Creative Genius: Louise Edu of Design Stitch Go!

Meet the stitch-wizard behind the popular sewing blog, Design Stitch Go!

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The internet is a funny place — sometimes you find a site written by someone clear across the country, but you just know that if you lived in the same town with that person, you’d be best friends. That’s how I feel about Louise Edu of Design Stitch Go! My blogger pal MJ pulled Louise and me together to collaborate on a blog project and, immediately, I sort of fell in love with Louise. She’s witty, warm, hilarious and crazy talented. Totally my kind of girl. I loved Louise’s first blog, Laid Off Mom, but I’m incredibly excited about her current site, Design Stitch Go! I am so envious of the gorgeous creations she pulls together for her girls — I mean, really, she pretty much deserves an award for sewing up a Princess Elsa costume, am I right?

Louise Edu, of Design Stitch Go! (Photo by Raechel Denise Photography.)

Louise Edu, of Design Stitch Go! (Photo by Raechel Denise Photography.)

Say hello to my friend Louise! (Now go follow her site, too!) 

Tell us a little about yourself and your site.
I’m a thirty-something stay at home mom/blogger/apparel designer/costume designer… slash dreamer… slash wanna-be-entrepreneur… slash future world dominator… hehehe. Design Stitch Go! recently came about after two years of blogging at my previous blog, Laid Off Mom. It’s a space where everything I do is purely design and sewing related. I share apparel that I’ve made, tutorials and tips on sewing and pattern making, sketches, words of wisdom, etc. Having previously worked in the costume and apparel industry, I learned a lot, and my heart just keeps getting bigger when it comes to design. Not a day goes by where I’m not sketching or touching my sewing machine.

When did you start sewing and who taught you?

I can remember vividly when I first learned how to hand sew. It was in first grade, and someone at school taught us how to make puppets. It was my first real taste of sewing at such a young age, and after that, I would steal socks out of our dresser drawer and make funky lil’ Barbie clothes. It was not until high school when I learned how to use a sewing machine properly. That year, I remember making a top, a pillow and shorts. Then for senior prom, I actually designed my dress and had it made. I think I still have that dress tucked away somewhere.

Your projects, especially a gingham coat I found on your site, are inspiring. Where does your inspiration come from?
Well, I can’t totally take credit for that gingham coat. It’s an Oliver + S pattern… one of my favorite go-to pattern companies for my littles, actually. But my inspiration comes mainly from previous time periods (mainly the Victorian era and the roaring '20s, paintings, and different cultures…right now I’m in awe of Korean fashion.) There’s a bravery and brightness in their style, and I love how form and function play a role as well. I’m also captivated by landscape. I can be on a road trip, or even somewhere as simple as the park, when inspiration strikes. I never leave home without a notebook just in case my light bulb goes off.

Baby Gingham Coat, image via Design Stitch Go!

Baby Gingham Coat, image via Design Stitch Go!

From idea to completed piece, how long does a project typically take you?
Depending on the difficulty of the project, I can finish something as early as two days, from concept to finished garment…and sometimes I can take months to complete one piece if it’s very detailed, or if I keep changing my mind!

What’s your most/least favorite sewing technique?
Gah! My least favorite thing to do is setting in a zipper! Even after all these years, I still get so nervous and anxious about them. I’m pretty sure all zippers have it out for me!

Can you tell us about a sewing catastrophe you’ve experienced?
Oh gawd…I’ve had my share! Cutting out pattern pieces on the wrong grain, cutting out two pieces when I was supposed to cut on a fold, or running out of fabric. One time, instead of cutting just the excess thread, I snipped a big hole in a dress that was almost finished! Ahh! So horrible!!

What are some of your favorite projects of all time and why? 
My heart will always belong to all the princess dresses I’ve made for my girls. I love taking the character that my girls see on the screen and turning it into something tangible for them. 

These are some of my recent princesses:

Ariel and Belle, Image via Design Stitch Go!

Ariel and Belle, Image via Design Stitch Go!

Sofia the First, image via Design Stitch Go!

Sofia the First, image via Design Stitch Go!

…and of course, you can’t forget the most recent princess…

Elsa-inspired Princess Dress, image via Design Stitch Go!

Elsa-inspired Princess Dress, image via Design Stitch Go!

Here’s the link to my current post about the Elsa-inspired dress I just finished.

What’s next in the pipeline for Design Stitch Go!? Can you give us teasers or hints?
There’ll definitely be lots of project-sharing and tutorials for sure. I recently did a post on how to take proper measurements of your little munchkins, and sometime soon, I’ll be posting about how to create bodice slopers for your little ones, based on those measurements. 

And while I haven’t been pushing my Etsy store, I’m planning to finish setting up shop and start selling patterns in addition to apparel I’m designing and sewing myself.

Louise | Design Stitch Go! on Etsy, image via Design Stitch Go!

Louise | Design Stitch Go! on Etsy, image via Design Stitch Go!

I developed a size 5 pattern for a dress recently that I’m grading down into a size 3 and 4, so I’m crossing my fingers that I will have those finished and up for purchase soon.

Pattern Drafting, image via Design Stitch Go!

Pattern Drafting, image via Design Stitch Go!

I have a plan, but then again, I don’t. I feel like I wanna see where Design Stitch Go! and the Etsy shop will take me and then branch out from there.  Leading with heart and passion…that’s my plan!

I love your posts on the heritage costumes! Tell us more about the costumes, the event and your role.  Such a great story...
Yess! So I was approached a couple years ago by a group of great Filipino moms at school, asking if my oldest daughter Annalise would like to participate in a traditional Filipino dance for the Heritage Fair at school. 

The Heritage Fair is an event where children and parents from different cultures/backgrounds represent their country’s traditions and stories. It’s a really great event because you always learn something new about the people you see every day at school. And it instills pride in the children, knowing where they come from and proudly displaying it to the community and their classmates.

Enter me. I wanted to offer help to the moms who organized the whole Filipino dance group, so I just simply told them, “Hey, I can sew if you guys need help.” They didn’t know that I had previous design experience, and it was actually supposed to be a group effort. I’d make the patterns, cut out the fabric, and they’d help me sew. But everything seemed to flow so smoothly on my end, I decided to take on the whole task and not bother the other moms who were already busy with other preparations. I finished six complete looks, with three pieces each. Here’s the link to the post.

I was actually a little nervous at the beginning that I had taken on a big project, but everything went incredibly well. The girls looked great, and they were actually able to use the costumes again for their Talent Show.

Thanks so much, Louise! And P.S. — The whole cutting a hole in a just-finished project? Yup, been there, done that. Sometimes it takes a while to laugh off a #diyfail, but I’m glad to hear I’m in good company!

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