Today’s feature designer is Mel Henry of Filles a Maman. Mel is one of the loveliest designers that I’ve ever worked with! I have tested a few patterns of hers and sewn up a bunch more. (You can see the Mimi dress, Rose skirt, Agathe pants, and Extraordinary Girl top that I blogged, and I need to fix those old posts’ pics, ack!). Filles a Maman patterns are written in both English and French and are professionally drafted and most include lots of options. She also blogs in both French and English, although the interview is only in English. Read the interview to find out more about Mel, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end and grab the discount code!
How did you decide to start designing patterns? Did it evolve from your love of sewing or had you always planned on designing patterns? Also, why did you choose the name Filles a Maman?
I studied fashion design a couple years ago. After that, I had my company with an associate where we designed, sewed and sold our clothes. That was a great experience, lot of learning but few earnings. Designing was my favourite part, obviously. I never thought that it could be possible at this moment to design and draft pattern. Until I bought my first PDF, I had a revelation. I started slowly, learn a lot by myself on how to turn a paper sheet into a whole PDF pattern. I really enjoyed the result. Filles à Maman (Mama’s girls) came easily, I have 3 girls and they are my inspiration, judges, testers and models.
Can you describe a typical day for you?
Get up at 5, doing some social media, answer emails, etc. Then, when the family is up, feed, dress and send everyone to school and kindergarten. After that I go to my day job, where I am coordinator R&D at a food plant. Design food by day, design clothes by night.
What was the first thing you ever sewed that you can remember? How did it go?
I did sew a kind of tube that I used to call a dress for my Barbie. I still have it.
Since this is Canada inspired blog tour, tell me a little about where you live. Is there one place nearby that you always recommend to new visitors? (A shop, restaurant or landmark).
I live in the beautiful city of Québec. A walk in the old city and a glass of wine on a roof is very cool.
Is there any other place in Canada that you’ve always wanted to visit or that you do visit on a regular basis?
I should go more often to Montreal, shop, get inspired, and see my friends…You know with kids and everything, there is never enough time. Montreal is 2,5 hours by car….not so far when you think of it.
Do you think that being Canadian influences your designs?
Yes and no. Every time I choose to make one design instead another mostly depends on my daughter needs or future needs. Because we have cold weather, we need long garments, mittens, hats. The weather influences the type of garment, but for the designs, inspiration comes from everywhere. I did remember when I was a student, school bought some very expensive books to catch up the new trends. Today, everything is available in a click.
What are your top 3 favourite sewing or creative resources?
I love Creative Market for the inspiration and the huge choice of resources. ASTM book for Standard measurements (not the sexiest one..), and Pattern Workshop (affiliate). [Note: Affiliate link is Mel Henry’s]
What is your #1 sewing tip or trick?
I do have a rectangle magnet about 1 inch long which I can stick near the feet of my sewing machine. This allows me to always have perfectly straight hems.
Do you have any future plans for Filles a Maman that you would like to share?
Any new patterns coming out? I am working on an add-on pack for the Clemence girls shorts, probably released when this interview is published. Also, my next pattern is designed by a famous blogger, she submitted a design for ‘’Design my Pattern’’ contest and I will do the pattern, it’s pretty exciting and cute!!!
You can read more about Filles à Maman here.
These bloggers will be sharing their versions of a Filles a Maman pattern:
Filles a Maman is giving away one PDF pattern of your choice in the Rafflecopter below! Also don’t forget to link up any recent makes here for a chance to win even more patterns!
Ula writes for Lulu & Celeste