We are pleased to welcome Christine Haynes to Fancy Tiger Crafts! Christine Haynes designs vintage inspired patterns for modern women from her hometown of Los Angeles, where she also manages Sew LA. She will be in town next weekend to teach her ever popular Emery Dress. Her class filled up quick, but don't worry, we do have the pattern in stock if you'd like to make one on your own. Let's meet Christine!
I've been artsy-crafty my whole life, taking painting and ballet classes at a very young age, so I knew the arts were in my future. After high school I earned my BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the department of Film, Video, & New Media, but I was always sewing and eventually that took over all of my time. Things really changed when I participated in the second Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago which launched my ready to wear line of clothing. I produced finished garments for boutiques around the world for many years, but that all changed with the collapse of the economy which was perfectly timed with my first book, Chic & Simple Sewing. At that time I closed up my garment district studio and focused on teaching and writing, which has now led to my own line of patterns! It's been a crazy ride and I'm so happy with where it's going!
2) Do you have a favorite type of project to design? Or, what are you most excited about making right now?
I'm pretty much completely sewing-centric, but of course that can include other elements like fabric design, block printing, dying, embroidery, beading, and loads more embellishments. My favorite type of project to design are dresses, and they are my favorite thing to wear. They are so easy to toss on and go. No fuss at all! Right now I'm really excited about my next pattern which will be coming out in July! And spoiler alert: it's a dress! I'm also really excited about an upcoming long vacation to Paris and have already decided to bring a large embroidery project to keep my hands busy while I'm there. I take that time off of sewing completely, but it's nice to work on a related project.
3) What influences you creatively? What is your creative process for coming up with new ideas? What inspires you?
I am most inspired by real women and how they dress themselves everyday. I have no interest at all to design or make things that are only wearable for special occasions and not for everyday life. For instance, I have no desire to make red carpet gowns or wedding dresses or anything like that, but I love making women feel good on a random Thursday when perhaps they aren't having a good day. Hopefully they can put on the dress they made and make that average day a little bit better.
My creative process really starts with what I feel is missing in my life and in the market. I can't be overly influenced by the others that do the same thing that I do, and yet I also don't want to be redundant. So I'm not going to design something that exists in the same way by another indie designer. I think about what I am longing to wear and how that relates to the big picture. I have 100's of vintage patterns from the 20's-80's and try to pull in vintage elements into my designs to blend the retro with the new. I don't like wearing anything that looks like a costume, but I do love vintage detailing that is missing from most modern patterns. From there, it's a lot of sketching, muslin making, testing, and finally settling on the finished idea.
4) What is your favorite mythological animal?
I've always related to my zodiac animal. I am a Capricorn and most people think it's the goat, all bull headed and practical thinking in nature. But that's not true! The Capricorn is actually the sea goat; goat on the top and fish on the bottom. It's a pretty bad ass and wildly misunderstood animal, which I think works perfectly for Capricorns themselves. We are a misunderstood bunch! The sea goat constellation sits among the water bearers in the night sky and the Greeks associate the animal to be an embodiment of Pan, the god of nature, who was only half submerged in the Nile while helping Zeus fight. The lower half acclimated with the sea and the top half stayed intact. We are strong and resilient but not at all as cold as people think!
5) If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Oh, without question it would be teleportation! I'd love to just be beamed up from place to place at a moment's notice! I love traveling, but I hate flying and this would fix everything. Get on that someone!
Thanks Christine, see you soon!