Spotlight: Indie Pattern Designers

We have had such a wonderful response to our new-look pattern room, and have enjoyed welcoming many of you who have come in to browse our selection of new independent designers alongside the more traditional houses. We are definitely not turning our backs on the likes of Burda or New Look; they have such a wide selection of wardrobe staples that appeal to so many. However, we love the new emerging designers who are keen to freshen up the choice available to modern sewers (and we can't deny that we are suckers for cool packaging too. But we are surely not alone in this??)

Our current window display celebrates our picks from some of our favourite smaller designers - see photo above, from left: the Fiona Sundress by Closet Case, the Chloe Dress by Victory Patterns and the Moss Skirt by Grainline (teamed up with the classic New Look 6217 top)

But for the blog, we wanted to spotlight some perhaps lesser-known designers. It was a hard choice to feature only three of our current favourites, so we hope you approve!

TRUE BIAS was created by sewer, blogger and designer Kelli Ward after enrolling at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Having met her community online through blogging she had the skills and the inspiration to produce her own range of patterns, starting off with one of our favourites, the Hudson Pants. These versatile casual sweatpants are typical of Kelli's style - classic but with an urban edge. A quick Google or search on Pinterest will bring up loads of great True Bias pattern hacks (the sewing community is such a great place to find extra inspiration) but as a blogger herself, Kelli is often leading many of these extra twists. Included as part of each paper and pdf pattern launch, she has online tutorials, blog posts and garment sew-alongs so you can feel confident making and adapting her patterns for your perfect garment. Ray Stitch currently stocks seven of the most popular True Bias patterns, including from left to right: the Yari Jumpsuit, Hudson Pants, Roscoe Blouse/Dress and the Ogden Cami.

CLOSET CASE PATTERNS began in 2014 after founder Heather Lou set herself a year-long challenge to make all her new clothes herself, rather than buying them off the shelf. Frustrated by consumerism and fast-fashion, she began to value and enjoy the creation of the clothes, rather than impulsive, often disposable (and expensive) purchases. Another blogger, Heather featured her makes on her site, but released a pattern for the Bombshell swimsuit after high demand from her readers! She saw a gap in the market for modern patterns with clear and simple instructions for the new sewers. In Heather's words, "Using my love of technical design and talent for drafting, I also create timeless, fashionable patterns that can be customized, personalized, and hacked with your own vision and unique touch." The Fiona Dress is a perfect example of this freedom within a pattern - it can be made with a high or low back, straight or crossing straps, and 2 lengths of skirt, all of which can be interchangeable to make your ideal sundress.

The distinctive watercolour illustrations for all the Closet Case patterns are painted by artist and fellow sewer Sallie Oh, and started as a way for Heather to avoid being the face of the designs (she was a one-woman band which included designer, maker and garment model!) But now the paintings are synonymous with the brand, and even sought after in their own right!

We love Closet Case garments for their versatility and ease to make, in fact, we use the patterns in some of our popular classes. You can join us to make the Kalle shirt/dress or even the Ginger Jeans if you are feeling more adventurous.

We spoke to Heather recently, who told us the exciting news that we can expect the next launch of a new design in only a few weeks time. Keep an eye on our social media channels as we will be shouting about it as soon as it lands!

Finally, we would like to introduce you to Nina Lee Patterns. These are brand new to us, and in fact, we are the only stockists in London carrying these patterns at the moment so would love to hear your feedback on them. (So new we have not even got them online yet!) Nina Lee Patterns is a London-based pattern company that has been up and running since March 2017. Currently, there are 7 designs available and each design comes with a full-colour, fully-illustrated instruction booklet to make sure the process is as easy as possible. Nina is very clear about positioning herself in the slow-fashion camp and wants to encourage women to start a more rewarding way of dressing. Her garments are wardrobe staples such as the Southbank Sweater, the Portabello Trousers and even a pair of Pyjamas, but as with the other two designers we have featured, she allows for personal creativity with various options and promoted customers hacks. Check out Nina's latest blog post rounding up all the twists and adaptations on the popular Kew Dress.

As ever, we want to know your thoughts: who are your favourite pattern designers at the moment? and if you have used any of the patterns mentioned then please show us. There is nothing better than seeing our fabric brought to life by our customers. You can contact us by email, or find us on Instagram and Facebook. Tag your makes with #raystitch to brighten our day!