Canadian Pattern Designer blog tour: Interview with E+M Patterns


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Edited March 4, 2017: Please note that E+M Patterns has merged her shops and now sells all her patterns under Petitboo Patterns. You can find all the patterns under new names on Etsy* or Craftsy*.

Today we have Allison of E+M Patterns! I’ve tested a few times for Allison, (I’ve blogged a couple of the makes here and here) and she was so lovely to work with! Allison also is the other half of the pattern design team for Audrey & Tiffany. Read on to the end to get the details on the awesome discount code and to enter the giveaway!




Allison earliest memories of sewing were of her mother making Halloween costumes and special occasion outfits. Her mom hated it! However, Allison only really got into sewing while in her mid twenties. While in college (studying Genetics!) she took some sewing and pattern drafting courses, and started sewing more once her first son was born. She loved PDF patterns and not long after started designing her own patterns. The lack of seam finishes in some of the patterns (or seam finishes that simply said to zig zag finish the edge) were frustrating to her and so she designed her patterns to have seam finishes that made the garments as pretty on the inside as out.


Can you describe a typical day for you?

 I suppose that my typical day does not have too much to do with designing or sewing.  It mostly involves raising my two sweet little boys who are 2 and 4 years old.  But I do wish I could design and sew all day long!  Once E and M are tucked away in bed at night, I get to work either drafting some patterns, sewing some patterns, or answering emails and chatting with all the lovely ladies in my sewing groups and pages on Facebook.

What was the first thing you ever sewed that you can remember? How did it go?

Hmmm, does sewing on one of those cheap-o toy sewing machines count?  If it does, then it was a simple doll stuffy made with one of those machines is the first thing I sewed.  If that doesn’t count, then it was a denim over the shoulder bag made from my worn out (acid wash!) jeans with my grandma when I was about 12 years old.  I remember being thrilled with it and wearing it all. the. time.  I don’t remember if it was sewn well at all, but I loved it and that’s what counts, right?

(This question sure is bringing back a ton of wonderful memories for me, so thanks!)
 Hemlock Tee pattern

Since this is Canada inspired blog tour, tell me a little about where you live.  Is there one place nearby that you always recommend to new visitors? (A shop, restaurant or landmark).

I live near Vancouver, British Columbia – one of the prettiest cities in the world, I think.  (Perhaps I am a bit biased though.)  We’re squished into a beautiful spot between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains.  We have lovely beaches during the spring and summer and beautiful ski hills in the winter.  We have thousands of bike trails, walking trails, hiking trails and lakes throughout the city and surrounding areas that are gorgeous in fall when the trees change colour.

For us sewers, I would suggest Dressew as a place to check out if you’re ever in town.  It is a two story fabric and notions (oh my! the notions!!) store in downtown Vancouver.  The top flour has regular priced fabrics and the lower floor is FULL of notions (you name it, they have it – in 300 different colours too!) and a small discount fabric room.  I have been known to spend HOURS in there.

Is there any other place in Canada that you’ve always wanted to visit or that you do visit on a regular basis?

I would LOVELOVELOVE to visit Montreal one day.  I would love to experience the art scene and the culture in Montreal.  I think it would be so inspiring to create!  It would be so fun to experience the city and all it has to offer.  Plus, I’d get a chance to practice all the French that I learned in high school.  I wonder if I’d remember any of it…

Pepperberry dress

Do you think that being Canadian influences your designs?

This is a great question!  British Columbia is such a beautiful province with so many things to do outside (parks, beaches, trails, hikes, skiing, etc.).  Because of this my family and I spend a lot of time outdoors.  Since my boys need to be able to run and jump and climb and all those things while we’re playing outside, I try to design my clothes that are comfy and loose and easy for kids to still be kids in.  Of course, I design some pretty dresses too, but I do try to make those a little comfy as well.


