• Pattern tester call for baby, kids and woman joggers

    Update: The application for pattern tester is now closed. A huge thanks to everyone who’s appied!! I’ll contact you today or tomorrow.

    It’s finally time to send out and test my patterns! I hope there is an interest out there to help check, proofread and try the fit of my patterns!

    Baby joggers to the left and kids and woman joggers to the right

    Fieldfare joggers

    It is the Fieldfare Joggers for baby, children and ladies that are ready to be tested:

    • Baby joggers are in sizes 50-92. They have a wide cuff at the waist and cuffs at the legs. They have no pockets and the fit is made for the baby to have a diaper.
    • Kids joggers are in sizes 92-140. They have pockets and a waist cuff with elastic inside. The waist comes in two options, one where the waist cuff has gatherings and the other without gatherings.
    • Woman joggers are in sizes 32-56 (EU size). They have pockets and a waist cuff with elastic inside. The waist comes in two options, one where the waist cuff has gatherings and the other without gatherings.

    The fit

    The fit is “regular” for all three styles. The width at seat and legs are bigger compared to the body measurements. I will send out a size chart to the testers so you can easily find your nearest size.

    Fabric

    The patterns are designed to be in jogging/sweatshirt fabric and rib at the waist and bottom leg. The jogging fabric should have about 40% stretch and I recommend a rib with elastin in it for better recovery (especially for baby joggers that have no elastic band in the waist). For the kids and woman joggers you also need an elastic band, 4 cm wide for kids sizes and 5 cm wide for women sizes.

    Difficulty level

    The baby joggers have a difficulty level of “easy” and the kids and women joggers have “medium”. The kids and ladies joggers have some extra sewing steps due to the pocket and elastic band at the waist. But, I have made an instruction with both text and pictures so that a beginner should be able to sew these as well! (That is at least the idea and I hope there is some beginner out there who wants to try and see if the instructions are clear enough!)

    Testing process

    If you are interested in participating in the test, please send me an e-mail at info@formgivningochmonster.se or a DM via Instagram. Write which model and size you want to try. On Friday the 13th of March I will contact all selected testers and send out the PDF files for the pattern and instructions. I will also send you a questionnaire about how you experienced the fit, the instructions, etc.

    The deadline for comments will be Monday, March 23.

    This is only for testing the fit, the PDF pattern, the instructions, the pictures etc. All your feedback and suggestions will be greatly appreciated! This is the first time I have made a PDF pattern, so I really want your opinions! The test is not done for “marketing purposes”, I do not require styled images, posts or anything like that. You don’t need any Instagram account or blog to participate, it’s your opinions and experiences that I need. Should there be any fit issues I would like you to send a picture of it, but that picture stays with me. (If you take pictures that you want me to share later on through my channels and tag you, I would of course love to do that!)

    I will create a private facebook group and invite all testers so it’s easier to keep in contact with you all. In other words, please also write what your name on facebook is so I can find you! It is of course completely voluntary to join that group.

    As a thank you for your work and feedback, I will send out the completed pattern after it’s published. The amibition is to be able to provide reimbursement for material costs in the future, but unfortunately it is not possible at the moment…

    Please help me spread the word to a fellow sewinst if you think they would be insterested! Your help will be highly appreciated by me!

  • Me and my company

    Finally, I have my own website and blog for Pattern By Malena!! Let’s start with a presentation about me and my company!

    My name is Malena and I started my own company in the fall of 2018. My company’s official name in Swedish is “Umeå Formgivning och Mönster AB” (in English: Umeå Design and Pattern Ltd, and Umeå is the city I live in here in Sweden). I work mainly as a freelance pattern maker, sometimes I have sewing or draping classes and I’m currently working my own sewing patterns in PDF format for sale under the name Pattern by Malena. And then there are some other projects and jobs besides that as well, the fun of being “your own” is that the jobs can vary quite a lot.

    As a pattern maker, I am responsible for the fit of the garments. I draw pattern parts for how e.g. the front piece, back piece, sleeve and collar should be cut out, making sure everything goes together and gets the right silhouette and fit when all parts are sewn together. You draw the pattern in a base size and then you grade the pattern in more sizes. I do this in a CAD program called Modaris Lectra. Then I can email the files to suppliers who can print it out as paper patterns.

    How did I end up here in Umeå? Me and my husband have lived in a few cities before we decided to move here. I was born and raised in Korsholm outside of Vaasa, Finland. During high school and secondary school, sewing was my absolute favorite subject (or it’s perhaps called home economic?) and I sewed a lot of clothes for myself. I started studying Design and Fashion in Turku at the Novia University of Applied Sciences. My travel interest got started and I was on an internship in Benin, West Africa and in Stockholm, Sweden at Filippa K. And if you study in the textile industry in Finland or Sweden, the probability is that you will end up in Borås too, that is the textile mecca of Sweden.

