I'm happy to announce that our current featured designer is Kate Johnson of Monkeysbug Patterns. Kate is not only an awesomely talented designer, she is also a camping enthusiast, and incredibly generous - she is offering our readers 30% off EVERYTHING in her shop with the discount code: REVOLUTION through next Sunday on www.monkeysbug.com
.Go check it out - and t ell us which patterns are your favorite!
For several years now I've been a part of the online sewing community. I've had opportunities to get to know many designers, interact with them in groups, and see how they relate to other fans and customers. If there is one thing that I personally can say about Kate of Monkeybug, it is that she is ALWAYS friendly and professional. I guess that's why her average feedback on Etsy is 5 stars, because she deserves it!
Below you'll find my interview with Kate and all the photos submitted by her adoring fans. Enjoy!
Can you give me a little background about yourself?
I'm Kate. I'm a book fiend, dog lover, history buff, aspiring photographer, married mama of two. I'm not a girly girl, which is ironic, since I love to make girly clothes. I hated wearing dresses as a kids, and my current uniform is generally jeans, tee shirt and converse. But, I have an obsession with fabric that weighs heavily on my bookshelves. I find beautiful fabric irresistible. Fortunately for me, my family is understanding of my obsession.
Who taught you to sew and when?
My mom tried to teach me to sew when I was a kid, but I didn't have any interest. I was an outdoorsy tomboy, and sewing wasn't happening. Of course, that all changed when my first baby was born. Then I went running back to mama to teach me how to thread my secondhand machine. Between my mom, web tutorials, and the painful death of many, many yards of innocent fabric I became a reasonably proficient seamstress.
How did you get started in design?
After trying my hand at paper patterns when I was new to sewing, I realized that sewing doesn't need to be painful. The simple step-by-step instructions and photos of online tutorials appealed to me. Between that and a burning desire to keep my babies in comfortable, age-appropriate clothes, a designer was born.
How long have you been doing it?
My first pattern was released in 2007. I started out slowly, but I now have over 40 patterns.
What inspires you?
For the longest time, my daughter's interests were the inspiration for my patterns. I parlayed sewing for her with designing new patterns. Her whims were my motivation. Now that she is a big kid, I had to dig a little deeper. I'm still drawn to comfortable, simple designs. I love to design clothes that kids want to wear as soon as they're out of the laundry.
What are your future plans for your shop?
As well as continuing with the sweet, little girl clothes I'm drawn to, I want to spend more energy working on tween and teen styles. Kids outgrow handmade clothes too early. Trendier patterns could keep kids and mamas happier longer.
Is there anything you want our readers to know?
My pattern-making goal has always been to get people over their fear of jumping into the sewing world. There are too many gorgeous fabrics to be scared away by the process. Almost all of my patterns are written for beginners, because everyone should experience the joy of walking out of a fabric store with enough fabric to be considered a workout.
Check out these gorgeous fan photos! Credits (in no particular order): Sarah Upshaw, Bridgett Wright, Deb Whitehead, Carrie Burnett, Crystal Thoreson, Tami Meyer, Lawren Galloway, Kymy Johnson, Mommy's Apron Strings- Lisa, Fagan Noriega, Heather Benton, Ashley Talbot, Elizabeth Pires, Holly Mc O, Brenda Howson, and Nicole Phillips.