Get ready to enter a new era of comfort dressing with our latest pattern, the Peppermint Samford Set. This exclusive, highly wearable pattern was created for us in collaboration with the sensational Lindsey Rae, the patternmaker extraordinaire behind Sew to Grow.
Lindsey started Sew To Grow in 2014, to plant the seeds of a handmade wardrobe in us all. “I love the confidence that sewing builds, and the community that brings us all together with a shared passion and love,” she says. “Our mission is to inspire creativity and build confidence with sewing. We want to be the one-stop shop for all your garment-making needs and an educational resource to help you grow and flourish!”
In the spirit of going behind the seams, we caught up with Lindsey to learn more about her label and to rack her brain for tips and tricks when creating the set.
Tell us about your journey into the sewing world…
There wasn’t much to do in the small East Texas town I grew up in. I loved spending hours crafting, painting and using all the glitter in our little craft room at the back of the house! My mum owned a sewing machine, but it had sat for years in the closet. One day, when I was a “totally bored” teenager, I decided to dust off the old Kenmore and teach myself how to sew. I designed my first bag by taking paper, stapling it together to see how I would need to sew to conceal the stitching, and then replicating that with the fabric. I was instantly hooked. From that point forward I sewed constantly and started my first business called Sassy Bags.
Sewing isn’t just a hobby for me, it has been a driving force in my life and career.
Once I went off to university, I started working and teaching classes at a local sewing and patchwork shop. I was surrounded by the most talented women who taught me how to quilt, embroider, smock and how to design and alter patterns. I soon became the shop manager and went on purchasing trips to Quilt Market where I was fully immersed in the sewing world. There I met my sewing idol, Amy Butler, and decided that I wanted to pursue a career in this industry.
Sewing isn’t just a hobby for me, it has been a driving force in my life and career. I feel overwhelmed with gratitude that I get to do what I love every day of my life.
How was Sew to Grow born?
Sew to Grow is all about planting the seeds to grow the future of the craft. Before I started my own business, I was working in corporate and was told I would never be an educator and to just focus on sales. However, I had a tremendous desire to share my passion for sewing with the world. So, I took a leap of faith, left my secure job and started Sew to Grow in 2014. Since then I have travelled the world teaching workshops, been on TV in the US and UK, started my own fabric range and continue to spread my love of sewing with everyone I meet.
I would say that Sew to Grow is the ultimate resource for those looking to build a perfectly fitting handmade wardrobe. Sewing and making clothing that actually fits can be so empowering and therapeutic. That’s why I work to design patterns that are achievable, teach new skills and will become wardrobe staples that you love to make and wear again and again. Plus there are supporting videos and tutorials available so that it feels like I am right there with you while you sew – sort of like I am your sewing bestie! I want you to love sewing as much as I do, and feel confident in the clothes you make and wear.
It is the best feeling in the world to teach others and see their transformation through learning new skills.
You wear a lot of hats – sewing teacher, patternmaker, creator, fabric designer. Do you have a favourite or do you find they all fit the same?
I honestly love the business side. It keeps things creative, and interesting and has me always pushing to grow. I’ve really enjoyed the process of becoming a fabric designer especially because it was something that felt so big and impossible for so many years. Hundreds of hours were spent teaching myself Illustrator, researching companies, failed attempts, setbacks and huge financial outlay. It was my mountain to climb and I love that I proved to myself that I could do it. However, I would have to say the time I sparkle and feel most exhilarated is when I am teaching a workshop. It is the best feeling in the world to teach others and see their transformation through learning new skills. After class, we all get together and take a big group shot. The huge smiles on their faces say it all!
What inspires your patterns?
My patterns have always been inspired by my travels. I am constantly people-watching and love noticing how individuals wear and style their clothes. I also think a lot about our current range and what would be missing from your “handmade wardrobe”. Many of our designs are what I would consider wardrobe basics with clever proportions, purposeful style lines and options to pick and choose different elements to create and express your own personal style.
How would you describe your own personal style?
My style seems to be an ever-moving target. I wouldn’t be able to say that I fit any one specific style. There are days I dress comfy and classic. A curated wardrobe usually helps calm my mind when life is feeling chaotic. I love to sprinkle in some vintage pieces when I’m feeling nostalgic and sometimes change things up with a couple of ruffles when I’m feeling feminine. But I ALWAYS add in a healthy dose of big, bold and colourful prints to spike my dopamine levels for an added boost of confidence. The way I dress is more linked to how I am feeling and what I want to convey to the world at that given moment. I just love exploring fashion and enjoy the feelings and emotions that dressing a certain way can bring. This is definitely a huge reason I’ve always been drawn to making my own clothing.
I just love exploring fashion and enjoy the feelings and emotions that dressing a certain way can bring.
What do you love most about the sewing community?
I absolutely LOVE the sewing community and how we are able to connect with one another around the world because of our shared passion. I’ve made lifelong friendships over the years and wouldn’t be where I am today without the love, encouragement and support of this amazing community!
Any tips and tricks for sewists making the Peppermint Samford Set?
My biggest tip is to not be afraid of sewing buttonholes. Find your sewing machine manual or download it from the internet and then set yourself a goal to practise on some scrap fabric. Sewing a buttonhole is not scary and is really quite simple once you know how your particular machine does it. I would suggest starting with the buttonholes on the pants that will be covered up by the tie so you can work your way up to doing them on the top. YOU GOT THIS!
What about fabric recommendations for those struggling to make a decision?
There are so many great fabric options for this particular pattern. Looking for a beachy cool vibe? Then I would recommend a linen or linen blend fabric – perfect on warm summer days.
Who wouldn’t want to look good enough to be upgraded to first class, but comfy enough to try and get some sleep in those impossibly small chairs?!
To create an outfit that will flow and swish as you walk with the effortless look of comfort, then I would suggest a rayon, viscose or Tencel fabric. If you are new to sewing and looking for the easiest fabric to make your first Peppermint Samford Set with, then I would recommend a stable cotton fabric such as voile, lawn, cotton sateen or quilting cotton. It just depends on your skill level, confidence working with challenging fabrics and the look you are going for. I would also stick to natural fibres so that your garment moves and breathes and avoid synthetic fabrics like polyester or spandex.
Where do you plan on wearing the Peppermint Samford Set?
I have this very clear picture in my head of heading down to my favourite breakfast place near the beach, grabbing an iced oat latte and taking a leisurely stroll along the esplanade, stopping at the next beach to have a quick dip. I also plan to wear this outfit on my next long-haul flight to visit my dad and sister in Europe. Who wouldn’t want to look good enough to be upgraded to first class, but comfy enough to try and get some sleep in those impossibly small chairs?!