What are your top 3 favourite sewing or creative resources? (books,websites, etc)

 My favourite place to find some creativity and inspiration is any time I am out of the house and seeing people.  From the playgrounds and parks to the malls and restaurants, I often catch myself checking out people’s clothes and thinking about the all the details and the construction and the parts that make it special or fun or different.  I have been known to take pictures of my friends’ clothing so that I can remember the special detail on their clothes.  I’m sure they think I’m nuts, but they’re too nice to say anything.  I have yet to ask a stranger for a picture though – not sure if I’ll ever be brave enough for that. 🙂


I also catch myself admiring and analyzing the clothing on T.V.  Shows like Glee and Mad Men, where the clothing is an important part of the show, are a great place for inspiration. As far as pattern drafting and the technical aspect to all of that, Winifred Aldrich’s Metric Pattern Cutting for Children’s Wear and Babywear and Women’s Wear are great books and are very complete and helpful resources.

Indigo Dress pattern

What is your #1 sewing tip or trick?

Press, press, press some more.  My iron and my pressing ham are my best friends when sewing.  I press each seam flat before I open them to press.  The ham really helps in creating beautiful curved seams.  Pressing and ironing create neat and clean and crisp looking garments.  I think I spend more time at the ironing board than I do at the sewing machine.  Oh!  And pressing is different from ironing.  Unless I am getting wrinkles out (like after washing the garment), I usually just press my iron down on the seam and hold it steady for a few seconds.  There is very little moving of the iron when I am pressing my garment during construction.  Okay, I think I am babbling now.  I hope that made some sense. 🙂


Do you have any future plans for E+M Patterns that you would like to share? Any new patterns coming out?

I do plan to branch out and do patterns for the whole family.  I am planning some patterns for babies and for women for this year.  I hope to add some patterns for men too.  I don’t have a lot of time to devote to pattern making these days, so these will take some time to get released.  I need more hours in the day… or a nanny and a chef. 🙂

E+M Patterns is offering 25% off in their or Etsy shop* with the coupon code CANADATOUR. The coupon code is valid from June 15th to June 20th, 2015 at midnight.

You can also find them on Facebook and Pinterest.

These bloggers will be sharing their versions of a pattern from E+M Patterns:

 June 15th: From-a-box – June 16th: Made by Sara – June 17th: Climbing the Willow

(For the full schedule go here)

Enter to win 2 PDF patterns of choice in the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway closes June 18th at 12am EDT.

There are more prizes to be won! Giveaway and prize details for the Grand Prize and Second Prize can be found here. Sew up a pattern from one of the featured designers and you could win the Grand Prize!!

Lulu&Celeste signature


Ula writes for Lulu & Celeste
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35 thoughts on “Canadian Pattern Designer blog tour: Interview with E+M Patterns

  1. Allison and E &M patterns have some pretty wonderful children patterns! Keep up the great work!

  2. Thanks so much for having me as a designer on your tour. It is such a fun thing to see all of us Canadian designersa dn how unique and different we are. 🙂

  3. I just adore E+M Patterns. Only handmade dresses my older girl likes – I just need bigger sizes now! I really want the new one and I can’t wait to see some baby sizes!

  4. My little guy needs clothes, so I’d choose the shorts pattern (no. 2) and the really cute shirt pattern, (no. 7) I love your work!

  5. BC really is beautiful! I don’t even know which pattern I would choose. I highly recommend dress #19 to anybody who doesn’t have it.

  6. Totally shirt no 7 for my little guy and dress no 19 for my little gal! Love your patterns and have made several!

  7. I love pattern #1, my daughter loves skirts and I would have a lot of fun with that pattern. I would also pick #17, because it looks like a great fall/winter dress…. Might even work great for my daughter’s christmas dress

  8. Enjoyed the interview, Canada is such a beautiful place. I would enjoy Dress #19 & #13. Thank you for the giveaway…;o}

  9. This is such an enjoyable interview, most of the time I skim while reading but not this time, I read the entire interview. Thank you Lulu & Celeste…;o}

  10. My favorite pattern is Girls Dress Pattern No. 13…it’s simple and classic! I also like Childrens Pants Pattern No. 2…every kid needs pants!

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