Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Interview: Victory Patterns

Do you remember when I told you I was VERY excited about my next guest on the blog?
Well, I'm really really happy to have Kristiann from Victory Patterns to talk to us about her new awesome pattern line. I have discovered these beautiful patterns thanks to Lizz, Marie and a few other bloggers (they really are the latest love of the blogosphere!) and I've fallen in love immediately.
If you haven't heard of them already, I assure you they're worth checking out (I myself could not resist and I've almost finished sewing the first garment from one of these patterns).
In the meantime, enjoy discovering more about the mind behind these gorgeous designs!

Introduce yourself: tell us something about where you live, your origins, hobbies, etc.
I’m originally from Trinidad. When I was three my family moved to Scotland and eventually to Alberta and then to Toronto, where I live now. LOTS of moving!
I have too many hobbies for my own good and too many other things I want to learn how to do. I love textile design, working with leather, baking and cooking. I want to learn how to make jewelry and build furniture, take lovely photos and I really want to find more time to paint, draw and read, but time isn’t my friend.

How did you start your pattern line, Victory Patterns?
While teaching I noticed that there was a real lack of selection of patterns. Sewing and DIY is really growing and it was encouraging to see that as it convinced me that creating a pattern line might be a viable business idea. I have a background in fashion design, and I wanted to create stylish patterns that felt a bit like a clothing line.

How did you choose the name of your shop?
That was haaard! I thought about it for so long. I always have a hard time naming things. My cat's name is Kitty! I thought about the expressions and the feeling that my students have when they have learnt something new or completed something that they’re proud of. I did some brainstorming on words associated with that feeling and came up with “Victory”. I like that is sounded a bit classic as well, so I went with it.

Do you have formal training (art, design, sewing, etc.)?
I studied fashion design at Ryerson University here in Toronto and have worked in a number of areas in the industry. I also teach sewing and drafting which helps when writing the instructions because I can imagine the questions my students would ask as I go through writing each step.

As for the techy stuff, I have a genius brother, who managed to help me wrap my not so tech savvy brain around a few design programs that I needed to use to create the patterns. It was a really fun learning curve and a welcome challenge.

Do your creations support you economically?
I just launched the pattern line a month ago, so I’m sure it will take a while for me to say with confidence that it could support me. However, things have really picked up in the past few weeks. If the momentum continues, I might be able to work full time on it sooner that later. For the time being I teach in a few studios as well as privately, and I take on freelance projects. 

What are your main sources of inspiration? 
Each time I design I try to focus on a theme as much as possible which takes me down a new road of inspiring sources. But overall I love really interesting pattern drafting or fabric manipulation techniques. I’m very inspired by garment details, complex cuts and draping techniques, and by techniques and designs of vintage clothing.

What are the main satisfactions you get from your shop?
Every time I open my email it’s exciting. It’s so great seeing the positive comments that people write, or that sales are steadily coming in. It’s such a satisfying feeling that people are responding positively to something that I created. It’s still really new so I’m excited to see the creations that people make with these patterns.
How and where do you advertise your business?
I currently don’t advertise. So far people seems to find out about the patterns through blogs, Pinterest, Etsy, or word of mouth.
Do you have any advice for who wants to sell or already sells online?
I’m way too new at this to give seasoned advice, but I think the important thing is to create a beautiful, quality product that you believe in. If you’re going to have anyone working with you, it helps if their heart is in the project too. I’m starting to read about writing for online, and I think if you’re going to have an online business, it’s worth understanding how to optimize your site. (I got the Yahoo! Style Guide for Christmas and it’s great!!)


  1. Yay! I'm so glad it's all going well. The patterns are beautiful and you can see all the effort that goes into them. Can't wait for more!

  2. I'm happy to read more about Kristiann - thanks for doing this interview. I just cut out Chloe this afternoon and I'm so excited - even the muslin looked good. Her patterns are very thoughtfully made and a tremendous value! I recommend them highly!

  3. I love knowing more about the people who develop independent patterns, now I just have to figure out which pattern to buy!

  4. waaah! Thanks for sharing all your special sewing findings with us Anna! I am right off to the Victory Store! I NEED some new patterns! :)

  5. Ton blog est une mine, tu as toujours des liens géniaux!

  6. Thanks for sharing the interview! I'm so excited about this new line!

  7. Thank you SO much for this! I love all these patterns and am super excited to start buying!

  8. Excellent interview and thanks so much for the mention! I've already bought two Victory Patterns...just need to get busy with sewing them up now. Can't wait!

  9. Amazing interview!! I love all patterns :D
    I've already bought one pattern and now I'm ready to sew! ^__^

  10. Thanks for the interview! Like everyone else I am super excited about Victory Patterns! I was hoping to not buy any patterns/fabric until I use what I have, but these designs are far too tempting.

  11. Great interview, thanks for sharing. Really excited about Victory Patterns - they look so lovely!

  12. Great interview. I didn't know she was from Trinidad, pretty cool. I've already made one of the patterns, the Anouk dress, and it turned out fantastic. I love it! And I'm about to start on a second pattern which I'm sure will work just as smoothly as the first.

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