I first heard about True Bias patterns when Kelli released her first pattern last year – the Hudson Pant were an indie sewing phenomenon, and it seemed I was about the only woman who hasn’t sewn a pair yet (and believe me, they’re still on my To Sew List for someday!). I’ve had the privilege of talking to Kelli to find out more about her sewing, aesthetics, and what’s up next, so read on to find out more about the lady behind the label… – melissa
Kelli in her Hudson Pant pattern
You kept a sewing blog for quite a few years before starting True Bias – what was the impetus for starting a pattern company?
Yes, I started my blog about 3 1/2 years ago. When I started it, I always knew that it would somehow turn into a business for me, I just wasn’t sure in what way. I was new to motherhood, having an identity crisis, and needed something to work towards. I was passionate about sewing and the community, so it made sense to focus my efforts there. I entertained the idea of a fabric store for awhile but it didn’t stick. I knew of a few independant pattern companies at the time and loved what they were doing. I had taken a couple of patternmaking and draping classes in college, but I knew that I didn’t have the skills yet to start a company. It wasn’t until after moving to NYC and starting classes at FIT that my confidence and abilities grew. My first pattern, the Hudson pant, was a huge leap of faith for me. And it was super slow at the beginning and scary. I wasn’t sure that this was all going to work, but it did and I am so glad.
What’s the single biggest lesson you learned so far?
Don’t worry about what other people are doing, just be true to yourself. This is SO hard though. The indie pattern market has become very saturated and we are all influenced by the same trends to one extent or another. This means there is going to be some overlap. There have been multiple times when I have seen a sneak peek on instagram of another designer’s pattern and I have had a total freakout because it looks similar to something I have been working on for months. It’s scary because you don’t want it to appear that you are copying, but in the end you have to be true to yourself and your own ideas. Like I said, it’s really hard though.