Saturday, January 23, 2016

Spotlight on Winter Wear Designs

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One of our favorite things here at Sew Cool is to match up pattern designers who design for tweens and those who sew for tweens.  And today we get to do that by having a designer spotlight on Winter Wear Designs.  Suzanne designs for all ages and sizes so her patterns have a great size range but also a great style range.  She has great patterns for boys and girls so no matter who you are sewing for, I am sure you will find a good pattern at Winter Wear Designs.  Over the holidays we interviewed Suzanne and here is what she has to say about Winter Wear and designing for tweens.  (at the end of the post we have a special discount for our readers)

How would you describe the Winter Wear brand?  What makes it unique?

The Winter Wear brand is classic, wearable, and all about the details.  When it comes to my kids, I want them to be these cute adorable little models.... and then I remember that they have to actually WEAR the clothing... it needs to fit well and be stylish and yet they need to be able to keep it on for longer than the 20 minutes of a photoshoot.  For this reason, I really think about the details of how my garments are finished and that makes all the difference in the final look and feel.

When it comes to my women's patterns, I am very body conscious.  All of my women's patterns talk about body shape and how to adjust and alter to best flatter the body God gave you.  For tweens who are starting to develop and change in shape, this can be especially useful.  I want all of my customers to feel great when they put on a garment that they have sewn for themselves, it might take some time figuring out your body, but when you start sewing clothes you LOVE it is an amazing transformation.
None of my patterns are really hard to sew, but the details can be a bit time consuming.  I promise though - they are worth it!

How long have you been designing patterns?

I have been running Winter Wear Designs for  a year and a half, but I have been designing since I was in college.  I worked as a teaching assistant in the costume shop for my theatre department in college.  I was able to take classes in design, drafting, and draping, and I designed and constructed 3 main stage shows.  

What made you decide to be a pattern designer? 

Robin Hill...... Hahahahah, no but seriously.  She saw all the things that I was creating for my kids and kept asking me about it.  Finally she lined up my writing a full review of Lauren Dahl's Pattern Workshop for Pattern Revolution by taking the class.  I think she knew that if I branched into the digital ends of design (which really didn't exist when I was in school) that there would be no stopping me.  And she was right ;o)

What is your inspiration?

I'd love to give a lofty answer about art and the fresh breeze of sea salt off the ocean, but I live in Central PA and my current art immersion is scrubbing my kids' crayola masterpieces off the wall (but hey, we graduated from the poo-caso stage).  I am inspired by what I want... I want to dress my kids in really expensive clothes that I could never afford off the runways, I want to have new and current clothing for myself that fits me right - and sadly that rarely happens for me with store bought.  I want clothes to make women smile and keep kids running and playing.  These wants inspire me constantly, and I'll never have time to get on paper all the things I WANT to design.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of designing pdf patterns?

Math - I really and not great at math, and that can get me in trouble with basic elements in the pattern design process.  Beyond that, just finding the time.  With three littles underfoot, I deal with a lot of interruptions that can slow down the process.

So many designers shy away from the larger children’s sizes; what motivated you to size up to 14yr?

Well, with a 3 year old who wears a size 6x and a 4 year old who is between a 7/8, it just made sense.  As I was starting to draft patterns I constantly saw parents of older children begging for bigger sizes, and then one day I saw a sweet mom asking how to grade up a pattern for her 7 year old who needed a size 12.  This was still a little girl who needed cute clothes that would fit her properly.  I will be that mom in just a few years, so I just decided there and then that all my patterns would go up to a 14.  I'm currently looking at expanding that to a 16 for future patterns, but haven't decided yet.  All of my patterns come with suggestions for combining sizes to get a perfect fit.

You have a few patterns for women that start at size 00; would those work for a tween?

Yep!!!  My women's patterns are designed for curves, but with young girls developing at younger ages, many tween moms are finding themselves with curves that children's patterns aren't designed for.  Moving up to small women's sizes will actually be more flattering and comfortable for these budding figures.

Thank you Suzanne for taking the time to share about your process and your patterns!  She has also been kind enough to provide a 20% off code on patterns at Winter Wear Designs.  Just use the  code: TWEEN20.


  1. As a mom whose barely-tween is suddenly getting curvy, I truly appreciate designers that take the time to accommodate all body types. I'm tired of buying plus size jeans for hips and pulling in the waist as small as I can so they stay up. I wish more pattern designers would realize there is a whole group kids and their sewing moms out there that really do need more shaping and sizing options. Thanks Winter Wear!

  2. Love your patterns you have a great eye for line & overall design. I didn't know your "about me" story so thanks for sharing! With 2 tween girls that are hitting growth spurts I appreciate the sizing.


  3. Love all your patterns and the details. My daughter and I appreciate the larger sizes. My daughter is petite, but she inherited her fathers height, so finding the right clothes is a struggle with store bought clothes. Your patterns allow me to custom fit it to my growing girl.

  4. I can't say enough about how awesome Suzanne is and her patterns!!! Seriously, once you make one of her patterns for yourself and then try one for the kids, you'll want to #buyallthepatterns. I love how detailed her patterns are and how nice everyone looks in the finished products! When you have a stepdaughter whose measurements put her in both kids and adults sizing at 8 years old, you need Winter Wear designs.


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