We’ve recently begun introducing some additional, exciting lines of digital patterns to the Oliver + S shop. We hope you’ll like them.
The first line we brought on in recent weeks is Waffle Patterns. Waffle is a sleek line of women’s apparel patterns designed by Yuki Maeshima from Amsterdam by way of Tokyo. If you like Japanese craft books and Japanese style, you’ll love Yuki’s patterns. (We certainly do!) We’re happy to have Yuki with us today to introduce Waffle Patterns.
I started Waffle Patterns because I wanted to share the feeling I experienced when I finished sewing my first jacket. I’m a shy person and, unfortunately, am not overly confident talking with people. But I found that the things I made or designed communicated well for me. They allowed me to express myself and the way I see the world visually, instead of through speech. Since I discovered this, my passion has become to help others realize their own forms of self-expression through art and craft.
I really believe in the value of the original and the handmade. Aren’t we all happy when we get something that’s one-of-a-kind? I designed products for mass production for a long time. The products we made were great, but I much prefer to help people realize an “I’m special” feeling when I can help them make unique pieces of apparel with my patterns.
These are the main ideas that led me to create my line of casual-style patterns with their easy-to-follow instructions. I want everyone to be able to enjoy them and share the feelings I’ve had through my sewing.
People sometimes ask about my design inspiration and style. I have a background working as a graphic and product designer, and that experience has influenced my pattern designs. In my past work, I came to see design as being a kind of technique for making messages or stories with shapes and colors instead of with words.
So today when I design a dress pattern, I’m considering what the dress’s message is and what I want to express via the dress. In moving between 2D sketches and 3D shapes, I keep asking myself “Is this shape beautiful?” It’s much the same process I use as when I design a product logo.
I try to make all my patterns basic and functional without being boring. I personally like mid-century design (especially 1960s mod fashions) and Japanese traditional designs. These are my biggest inspirations. My designs tend to be very simple and functional while still being interesting. And they all leave room so that everyone can put in some of their own personal touch.
I always recommend that people get out of craft room sometimes and really experience nice clothes. I often visit my favorite luxury brand shops and try on as many clothes as I can. (Of course I’m just trying things on; I can’t buy that coat that cost three times of my salary!) Not only is this super fun, but it also teaches me a lot. The experience has helped sharpen my sense of fabrics and what I want to use in my own garment making. It has also taught me to feel what nice design balance is, to see good color combinations, to understand materials, and to develop an eye for how a quarter inch can be so important for fit. I tend to think that these things are more important than sewing technique. Techniques can always be picked up later.
I always love to see what people create from my patterns, and how they add their own personal touch. My personal favorites of my patterns are the Cookie Zipper Blouson and the Pancake Blouse. They are both extremely comfortable to wear without being too relaxed. I wear one of these styles almost every day.
You can play around with these two patterns to give different looks. Cookie makes great sportswear when it’s made with a tricot, and it makes a sweet casual style when you use a floral print. With the Pancake, you could consider adding length to turn it into a dress. I hope you’ll share the photos of your own finished garments!
Right now I’m hard at work on my newest patterns, so please check the shop again in the future to see them when they’re released. You can also follow along as I share some of my inspiration by visiting my blog.