This week we are highlighting
Kay Whitt is the mastermind and designer behind Serendipity Studio, which as produced the popular books Sew Serendipity and Sew Serendipity Bags. We were fortunate enough to have Kay sit down and do a Q&A with us. Read on...
Sew Beautiful: You were an elementary school teacher before leaving to start your own design studio. Is there anything from your previous career that still influences what you do today?
Kay Whitt: Yes, I think that teaching was a great stepping stone for what I do with my company. As a teacher, I had to have a plan for how to teach a concept and it really isn't any different when writing pattern instructions! The more that construction is broken down into small steps with lots of illustrations, the better. I think being a teacher made me a better pattern writer!
SB: Have you had any formal design/sewing training? And if not, what gave you the courage to jump into this industry?
KW: No, I do not have any formal design or sewing training. I was fortunate to have a very talented mother who sews like a dream and has a lot of patience to boot. She taught my sister and me how to sew when we were girls. Because of her expertise, we learned the best techniques for sewing as well as how to manipulate the design elements for customizing a design. Little did I know them, but those early lessons were the beginnings of my career. After several years of teaching and still sewing on the side, I yearned for a career that catered to my creative side. I began exploring the idea of design and writing patterns by talking to local fabric shops. When I realized there was an interest for my creations, I started writing patterns and promptly resigned from my teaching career. It was the best decision I ever made, as I am now living the dream!
SB: How would you describe your personal style? And how much does it factor into your products?
KW: My personal style greatly influences what I design for the company. I love retro designs with a twist, and I strive to bring that aesthetic to all of my work. I am also influenced by current trends in fashion and fabric and let that take me wherever it leads. That is one of my favorite things about design work, you never know where you might end up!
|See Kay's sewing room! More on Pink Chalk Studio's blog.|
SB: Your first books, Sew Serendipity and Sew Serendipity Bags have done very well. Are you planning any others, and if so, can you hint at the subject matter and when we might expect to see it?
KW: Yes, I have been fortunate that my books have done well! The third one is written and currently in design at the publisher. It is due out in late December/early January. It is meant to be a companion to the first two books. Intended as a workbook of sorts, I highlight some of my favorite techniques and follow up each article with an easy to sew project using the skills discussed. The book's format gives the reader the opportunity to do some self-reflection as the book progresses, as there are pages for the reader to write notes and make it a workbook of their own.
SB: You are known for wearing your own patterns/designs at Quilt Market, so you clearly find time to sew for yourself. Between that, taking care of your family and running a business, do you find time for other interests?
KW: Oh yes, I do find time for lots of other activities! I love to garden, cook, and read. I also love to keep my hands busy, so there is always a handwork project (if not several at one time) in the works. I love to crochet, knit, embroider, and cross-stitch. Keeping busy is a form a relaxation for me...I'm weird like that!
Thanks again to Kay for answering our questions!
Our first giveaway of the week will be another
DIY (Design-it-Yourself) Giveaway Challenge!
Below is the picture of the pattern
Sew Serendipity - The Francesca Skirt Pattern
The Francesca is our latest A-Line skirt design featuring a back zippered yoke closure in 5 different variations with a gathered panel skirt showcasing from 3 to 6 different fabrics with optional fabric inserts between panels, ruffles or a tie belt. It is patterned after our best selling Emily & Bella Skirts featuring the same great line and fit. This skirt is designed with a small amount of ease that fits just below the waist to be extra comfortable as well as complimentary to every figure. The pattern includes instructions for all variations shown along with alteration and fitting tips to produce a flattering fit for all sizes and body types.
Which fabrics would us use to make this fashionable skirt? Go to Martha's Online Store and pick out your favorites. Then come back here, click HERE and fill out the form, listing your fabrics.
One lucky person will win the pattern AND the fabrics they chose so they can make this skirt themselves!
*Total not to exceed $200*
*Total not to exceed $200*