Today's featured designer is Anna of Noodlehead Patterns. Her pattern, the 241 Tote was the very first PDF pattern I ever bought and made, and she was also the first designer I tested for. Anna has a timeless elegant style and it shows in her patterns as well as throughout her blog. She is the author of Handmade Style: 23 Must-Have Basics to Stitch, Use, and Wear and has a fabric collection, Rain Walk for Cloud 9 Fabrics. You can find her patterns, kit and blog on her website noodle-head.com.
Here's what Anna had to say:
I grew up sewing with my mom. So it's been about 25 years or so, but didn't get into designing my own work until about 2009.
What do you love most about your job?
I love connecting with other creative people.
What is the hardest part of the design process for you?
The design process is the best part! It can be frustrating at times, but I've found that the act of finding a solution to problems or issues that arise is often the most rewarding.
What do you enjoy doing when you aren't working?
I love spending time with my two daughters, my husband and my dog. We love being outside and being active!
What is your favorite pizza topping?
This may be cheating, but I love a good dessert pizza (peanut butter, chocolate chips and marshmallows, mmm).
What is your favorite thing about bag making?
I love making bags because each step is something different and requires a different bit of knowledge or skill. Not much repetition keeps me on my toes.
What is your least favorite part of bag making?
Honestly, I don't have a least favorite! But if I had to pick it's probably making straps/handles.
Is there a pattern of yours that is your favorite?
Sure! It's always changing! I've always loved sewing a Poolside Tote and my Gingham Tote (from my book) is one of my favorites to use.
What is your favorite pattern by another designer?
I love sewing all types of projects, usually it's whatever I'm sewing at the moment is my favorite. I make my friend Jeni's (In Color Order) Lined Drawstring Bags over and over again for gifts, I don't think I'll ever tire of it!
What is your favorite snack?
Iced coffee with baked goods!
What is your favorite piece of bag hardware?
That's hard to call! I would say zippers followed by rivets.
What machine do you sew on most often?
I have a Janome 1600p (it's a semi-industrial straight stitch). I wish everyone could have one, I love that it's such a versatile machine!
What advice would you give to someone who is new to bag making?
I'd say to stick with it. The more you try the better you'll get. Try to keep an open mind about trying new things, you'll come to find out what works best for you! Plus, you'll have a ton of great skills under your belt.
Who is your favorite fabric designer?
I don't think I could pick a favorite, I do find myself drawn to a handful of designer's that I particularly enjoy. One of the best parts for me is coming up with fun fabric combinations by mixing different designers/collections.
What is the best compliment you've received as a designer?
I think the best compliment is when anyone sends me a picture of their finished item and tells me how much they loved making it!
How organized is your sewing space? Are you a mess maker or everything in its place kind of person?
I'm sort of in between! I do have a place for everything (usually), but then when I'm in the midst of creating it's like a bomb exploded on my work surface.
What is your favorite color?
My favorite color is actually orange, but I hardly ever sew with it!
What is your favorite thing to listen to while working?
I usually don't listen to anything in order to fully focus (especially when I'm working on a new pattern), but if I'm quilting or doing something for fun I love listening to podcasts.
Is there anything you wish others knew about you or what you do?
Being able to express myself creatively and have it be my job is something I never thought I could do. I have a B.A. in Art and I never imagined being able to put it to use in this way and am super grateful for the opportunity.
How do you make sure that your patterns are accessible to bagineers? How do you promote your work?
I hope they're accessible to all types of sewists! I find I feel naturally inclined to visually share my work, so my blog and instagram are the main ways I do so.