Tag Archives: patterns

Catching up – Not running behind! And cup sizes..

Wow. I made it to March 13 before I was able to do a new blog post. I hope you guys are still there?

{It's still winter-ish out. But we have started spring inside}

{It’s still winter-ish out. But we have started spring inside – that’s Chocolate Beauty Chili in the white pot.}

I have been sick. And that made me stress out – and that made me more sick. SO I am now doing my daily meditations, trying not to feel behind schedule and practising taking time of in week-ends and evenings (while still making money). I even took up my knitting again. And I started a lot of seeds inside (gardening always relaxes me). So I just want to tell you that I’m OK but I also want to remind everyone that it is very important to let your body slow down and relax!

Enough about my health!

Let’s talk about sizing:

When I did that survey in January, one of the things a lot of you (actually 56.7 %!)  told me that you are most frustrated with in regards to sewing, is the process of fitting a pattern. Since there are so many different body types and so many different curves, you will always have to fit any pattern – even if it’s just adjusting the side seams, but I can do something to help you: I have been considering drafting some of my patterns for several bust sizes, to eliminate the need for FBA‘s for a lot of people. I was taught to draft for a B-cup size – and this is what most pattern companies do (those in Europe, anyway, I don’t know much about the American pattern drafting systems). Since I use a C cup myself, I always alter (or redraft) for that cup size anyway, and it occurred to me that you guys might be interested in buying a C-cup (or D cup) pattern that already had taken care of the FBA? Would you?

I can’t promise you perfect fit right out of the package (still might be shoulder slopes to fix, and side seams might also need adjusting..), but you would have a better starting point if you wear a C or a D cup.


{Sneak Peak of my next pattern, coming next week. It's a simple knit dress with back darts and neckline and sleeve edges. Do you have any ideas for the name?}

{Sneak Peak of my next pattern, coming next week. It’s a simple knit dress with back darts and neckline and sleeve edges. Do you have any ideas for the name?}

At first I wondered if I should just design for a C-cup – and change the sizing of my patterns all together. A lot of other independent pattern designers design for C-cups (it’s apparently the most common cup size now, unlike 20 years ago, when the B-cup was the most common size, so it makes sense) so it wouldn’t be revolutionary or anything. But then I thought: What about those people who wear A or B cups? They would have to do Small Bust Adjustments, then…

So now I’m wondering. Would it be worth my while, do you think, to offer patterns drafted for different cup sizes ?? (I’m thinking B and C for now. Would also consider a D cup pattern, even though that will be more complicated – I just need a fitting model of that size:-))


Sneak Peaks and Thank Yous

First of all – sorry for my absence. A mean bug decided to invade me and I have been sick (yes, really, not just ill) for over a week. It’s the kind of bug that’ll let you think you are okay then BAM drag you bag to bed. I think I’m better now, knock on wood. This post was partly written when the bug hit, and now I’m just going to post it..

Wow! You guys are amazing! Amazing!

Here I go and post two posts in a row asking to give me your opinions. And not only do I get a lot of answers. I get really well thought out answers that I can totally use when figuring out how to focus my energies and what to work towards.

Thank you!


{A new pattern on the way... Guesses?}

{A new pattern on the way… Guesses?}

I will post some results when I have them properly analysed and thought about them. But let me just tell you. I’m thinking I should continue to make fitting instructions with the patterns – because fitting must be the biggest frustration for sewers today – and there is really no need for that. It’s just techniques that can be learned.

So January has been for accounting, planning, translating, teaching and considering. February is still translating and teaching and planning and NEW PATTERNS!

{Smocking on a waistband... Could it be stylish lounge trousers?}

{Smocking on a waistband… Could these be stylish lounge trousers?}

I get a tiny bit distracted with new design ideas basicly all the time, but a meeting with my mentor made me realize that while inspiration is good, it will not let me finish products to sell if I get sidetracked. So I should sketch and describe any new idea, but really try to hold on to what I’m working on and my production plan.

Right now I’m finishing up two patterns – and making my first version of a third pattern I’m considering to release (one of those that just popped into my head).

{A toile}

{A toile}

I’ll be back soon with some FOs and a pattern release…

To Print Or Not To Print

When I started making plans for being an independent pattern designer, I didn’t consider printing my patterns and selling them in an envelope at all.

First of all, I thought it was impossible, financially. I would have to get a loan and not even being sure I could pay it back… well. I didn’t want to go there.


