkins, and sometime soon, I’ll be posting about how to create bodice slopers for your little ones, based on those measurements.
And while I haven’t been pushing my etsy store, I’m planning to finish setting up shop + start selling patterns in addition to apparel I’m designing and sewing myself.
I developed a size 5 pattern for a dress recently that I’m grading down into a size 3 + 4, so I’m crossing fingers that I will have those finished and up for purchase soon.
I have a plan, but then again, I don’t. I feel like I wanna see where Design Stitch Go! + the etsy shop will take me and then branch out from there. Leading with heart + passion… that’s my plan!
10. I love your posts on the heritage costumes! Tell us more about the costumes, the event and your role. Such a great story..
Yess! So I was approached last October by a group of great Filipino moms at school, asking if my oldest daughter Annalise would like to participate in a traditional Filipino dance for the Heritage Fair at school.
The Heritage Fair is an event where children + parents from different cultures/backgrounds represent their country’s traditions and stories. It’s a really great event because you always learn something new about the people you see everyday at school. And it instills pride in the children, knowing where they come from and proudly displaying it to the community and their classmates.
Enter me. I wanted to offer help to the moms who organized the whole Filipino dance group, so I just simply told them, “Hey, I can sew if you guys need help.” They didn’t know that I had previous design experience, and it was actually supposed to be a group effort. I’d make the patterns, cut out the fabric, and they’d help me sew. But everything seemed to flow so smoothly on my end, I decided to take on the whole task and not bother the other moms who were already busy with other preparations. I finished 6 complete looks, with 3 pieces each. Here’s the link to the post.
I was actually a lil’ nervous at the beginning that I had taken on a big project, but everything went incredibly well! The girls looked great, and they were actually able to use the costumes again for their Talent Show!
Thanks so much, Louise! Considering that my own daughter shares her first name with Disney’s newest Princess, I see a whole lot of Elsa-inspired glory in our near future, and now I know exactly who can guide me along the way. And P.S. — The whole cutting a hole in a just finished project? Yup, been there, done that. Sometimes it takes a while to laugh off a #diyfail, but I’m glad to hear I’m in good company!
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