I am so happy that as part of Sewing Indie Month I was able to do an interview with Yuki, the creator of Waffle Patterns. Yuki has a gift for creating beautiful content (she created the Sewing Indie Month button graphics you are seeing all over!) and apparel designs. I love her commitment to personalized design and one of a kind garments. Make sure to check out the Waffle Patterns blog to see her designs, along with tutorials and sewing projects. She generously offers many free patterns as well!
On to the interview, where we talk about moving to different cities, favorite patterns, and sweet treats!
Q: What inspired you to start Waffle Patterns?
A: I just wanted to share with everyone the great feeling of how happy I was when I finished my 1st jacket! I’m not really confident talking with people unfortunately, but I found the things I have made or designed communicate very well without speaking. Since I found this out, to support self-expression through the art and craft is my passion.
I worked on mass production design for a long time. It was great but I want to feel I’m special with my original garment–we are so happy to get the only one.
Q: You have a background in graphic and product design (and it shows—your website is beautiful!). How does this translate to your work with pattern creation?
A: Design is a kind of technique for making a message by shapes and colours without words. All shapes, lines or colours are chosen with reason and tell us their story. So, for example, when I design a dress pattern I’m considering what is the dress’s message is or what I want to express via the dress, same as the designing a product logotype.
I also like Japanese traditional designs, and it is a big inspiration for me. They are very simple, functional yet not boring, and there is remaining room for everyone to make some personal touch (imagine Origami, Ikebana or Japanese table settings). I’m trying to make my patterns also like that.
Q: Are you a self-taught pattern drafter?
A: Basically yes. My mother was a professional and taught me a lot about sewing.
Q: What inspires you when creating a new pattern? Do you have a specific design process or does it come organically?
A: My design process is so boring like “Design 101” in text!
Information Gathering >> Concept Board and Key Word >> Basic Design Idea >> Application Design >> Test Production >>> Back to the 1st step.
I repeat and repeat, trial and error many times in this circle, keep asking myself “is this shape beautiful?” That is super basic, but it’s actually works, and I love every step!
Q: What Waffle pattern would you suggest for a new sewer just starting out?
A: How about gather tunic blouse? There are no difficult points like cuffs and a good PJ to learn basic technique.
(Tunic Blouse pattern here)
Also, if you like hats, enjoy a free news boy hat pattern on my blog. It is easy to sew!
Q: You mentioned that you moved from Japan to Amsterdam. That must have been quite a change! In your opinion how does the creative/craft scene differ between these places?
A: I feel Japan is “new trend” oriented, Europe is more identity orientated.
In Tokyo, everything is changing quickly and newness or younger things lead the economy. I feel in Europe people trust a more stable identity and their own style, and get more of an investment.
Q: If you have a moment of free time what do you love to do outside of designing and making patterns?
A: I’m a sweet freak, love to go on a trip and have some local sweets!!
Q: How would you describe your personal style? What is your favorite garment that you have made?
A: I like simple and functional style like mod 60s. It is also suitable for my personal body type; short and boyish. I cannot choose only one fave, but if I do from my patterns, it would be zipper blouson. I’m wearing literally every day!
(Zipper Blouson pattern here)
Q: What does the future hold for Waffle Patterns?
A: There are many items on my to-do list, currently I’m working on a coat for winter.
Thank you Yuki for taking the time to chat with me!
Check out everything Waffle Patterns here: