Recently my friend Teje from NERO'S POST AND PATCH asked to join in a Blog Hop. Thank you Teje! You can read Teje's Hop-Post here. Please DO go visit her blog....she is very talented and has lots of wonderful creations for you to look at!
For this blog hop, we've each been given the same four questions. So here I go with mine! :)
1) What am I working on?
If you are new here, first of all let me tell you that my absoute passion is to design bags! I am working on my next pattern release right now, a laptop bag in two szes to suit a 13" laptop and a 17" laptop. When I was planning my design, I experimented with horizontal and vertical orientation. For me, I found it easier to get the laptop in and out of an 'upright' bag, so that is what I decided to run with!
Because the bag has so many pockets, it has lots of pieces and since I like to provide both pattern pieces AND the cutting measurements (where possible) as well, it takes me a rediculous amount of time making sure I have all the corresponding measurements and pattern pieces accurate. Not to forget there are TWO sizes as well! BIG JOB! BUT I can say that I can see the end in sight! Phew!
2) How does my work differ from others its genre?
Gosh that is a good question! Probably I would have to say in their complexity! My designs are usually rather advanced and have loads of extra features that you don't normally find in other bag patterns. I can't help myself! Even when I plan a 'simple' bag, I end up adding so many extra features such as pockets and hardware that a ChrisW Designs bag is anything but simple!
That isn't to say that the average sewist cannot make my bags....in fact I take pride in the fact that my instructons are very comprehensive and loaded with photos that almost anyone with even minimal sewing experience can make them. They are more like a sewing class than a conventional sewing pattern!
As long as a sewist has a little patience, they can work their way through them and end up with a bag that is very professionally finished. I get many many emails from people who are just blown away that they really could make something so far beyond their expectations!
Sewists often tell me they have learnt to sew via my sewing patterns and that really is a great feeling to know I have helped people embark on a passion that is sure to last a lifetime! There is always something new to learn and to sew! What can be more fun than that! :)
My advice? You need to trust in yourself and the instructions and believe you CAN do it, because do you know what? You actually CAN! At ANY point during the process, if you struggle, you need only email me and I will help as much as I can! The only silly question is the one you are too silly to ask! LOLL (My old boss years ago used to say that to me! LOL)
3) Why do I write/create what I do?
Oh that's an easy question to answer! I LOVE bags! LOL Even as a child I was obsessed with bags.....some of my earliest crafty creations were bags....I sewed them, I knitted them, I crocheted them and in my letters to Santa I begged him to bring me nice pretty store bought bags....LOL
Here's one of my childhood creations:
Ok so admittedly it wasn't exactly pretty LOLLL and the squares that were the flap didn't exactly line up BUT it DID have a lining and a little slip pocket, so I was feature fussy even back then! LOLL
4) How does my writing/creative process work?
I pretty much follow the same procedures for each and every bag, despite sometimes attempting ....and failing....to reduce the steps....So for the most part all my pattern creations go much like this:
I start with paper! And no....I can't draw or sketch if my life depends upon it! LOL My ideas are in my head and while I may scribble a rough idea on paper, I usual begin by fiddling with making a paper 'model' exterior of my bag. This helps me decide the shape and size etc. The pockets and features come later...
Once I am happy with my paper prototype....I draft the exterior pattern pieces and the lining pieces and make up a rough prototype in old fabric that I got at a thrift store or an old sheet etc (or even something I bought once - WHAT was I thinking?? LOL)....I say rough because I don't take care with my stitching, so that is always wonky (well wonky-er than my normal stitching! LOLL)....and I don't add pockets or hardware yet.
from this 'rough' prototype I make any changes to the fit of the pattern pieces and make any ajustments I feel the design needs.
Following this I make a full proper protype, complete with pockets etc .....which I then use and carry to see where there are any design failings....is a pocket too high or too low, does the pocket flap magnetic snap close properly when it has contents etc....that type of thing....
Then I make ajustments to the pattern and make another prototype while writing the instructions....
Once that prototype is finished, I make any further tweaks as necessary to the pattern and then make yet another prototype, which I take the step by step photos of.....
THEN mostly I make one more prototype to test the pattern and instructions along with the photos and check for errors within my written document....measurement mistakes, typos etc....
After that, if I am happy, finally it is off to my proof reader Rochelle of eSheep Designs and at least 10, often more, pattern testers for corrections and testing etc. Once I have received the corrections and feedback, I complete my final editing and I am done! It's finally ready for release!
I really appreciate the help of these fabulous ladies because after staring at the same pattern for weeks on end you become somewhat blind and just don't see the mistakes anymore...even if they practically jump out and nip your butt! LOL Plus they often pinpoint areas where things may be a bit confusing and so it helps me fine tune the instructions in such a way that the everone can understand what I am on about! LOLL
PHEW....I am tired just thinking about all of that....no wonder it takes me sooooooooooo long to release just one pattern! LOLLL
OK so the purpose of Blog Hopping is to get to know other bloggers and their blogs so I now get to share with you three ....OK...I went overboard and am sharing four other awesome Bloggers and their blogs! :) Mind you....it really wasn't an easy choice because there are Sooooooo many great bloggers out there BUT....nevertheless I managed to narrow it down to four of my favourites:
First up I would like to introduce you to Anna of Charmed Liebling! Anna has a gorgeous collection of bag and wallet patterns and her patterns are known for being easy to follow. She provides wonderfully detailed explanations and photographs to make sure she has every step of the way covered! Anna also has a great collection of free tutorials so please DO pop over to her blog and check things out! :)
Next up is Pam of Threading My Way. Pam has such an incredible variety of links and things to explore on her blog that you will be busy hopping about for ages! LOL PLUS Pam shares lots of her wondeful sewing creations with you too.... So grab a cuppa, sit back and start exploring Pam's Blog now! :)
Next up is Gina of Gina's Craft Corner. Gina has a great collection of free tutorials for you to enjoy. She shares many of her sewing and other crafty adventures on her Blog including how she made my Bella bag into a concealed carry bag! So please do pop over and check things out!
Last BUT definitely not least is Diya of The Hobby Harbour. Diya shares many of her clothes and bags sewing adventures ....which are totally awesome, I might add.....so be sure to pop over and check things out!
OK....So that's it from me for today...