Let’s get to know Christine Haynes
Welcome to the second in our new series of Q&As with independent sewing pattern companies! This week we’ll be getting to know Christine Haynes. Christine Haynes Patterns are feminine, vintage-inspired garments that hint at the past while maintaining a contemporary feel. She’s just about to kick off a sew-a-long for her new pattern, the Marianne Dress, so it’s a great time to discover Christine Haynes if you haven’t already!
Describe the style of your garments in three words:
feminine, vintage, modern
Tell us about the woman you design for:
I more or less design for me, as I think a lot of designers do. I like garments that aren’t overly fussy, but also have interesting details and feminine touches. I love vintage style, but I never want to appear to be wearing a costume. I like my designs to translate to a modern woman and lifestyle, not a costume shop.
What body shapes work best with your patterns?
I think most body shapes can work with my patterns. I design with an element of ease and never want the wearer to feel self-concsious in my clothing. I want the woman to feel confident and not be thinking about the clothing she has on. Rather her outfit just adds to her day and helps her feel beautiful! For example, my new Marianne Dress pattern, which is for knits, I designed it with positive ease instead of negative ease, so it doesn’t wear like a tight fitted knit dress, as that only comfortable on very thin women.
What should home dressmakers know about using your patterns?
My patterns are drafted for a B cup and range from sizes 0-18, so it’s a great starting point for many body types. They also are rated by “spools” so you can see the difficulty level on the back of the pattern. One spool means very easy, four is the most difficult, and two and three are somewhere in the middle! All my patterns have both metric and imperial sizing and fabric quantities on the back, so there’s no need for fussy number crunching when at the fabric store.
Another important difference about my patterns is that I have written four sewing books to date, and have been teaching sewers of all levels for seven years, so my patterns are very clearly written and illustrated, as I know what it takes to explain the steps to the reader in a clear and concise manner.
Tell us about yourself!
I grew up in a wonderfully artsy small-town in Michigan. Both of my grandmothers were prolific seamstresses and my mother made many of my outfits growing up. She then taught me to sew when I was about 10 years old. After high school, I attended college for fine arts. I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a focus in the department of Film, Video, and New Media in 2002. Throughout college I made many of my own outfits, but never sewed professionally. I tried my hand at sewing for others when I sold 70’s style wrap skirts at the second annual Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago in 2004. Much to my delight, they were a hit!
I relocated to Los Angeles and on the side of my day jobs continued to sew. Eventually I developed a line of garments and opened a studio in the garment district in downtown Los Angeles where I designed and sewed collections that were featured in fashion shows, trade shows, and sold in boutiques around the world.
I begin writing for Craft Zine and one of my articles got the attention of an editor at Random House, which led to my first book in 2009, Chic & Simple Sewing. After publishing my book, I began teaching others to sew and gave up my ready to wear line and my garment district studio. It was a natural shift to share my love of sewing in this way. I continued writing for many magazines, like SewStylish, Sew News, CraftStylish, and still do so today. My second book, The Complete Photo Guide to Clothing Construction, was published by Creative Publishing International in February 2014. 2015 will bring two additional books, Skirts & Dresses For First Time Sewers, and How to Speak Fluent Sewing.
I also continue to teach sewing, which I do at Sew L.A. in the Atwater Village neighborhood of Los Angeles. Occasionally I teach and lecture at trade shows, conferences, out-of-town workshops, or other shops on special occasions.
In 2012 I launched my own line of sewing patterns, which are available on this site as well as other shops around the world. I am expanding my line by a few patterns a year, each one focusing on feminine garments for women, that are modern and vintage-inspired, without being costumey or overly fussy.
Also in 2012, I filmed and launched my first class with Craftsy, the Sassy Librarian Blouse and later was hired as one of the Craftsy bloggers. The Sassy Librarian Blouse is a 50’s and 60’s inspired top for the advanced beginner seamstress. My blog writings can be seen on the Craftsy blog.
My work has been featured in Threads Magazine, The New York Times, Sew News Magazine, The New York Post, The Los Angeles Times, Martha Stewart’s Radio Channel, People.com, LA Weekly, Daily Candy, and NBC’s Today Show, among others. I have presented lectures and workshops at the American Sewing Guild conference, the Craftcation conference, have contributed to other books, like One Yard Wonders, and was a guest on season two and the upcoming season eight of the PBS TV show, Sew it All.
Thank you, Christine!