The clothes that Shelly Figeuroa designs for her pattern company Figgy’s really stand out in this world of t-shirts and sweatpants. Figgy’s patterns are super chic, but are designed with real kids in mind. They are always simple and modern, but they have delightful details as well. They are constructed in interesting ways, but not impossible to sew. Most importantly they are comfortable and my kids love wearing them.
Figgy’s started with a single pattern. Read my interview with Shelly to see that first pattern and how her company has grown since! At the end of the post you can to enter to win some fabulous Figgy’s patterns!
- When did you learn to sew and who taught you?
My very patient mother taught me how to sew and I had a little help from the 4H too.
- When did you first start designing your own patterns? Do you remember what the first pattern you made was?
My first pattern was the “Ella’s Bubble Bottom Skirt”. It was first just a skirt I made up and was selling on Etsy but Anita the owner of Sew to Speak in Ohio asked if I would make up a pattern and teach a class at her shop. That was in 2008.
- How did you make the jump from making your own patterns to selling them? Was there anyone specific who influenced you?
I owe it to both Anita at Sew to Speak for giving me courage and Gina owner of Bolt Fabric for adding the heart. I took my little hand drawn pattern to Gina at Bolt and she sat down with me and told me everything that was good and bad. I’ve always thought of her as my mentor. I love that woman and wish I could visit with her everyday.
- How has Figgy’s grown and changed over the years?
1000 ways and more. It’s been quite a journey of regret, mistakes, success and growth. I found that when I really was true to myself I was happiest. When I stopped trying to please people and just say yes to things I loved it flowed. I owe a lot to Karen LePage and Danielle Caine for teaching me so much about myself and design. I’m happy to say I’ve found what I truly love through the journey but it wasn’t always easy.
- Figgy’s has gone from simple patterns to modern, fashion forward children’s wear. Can you talk about that a bit?
The change came with the idea of being true to what type of clothing I love. I’m not the “Ruffle” type of gal. I love clean lines with pops of unique. Japanese pattern books are extremely inspirational for me.
- What has designing and selling children’s wear patterns taught you about sewing? drafting? business? life? pick one or all 😉
The first major thing about selling children’s wear patterns is that you can’t please everyone and that’s ok. I’ve learned to pay someone to do a job that would have taken me 1000 more hours. It’s best to present for the people rather than sitting behind a computer learning new software.
- What would you tell someone who wants to sell their own patterns?
- When someone pays you a compliment say, “Thank you,” because you deserve it.
- Schedule hours and stick to them.
- Don’t release a pattern until you feel 110% otherwise you’ll sit up nights worrying that something was wrong and its too late.
- Don’t share the date for release until everything is 110%, it takes the pressure off.
- You are also passionate about teaching children to sew! Could you tell us a bit about the classes you teach?
Teaching has really taken over my life (in a good way). I LOVE inspiring kids to think outside the box and if they feel it then go for it! My classes have no real age limit or levels to them. If a child has never sewn before but wants to make a dress then I say let’s do it. I won’t make them sit through a load of projects that they could care less about. I like to grab them where their passion lies. My new book for C&T publishing was 100% inspired by the kids I teach and I can’t wait to share that with my kiddos.
- Wait, a book?! Tell us more!
- Do you have any advice about teaching our kids to sew?
Purchase new machines with speed control. Nothing is worse than trying to teach a child on a machine that is so old and dusty it barely works.
Grab a piece of painters tape or washi tape and place it at the 1/2″ seam allowance mark. Direct them to place the edge of the fabric with the edge of the tape to help them learn to sew straight. Let them play with the decorative stitches for as long as they want. Sewing should be fun!
That’s great advice, Shelly, thank you!
Now I know you want to sew up some of these lovely patterns! Shelly has generously offered to giveaway the whole Heavenly Collection: 7 patterns that can easily be mixed and matched to create a whole wardrobe (a $70 value!). Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter by Friday Feb 6. This giveaway is open to international entries, void where prohibited by law. One winner will receive 7 PDF patterns from the Heavenly Collection.
Good Luck and Happy KCW!