7his has absolutely nothing to do with the post, but it's a sample I did for a class. I started out w 2 pieces of fabric + a zipper}

{This has absolutely nothing to do with the post, but it’s a sample I did for a class. I started out w 2 pieces of fabric + a zipper}

Second, I’ve always felt that the one thing I wanted for my patterns to be unique or just special, would be the thorough instructions. Illustrated with clear photos, and even including fitting advise. With printed patterns, this can’t really be done, because it’s too expensive to print colour photos and to have many pages in the instructions, which is needed for them to truly show step-by-step sewing.

Third, I believe that it’s better (and a lot faster!) for the environment – and for the business to ship via the cheap and energy efficient internet shipping (hah!) than via a more unreliable postal service. And I do believe we will see more and more pdf patterns until they are the norm – and I do want to (and believe I am on the way) be among the first businesses to rely on pdf patterns as an stable income.

{.. I stitched a couple of seams..}

{.. I stitched a couple of seams..}

So. Why do I write that? Well.

A lot of people have written me asking me to print my patterns. And then there was a big talk on Twitter about it. And I got contacted by someone who will actually be able to print smaller amounts (usual minimum is 1000) at a fair price. And then I started thinking.

If people want printed patterns, maybe I can print some, with as detailed instructions as I have room for, and maybe B&W pics, and then give a link and a code to full colour (and fully detailed) instructions?!  What do you think?

{..and then I turned everything and did a few more seams..}

{..and then I turned everything and did a few more seams..}

I can’t do a Kickstarter funding since I’m not a US or UK resident. But I might be able to do a preorder thing that’s working the same way.. I’ll consider (and calculate) a bit more – but I’d love to know what you think!

And you know – I am already selling printed patterns. They are not my own design (but I have translated the instructions), and the instructions are not as thorough as the ones I do. But both the other brands (namely ONION and MiniKrea) are Danish designed patterns, in much the same design philosophy as I use.. And they come with instructions in English.

I send out newsletters with articles and offers for MariaDenmark patterns as well as Onion and MiniKrea (for instance – every month, a new ONION pattern is 25% off – this Month it’s an easy-to-sew jacket or coat.) You can sign up for my newsletter here (and in the sidebar):


Boxbag made by MariaDenmark

{..and it ended up being a super cute box bag, which I’m using in the fabric store to have my lotion and tissues etc. close by. Lousy Iphone pic – I apologize. But I do love the colour combination }


Well, I do not claim to be a trendsetter, or even a trend-spotter. But I have gotten pretty good at looking at trends from catwalks and in stores and reading articles and combining and concentrate them to figure out what I think are going to be the big trend items in a season.

I better tell you, that I am sort of picky and a bit conservative (in the known-is-save kind of way) about what I wear and I don’t follow trends blindly. Often it’ll take me a season or two to even like a trend…

Anyway. Here is my compilation of trends for Spring/summer 2012. I’ll link to ONION patterns where appropriate :-):

{Spring 2012 inspiration}

Set from Polyvore.


First of all (and nothing to do with patterns) the fabric and colours:
Orange is big (but soooo not for me to wear) and red continues to be a great colour to wear as an accessory or as a single garment (jeans, a top OR shoes).
We’ll see (and I plan to wear) a lot of Polka dots – especially white/cream dots on red or blue background. Stripes continues to be great. And flowers, of course (but that gets to girly for me:-))

And on the other end of the spectrum – pastels – especially light green and light rose are everywhere. Also lace and eyelet fabric is very in style.

Also, and this is something I’ll look into wear: Chambrey fabric used in shirts, shirt dresses and skirts (and it’ll last well into next winter as well!)


As for design details and patterns (Links are ONION pattern numbers):
The drape details are still big – and will continue into winter.  (You will find them in patterns 2034, 2038, 2039 and 5035).
The 1960’s a-line shapes (also great for showcasing lace and patterns) found in 2035 and 2036  are still fun and pleats and gathers, too (as in 2019, 2021, 3023 and 3033).
New-ish are the Peter Pan Collars especially in contrasting colours (have a look at 2015 and 1041) and the big peplums (1037 and 1041). I’m not good with tight collars – makes my head look funny, so that’s not really a style for me. But I think it looks very cute.

{ONION patterns for spring trends}

For me – I’ ll look into the pastels. Especially the light rose and light green – mostly as skinny jeans, I think, but I might add a t-shirt.

I like to keep things and lines very simple, so I’m not sure about the peplum jacket just yet (I don’t wear jackets much as a elementary teacher, anyway. Cardigans are more suitable for my kind of work).

I also really really really like the polka dots. Fun and girly without being over the top, especially when worn as a loose fit knit t-shirt. And for summer parties: on a shirt dress. I also like the draped collars and will definitely wear those.

I’ll leave you with a pic of my latest fabric buy – Polka dots, of course:-)

{Polka dotted navy rayon jersey. Top is already cut.}