Sunday 15 March 2015

Time with Connie Crawford

Steven and I have just returned from a trip to Seattle USA where I was very fortunate to spend 10 days working with fashion designer and pattern maker Connie Crawford.  For those of you who don't know Connie's work, Connie is a highly respected figure in the home sewing arena.  Connie designs patterns for Butterick and has her own pattern line as well.

Connie's patterns are exceptional and the main reason for this is that they actually fit properly!  As most home sewers know, it is difficult to get patterns that actually fit us properly.  Most of the patterns we see today are designed for skinny 18 year olds and no one else.  The pattern companies do offer larger sizes, of course, but the fit is atrocious!  Not so with Connie Crawford's patterns.  Connie has 35 years experience in designing and pattern making in the "ready to wear" fashion industry where she learnt her fitting skills, and now has brought those skills to the home sewing arena.  We are truly blessed to have Connie "on our side" now.

Jason (Connie's son) at the expo booth
I got to work with Connie on her booth and assist in her lectures at the Sewing and Stitchery Expo at Puyallup just south of Seattle.  While most pattern makers and companies will tell you "oh yes, our patterns will fit you", Connie proves it by actually fitting anyone who comes to her booth.  Connie's range has 52 sizes and at the expo, had blouses in every size for ladies to try on.  Sometimes small adjustments are needed, such as letting out the side seams over the hips but rarely much more.  I helped Connie fit over 80 ladies and we did not have one lady who could not be fitted!  It was a joy to see the delighted looks on ladies' faces when they were standing there in a blouse that fit them perfectly.

Another happy customer!

Connie fits everyone in their correct t shirt size as well.  A couple of ladies said the have never had a t shirt pattern that fit them properly.

I also got to assist Connie in the 5 lectures she gave at the expo.  In those classes I learnt more about fitting, sewing like a pro, skirt and trouser drafting and jacket construction.  I learnt heaps!

It was a privilege to be able to learn Connie's methods and I will be bringing her fitting method to Australian sewers in the near future.

Steven and I were also invited to spend some time with Connie and her husband Wayne,  at their lovely home in Hansville, north west of Seattle for a few days.  During that time I saw the process of developing a commercial pattern from the very beginning, and learnt even more from Connie about her patterns and fitting.

Connie in her office
Connie's assistant Jackie marking up patterns

Connie and Wayne were very generous hosts and showed us around the north west part of Washington State, where they live.  It is a beautiful part of the world!

Point No Point Lighthouse

A while before we left for the USA, I decided to make myself a new travel wardrobe to wear while working with Connie, and I chose all Connie Crawford patterns.  I made 6 tops, 2 pairs of trousers and 2 jackets in a very short time!  The main reason it was so quickly completed is that once you have figured out your size, it's just a matter of "cut, sew and wear"!  No faffing around, trying to figure out
"why is the hem kicking up at the front?"  or "what is wrong with this armhole???"

Do you really have enough sewing time to be able to waste it dealing with fit issues?

So I can say, from personal experience, that Connie's patterns do fit and look great.  So if you want to be able to just "cut, sew and wear" instead of endless fiddling with patterns, then you need to try Connie's patterns.

Here is Connie's website, so please have a look.  Connie also has a Facebook page and there you will see some videos she has made showing her methods.

This trip was such a privilege and I have learnt soooo much from Connie.  I am looking forward to sharing it all with you too.


PS I did get a bit of time to have a look around at the expo too - it was fabulous!  I also did some serious credit card damage at Marcy Tilton's fabric booth.  Marcy sells the most gorgeous fabric and I am now the proud owner of quite a few metres!

1 comment:

  1. You are a VERY lucky woman! Connie Crawford is a TREASURE and I'm so glad you'll be taking so much back home with you.