My little surprise for #kellyskirtfriday !
After the fantastic response to #kellyskirtfriday Megan Nielson (designer of the Kelly Skirt (and many others besides!)) kindly agreed to a little interview (thanks Megan!). Here's what she had to say...
(I have read) you are a self taught sewer - do you have any background study wise for design/textiles etc?
"Funnily enough, I started my career as an Actuary. Actuaries analyse the financial impact of risk and uncertainty – it’s very nerdy (hangs head in shame). So my original background in study is quite technical – I have a degree in Mathematics and a degree in Corporate Finance minoring in Accounting."
Pattern design/sewing is your career, does it take the fun out of it?
"Sometimes J I adore sewing, and any time I have free time I want to sew and design something – but there are certainly a good many times I don’t’ want to. And that’s when its hard, because you are forcing yourself to do something that used to just be a hobby. These days I tend to sew almost exclusively for work – which is why I’m very careful to make sure I only design things I’m passionate about – that way I can keep the joy of making things I adore.
Any top tips for those starting out with their own businesses?
"Make a plan, get some seed money, and go for it! I’m a real “go for it!” kind of girl – and sometimes I feel like less thinking and more jumping in is the way to go hehehe."
Where do you take your inspiration from when designing patterns?
"For me inspiration always comes from nature. I like to spend a lot of time out in the Australian bushland, parks etc. I really get my best ideas out in the sun and wind. And for me, a pattern always begin with the design first. I try and forget it will be a pattern, and I focus just on the fashion of it. Then after the idea is fully formed, I work on how it could be a pattern. I feel like that is my trick for making sure I keep things stylish and on trend."
What's your favourite season or occasion to design for? Any soft spots for particular fabrics?
"Oh summer J I really can’t help it. Summer is just so built into the Australian mind – and since over half the year is hot where I live, it just feels natural to design for hot weather as a default."
What sewing tool could you not live without?
"Oooo my iron. I think I could get rid of a lot of things – but that steam iron and I are inseparable. It’s amazing how much of an aid it is in creating professional looking garments"
"Oh gosh that’s easy. Knife pleats. Those b*@%~$*s. I have tried and tried to make p-e-r-f-e-c-t knife pleats and one day I hope to conquer them"
Any patterns/projects currently in the pipeline?
"For sure! I have a new collection coming in a few months that I’m very excited about!"
Any thoughts on #kellyskirtfriday?
"I think it’s amazing! I’m thrilled Sarah came up with the idea and I was just so touched. My hope is always that people will enjoy my designs and feel joy in making and wearing them – and #kellyskirtfriday was such a wonderful confirmation of that. I love it!"
We can't wait to see your new collection Megan!