Introducing Coralie Grillet, whose gorgeous knitting and sewing patterns caught our attention and lead us to ask her for an interview for our Makerist blog. In this Q&A, Coralie told us all about her new sewing patterns for her Wearologie brand and her day-to-day creative activities!
Hello, thank you for accepting our interview! First, could you introduce yourself and tell us more about your background inside and outside the sewing world ? How did you start creating your own patterns ?
Hi, my name is Coralie. I’m a fashion designer passionate about making the ultimate handmade wardrobe. I’ve been sewing, knitting and creating just about anything for as long as I can remember. So it seemed logical, when ask to choose a career at school, to go for an artistic one. At first, I worked as a jeweler and had a blog on the side to share what I was sewing in my spare time. However, the blog quickly fueled my passion for designing clothes and I decided to return study the subject in hopes to make it my day job. Fast forward a few years, I’m now launching a DIY fashion brand Wearologie, with patterns designed for the modern Maker.
Is creating sewing patterns your main activity?
It’s the plan! However for the time being, I also work part time in an art supplies shop where I run drawing and creative workshops for adults and children.
How do you organize yourself to create a pattern? What are the different steps you follow?
For a few weeks, I start by gathering as much inspiration as possible from different sources. Then I draw the first sketches and the initial test muslins are made. When I’m happy with what I have, the finished samples are made and the pattern completed. Then comes the technical part where I grade the different sizes and check the accuracy of the pattern pieces. And last but not least, a lot of effort is put into writing detailed instructions that are easy to follow and understand. It’s something I consider really important so each step is carefully illustrated and lots of tips are given in order to make the making of the garment the smoothest process possible.
How do you manage your time between creating patterns and managing your company (communication, customers ‘relation, social media, accounting…)
That’s the biggest challenge for me at the moment. Having a day job, enough time to design and create the patterns all the while being active on social media and promoting Wearologie can be difficult. Usually, I design when I have a whole day to devote to it, and the administrative work is done when I only have a few hours.
Which are the most difficult tasks in your job? Do you have external help?
Wearologie is a brand new business so there’s a lot to do and it has to be done all at the same time: communication, finalising the upcoming patterns and their instructions, blog posts and there’s also the next collection to think about. However, I’m very lucky to have a wonderful supportive husband who created the branding and graphic design of this project. As it happens, he’s a freelance web and graphic designer so he’s the mastermind behind the website and the visual identity of Wearologie, I’m very grateful and proud of his work.
Where do you find inspiration for your creative patterns?
Inspiration can come for everywhere. I gather and file everything that speaks to me and draw a lot. Even when it’s not fashion related like doing landscape watercolour sketching, I like to stay creative as much as possible.
What is your favorite part in your creative job?
Sketching new designs, looking for fresh ideas and trying them out is definitely my favourite part. I also love to teach people how to sew and love seeing their faces beaming with pride when they’ve mastered a new technique. That’s also one of the reasons I create and share lots of How-to on my blog, I really think it’s so rewarding to constantly improve your work and makes.
Do you have tips for someone who would like to launch his/her own business in patterns creation just like you? Some resources that did help you (books, blogs, people…)?
Just do it! There will always be lots of reasons not to do it but in the end, if your heart’s in it, you have to follow it.The sewing community is a very welcoming one and there’s lots of helpful ressources online to start learning. Whether you prefer to study techniques from books, online videos or step-by-step photo instructions, it’s quite easy to get started.
What are the projects you’re working on for the future?
Continue improving Wearologie and make it my full time job! The next patterns are already in the works and should be ready this autumn. Plus, my sketchbooks are already filed with a lot of new ideas and sketches for the next collection!