Powered by Janome: Create Kids Couture
After learning to sew, these two moms created their own, unique pattern company.
Tiffany and Shannon met while teaching themselves how to sew clothes for their daughters. They soon realized that while there were plenty of beautiful patterns out there, they could find very few "over-the-top" children’s boutique patterns.
After becoming experienced seamstresses, both opened up clothing boutiques. They continued to work together, sharing what they were learning--including what it takes to make good patterns.
After multiple requests from fans, they decided to share their one-of-a-kind designs, opening Create Kids Couture in 2011. They now offer 170 patterns for girls, tweens, womens, boys, and dolls. And they love their Janome machines.
Continue below to read our interview with them.
How did you learn to sew?
Tiffany: I first learned in school in Home Economics class. I dabbled from time to time in it but it wasn't until my sons were born that I started to sew them blankets and such by hand. Once my daughter was born, I finally purchased a machine to make her clothing, diapers, and toys as well. I had a lot of friends in a moms group wanting to learn to sew, so I started teaching them everything I learned from the web and YouTube. And that's where I found my love of teaching, though I had lots to learn as well.
Shannon: I learned to sew straight lines when I was a child from my grandma, who is an avid quilter. She also made many of my outfits growing up so that was something I always knew I wanted to do for my own children some day. I didn't actually start to really learn to sew until after my daughter was born, just 4 years ago! That's when I really taught myself to do more than sew a straight line. Tiffany and I met in her moms group where 10 of us learned to sew together while our children played! It was so much fun!
How did you learn to make patterns?
Tiffany: Well, I saw a lot of outfits I wanted to make my daughter but had no idea PDFs existed. I found store-bought patterns hard to follow--being a beginner and unfamiliar with technical terms. So I just started designing outfits on paper and figuring out how to sew them together by trial and error until I found which techniques really worked for me and I felt were easy steps to get an otherwise complicated piece created quickly. Having 3 young children, I didn't have much time so I needed quick, easy and uncomplicated ways to complete my projects!! Then friends wanted to learn how to make them and I would show them. After opening my boutique, I found the designing processes and teaching much more fulfilling. So we started Create Kids Couture to write patterns and show everyone the easy way to sew--for busy moms like us who may not have had any time to take a formal class.
Shannon: Before we began making patterns, we both owned boutiques where we made children's clothing to sell. We were fairly successful so that was nice, but the stress it put on us and our families with deadlines was not so nice! We had purchased a few PDF patterns before and some of them were really great, but a lot were not very good quality. We started receiving lots of emails about some of our own designs from other boutiques asking us "where did you get your pattern?" One day we just decided to try it out ourselves. So we made up our mind to try it out! We worked for a month on 5 patterns and opened up shop on July 28, 2011! We do not have any formal training, we are all self taught!
What's the big difference between your patterns and traditional patterns?
Tiffany: We offer a more simplistic way to sew by keeping things to-the-point and easy to understand. We don't like to confuse customers by being too technical, since most start out at CKC as beginners wanting to learn. We don't have a lot of pattern pieces. We prefer rectangles to have measurements we cut with a rotary cutter and cutting board. There's less to store since you can just print out your pattern pieces and cutting charts, and read your pattern on your computer/phones or other devices. Or print it out if you prefer!
Shannon: Our patterns include step-by-step instructions with color pictures for every step--and none are over 35 steps!. We like to "talk" people through the process. They are perfect for beginners and people who want to learn to sew boutique clothes for themselves or their children! The best part about PDF patterns (in my opinion) is that you don't have a million patterns everywhere that you need to worry about finding a safe place for. They store easily on your computer and you can print out the pattern pieces as you need them!
How did you discover Janome?
Tiffany: I was at my local sewing machine shop and tested a few machines and really loved the fun stitches I could use to spice up all my projects. I loved how durable it has been through all my heavy sewing and how easy i t is to use. I just purchased my 5 year old daughter the sweet little green Hello Kitty machine so she can sew with me! I have the Janome Memory Craft 5200. I love the fun stitches to add a special touch to outfits and blankets and how easy it is to use! It's durable and quiet as well, which are great perks :)
Shannon: My grandma said Janome makes the best sewing machine out there, so that was enough for me. I've never owned anything else and I don't plan on it! I have the DC2013 as my main sewing machine right now. I love it! Since I sew clothes, I don't need a lot of bells and whistles, but I love that it has "premium" things that other sewing machines don't, such as the assist for threading needles! Can't live without that!
What's the next big thing for Create Kids Couture?
Tiffany: What isn't? lol! We love to push ourselves to new limits and try new things! We love having new ideas and tips for our fans and customers, and new designs to get their creative juices flowing! We just want to keep expanding so that we can grow as crafters, as a business, and teach other fun new things on our way!
Shannon: We are ALWAYS working on something new! Right now, we are working on expanding our pattern lines. We just started our tween, women, and doll pattern lines this year so we are working with our staff to really get established in those lines.