    After studying I started working at H&M and moved to Stockholm. I worked within the H&M Group for almost 10 years, but with a few different tasks. I started as a pattern assistant at H&M +, then pattern maker on knitwear and jersey at the Ladies Modern Classic. After that, we lived in Shanghai for two years where I worked with children’s clothes. Then I went back to the Modern Classic for a quick turn to finally ended up at Arket working on their children and baby collection. So, I have gone from working with plus sizes to baby clothes, a very fun trip! And it was about that time that we got our own little baby and the thoughts of Umeå were born. We wanted to move closer to our families, have a house, garden and car and be closer to nature. Umeå became a perfect location between our families and a quite okay big city (depends what you compare it to of course). The tough question for me was, what will I do for a living? Umeå is not really known for being a large textile town, so getting a job at a clothing company was quite unlikely. But I still wanted to work with this, so then I had to start my own company.

    Running my own business have never been something I wanted, so it was incredibly tough to quit my job at Arket. But now after a year, I’m starting to feel a little bit more secure with my choice. There are still lots of things I must learn, especially when it comes to the bureaucratic part like taxes, VAT and financial statements. Fortunately, there are others who know this better that helps me … My concern about not having enough jobs and customers is starting to settle, but it will probably never go away. So far, I have had the opportunity to work with a few different companies and customers, for example Sigr, Better Bodies and my old employer H&M. I have mainly worked on designing patterns in basic size and for some customers have graded their as well. And some costumers only need help with the grading. It has been great assignments and you learn so much when working with others and with different companies.

    In the future I plan to do more posts and dive into all of this. And if you have any questions or want to read more about, just email or write a comment! You can find me on Instagram at @patternbymalena and @formgivingsochmonster

  • Confessions from the sewing room

    Last weekend Johanna from The Last Stitch had a sewing class at the Norwegian craft fair SewNordic2020 and she used my pattern for t-shirts and joggers as course material. I am so happy that she wanted to use my designs and this is a great opportunity for me to test the fit on different people. If the fair had been a little closer, I’d love to have participated in the class, but Umeå and Oslo are quite far from each other. So why would I want to take a class where my own patterns are used?

    Photo samples in the making

    Well.

    Can I admit one thing? Or actually two things. I think sewing is fun, but only most of the time. In some cases working with your hands can be fun, meditative and wonderful. But, I’m pretty impatient and get easily annoyed when things don’t go fast enough and I’d like to be done right away. The project should preferably be completed in one session. I hope I can still be part of the sewing community after this confession? In my defense, I work as a pattern maker and it is to make patterns that is my great passion. Sewing clothes is a way to test the patterns so that I can either improve them or continue working on new patterns. Sewing is thus secondary, it is the patterns I want to make. I would love if someone else made all the samples…

    Sewing sewing sewing…

    My second confession is that even after studying design for 4.5 years and working in the industry for over 10 years, I am not an expert on the acutal practical sewing. My job includes commenting on garment sewing, explaining how we want it, what needs to be improved and if something needs to be done in a different way. But being able to do it myself and sew? Well, my practical knowledge is not on that level… I’m good at sewing ”what I know” within my comfort zone, but that it is a rather limited area so to speak. I always sew a t-shirt neckline in a sertain way and I do very well. Of course, I know roughtly how to do it in other ways, but I haven’t actually done it myself. (And in my defens, it can also differ quite a lot how it’s done by factory supliers that I’m used to and how to sew it yourself on a home-sewing machine …) If something is outside my comfort zone I need to google and check youtube to know how to do it. I’m a bit embaressed to say this, which I know I shouldn’t be. Being a pattern maker and being a seamstress or a tailor are different professions and you can’t know everything (I wish though). I have, for example no problem doing pattern for a collar or cuff for a shirt and could easily comment on whether the sewing on a sample was good or not. And I do have sewn a shirt myself, I think, like 15 years ago… But if I were to sew a shirt today I would have to read instructions quite carefully and probably watch some tutaroals while sewing, even though I made the pattern for the shirt myself …

    Me in Curiosum’s SoftLab

    That’s why this class with Johanna would have been so great to join. She has a broader sewing knowledge than I have and knows better how you can make things in different ways. Luckily, I have her book ”Sewing Activewear” where she clearly illustrates in both pictures and text the different ways you can sew. The diffiuclt part is just to take the time to move outside of your comfort zone and try out new sewing solutions. I mean, there are just so many other patterns that are more appealing to work on…

    What is your sewing confession?