Inside Victory Patterns – An Interview with Kristiann

I’m super excited to announce that today on the blog, I’ve been lucky enough to have a chat with Kristiann – designer extraordinaire of indie sewing pattern company Victory Patterns. Kristiann first launched Victory Patterns in 2011 with the Eden Collection and the following year she released her second collection – Niagara. Kristiann is a entrepreneur, fashion designer and proud lover of her home, Toronto. Here is part one of our interview.

Photo Credit: The Workroom

You started out Victory Patterns by selling PDF downloads and this year you launched your paper patterns. Tell me how that felt for you?

AAAAMAZING!! Seeing the patterns in print was super exciting! It made them feel more real to me. I originally wanted to create them in a printed format but once I considered the cost of production, it wasn’t feasible to start out like that. The best moment was when I showed them to my granny and seeing the look on her face when she opened the tissue pattern. She used to be a fashion designer so she’s really excited about this. It felt a bit like I was carrying the little torch that she started when she was young. My heart was singing seeing her face!

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Right now in New Zealand we are in the depths of winter and some of your patterns like the Simone and Nicola are quite summer-y. How would you dress them up for winter?

I tend to wear dresses that are on the summery side throughout the crazy Canadian winter. There’s no way I could resist them for a 6-month stint! I dress it up with other weather appropriate layers and a good pair of warm tights and pretty boots. I’d say if you’re making one of these styles for the winter, fabric choice and color is important.

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Photo Credit: TorontoVerve

You can find really amazing lightweight wool, crepe, chambray denim, etc. Something on the warmer side that still has a soft, light drape would be great! Colors can play a big part in pulling a style into a different season. I’ve made Simone in a black and white geometric print with black leather detailing and metallic cord piping. This gives the style a harder, more durable feel that I think works for colder weather. But it’s a really personal thing too. Pick colors that you like to wear for that season and fabrics that you feel good in and stay warm ladies!

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You have designed some lovely feminine dresses – what’s your design process? Where do you look for inspiration?

I usually carry a sketchbook with me and for when ideas pop into my head. I go to the design, costume or art sections of the library and pour through books for visual inspiration. Sometimes I have a direction I’m leaning towards in terms of a theme or style aesthetic. I tend to know the general feel and style features I want the garment to have and I build the design from there. A lot of changes can take place once I start drafting and testing samples. The design can evolve after I’ve made a few muslin because sometimes things look great on paper and not so great in cloth. It can take few tries to get the right fit, balance, proportion, but it’s fun to play around.

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One of your dresses is called the Nicola. Could you tell us the story behind that dress?

Nicola was a dear friend to my sister and I. She was one of the most passionate, excitable, caring and life loving people I’ve ever known. Her voice was the sound of happiness and she had the best smile on the planet. It was impossible not to love her to bits. Tragically, we lost Nic at the age of 30. She left behind an incredible list of her life’s ambitions and dreams, and all of the people in her life that love her have carried on accomplishing these tasks in honor of her. One of the things she wanted to do was to learn how to sew, and I thought that dedicating a pattern to her was the closest I could come to helping her to reach that goal.

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Nic was passionate about making this world a better place, so I wanted to contribute a portion of her pattern to a charity. Her wonderful mom picked “Peace One Day”, as it’s a charity Nic really believed in. I sent a pattern to her Mom, Dad and brother, and they’re going to learn how to make it together for her, which warms my heart! We’re going to do some Skype sewing lessons! Recently I was also contacted by a customer who was inspired by Nic’s story and by the work that Peace One Day does. She’s now creating a charity event for Peace One Day. That feels amazing!

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Thanks so much for having me on the blog. I hope you love the patterns!

Next Wednesday Kristiann will be sharing some helpful tips for working with difficult materials.</em

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4 thoughts on “Inside Victory Patterns – An Interview with Kristiann”

  1. Awesome Interview 😀 The picture of Kristiann’s grandmother makes me feel a little tear coming; I dont get to see my grandmother much anymore. She was a milliner and when I would show her things I made, even as a teen, I would see that face, and always hear the words, “Oh you’re very clever”. Cant escape the sewing, it just runs in the blood!

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