Do you ever wonder where the inspiration behind a sewing pattern comes from? Ideas can literally come from anywhere and everywhere. I mean, who hasn’t followed someone around a supermarket to get a better look at an interesting pocket or seam? Old films from the 50’s and 60’s are a constant source of joy for details and silhouettes. All of the little ideas just get tucked away subconsciously until it’s time for them to come into the daylight. You see, to be creative you have to put something in for something to come out. You have to take notice of the small stuff, the unusual colour combinations in the most random place, a shape, a silhouette of a shadow. Don’t just look at clothes, just look. Once you start looking at things with the eyes of a Maker, everything becomes a potential.

And then, of course, you find a fabric. Designs for me are often a response to a fabric…what does that cloth need to become? How will it drape? And this stripe was just begging to be made into a chevron. I made this skirt way back in 2014, when only the idea of Maven existed (the fabric was from John Lewis, but sadly no longer available). The skirt eventually developed into our Barcelona dress pattern. The Barcelona pattern was only released this year but she actually became a dress pattern in 2015 and gained her name when I did the classic make a last minute dress for a trip to Barcelona. I like to give the patterns time to develop naturally. We personally wearer trial everything so we know it works in the real world. I want garments in my wardrobe that are flexible and solve problems, not create them, not just for today but for years.

But above all for me, this quote by William Morris has resonated within my design work from the moment I first heard it. It made sense of my natural desire to make for purpose and practicality. I believe a garment has to meet the criteria of longevity and to function well within a wardrobe and within a lifestyle if we are to put the effort and time into making something. If we are going to use resources, we need to make consciously with a view to loving each garment for a lifetime. Here at Maven, that really is at the core of what we believe. 

The French Dart pattern as a top | The Barcelona pattern as a skirt

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