Get ready to swirl and twirl our latest free pattern, the radiant and ravishing Peppermint Rosalie Skirt! This exclusive, highly wearable pattern was created for us in collaboration with the marvellous Johanna Morris, the New Zealand-based patternmaker behind Forget-Me-Not Patterns.
Johanna started Forget-Me-Not in 2019, irresistibly drawn by her passion for slow fashion and home sewing.
“I started out as a home sewer, so I know the struggles and joys of sewing at home,” says Johanna. “I was constantly drawn back to the maker community and I wanted to be a part of the slow fashion movement. Nothing gives me more enjoyment than making things with my hands.”
In the spirit of going behind the seams, we caught up with Johanna to learn more about her label and to rack her brain for tips and tricks when creating the pattern.
When did your sewing journey begin?
I’ve always been drawn to arts and crafts, but I was not really introduced to sewing until I learned a bit about it at school. I had fun and made a few things, but I didn’t catch the real bug for sewing until later on, in my mid-twenties. Let’s just say I was a late bloomer, due to being very ill in my teens and early twenties.
How was Forget-Me-Not Patterns born?
I would always tell people there was no way I was starting my own business… until I did. I’m really quite shy, and expressing myself scares me sometimes. But despite that, I have always enjoyed sharing with fellow sewists. Even after I completed my fashion studies and worked in various roles, I kept being drawn back to the maker community. It feels like the right way to engage with my slow fashion values. Thoughtful makers are my people!
What inspires your patterns?
My patterns are all things I want to wear myself, and I take inspiration from all over! But more than just the design, it’s about the whole package. Part of what motivates me is that before I did my degree in fashion design, I was a home sewist. I had some absolutely horrible sewing experiences with badly made patterns and vague instructions. So I am inspired to do my best to set people up well to succeed, and keep sewing fun, instead of frustrating.
What do you love most about the home sewing community?
I love seeing people share their experiences and what they’ve learned through making, down to the smallest details. There is always more to learn with sewing; new techniques or ways of approaching things, and that’s why we never run out of things to chat about, and why the community is such a vibrant one.
I’m always at my happiest and most fulfilled when I’m making things with my hands.
What draws you towards the slow-making movement?
I’ve realised I’m always at my happiest and most fulfilled when I’m making things with my hands. Slow fashion is a way of combining that with a more thoughtful consideration of how I participate in fashion. It’s a way of satisfying my desire for creativity alongside a deep innate sense of practicality. I want my clothes to be well-made, well-loved and well-worn. I think sewing fosters a sense of resourcefulness and an appreciation for the skill of making. I don’t try to pretend home sewing is a perfect solution for all the big sustainability issues out there, but it feels meaningful to me. I try to engage with it in a way that rejects over-consumption and transient trends!
We just adore the Peppermint Rosalie Skirt! Any tips and tricks for sewists when creating it?
The most challenging part of the skirt is definitely the pointed V-style line. It requires precision clipping and sewing. This is a spot where you really want to take your time instead of whacking it through the machine and hoping for the best. I used to be really scared about clipping into seam allowances, but it’s absolutely essential in order for pointed seams to sit correctly with no puckers. So take the time to mark thoroughly, and then trust yourself and clip right in!
Do you have any recommendations for fabric choice?
The most important thing is to choose a fabric with a good drape, so the flounce hangs nicely. “Easy” fabrics like stiff cotton won’t give you a flowy effect, so I would avoid those, even though they are tempting. You’ll be able to find cotton that works well – just check it is light and flowy enough first. I also find that stable rayon fabrics and soft linens are approachable to sew. They’ll drape well but aren’t as scary as, say, a slippery satin!
Where do you plan on wearing the Rosalie Skirt?
I think I’ll pair her with a plain top and she’ll make for a perfect skirt for a stroll down the road to get ice cream and visit the park this summer! Although, I also want a wintery one, for matching with cosy boots…