Closet Case Patterns // Watercolour Fashion Illustrations

OUR COMPANY

Closet Case Patterns is a sewing pattern design and education company aimed at giving modern makers the tools and techniques to create the wardrobe of their dreams. Our bilingual patterns, step-by-step tutorials, and obsessively clear online courses are intentionally changing the way women build – not buy – comfort, joy, and ease into their closets.

FROM THE CLOSET CASE PATTERNS COMMUNITY

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Heather Lou // Sewing blog author and owner of Closet Case Patterns

OUR FOUNDER

Hi, I’m Heather Lou! Perhaps like you, I was once overwhelmed by the prospect of sewing. So many moving parts. So many chances to royally screw up, or worse, stab myself in the finger. A design-minded, fashion-obsessed interior designer getting paid to design commercial spaces, I was supposed to be living my dream… but in reality, I had finally reached a tipping point. I was sick of my own habits. My closet was packed with ill-fitting clothes I couldn’t get rid of, my credit card was mindlessly racking up debt I kept making excuses for, and my creativity was trying to fit the mold instead of expanding into its potential.

I knew I had to get radical. I pitched myself a challenge: for one year, the only new things that would enter my closet would be things that I made with my own two hands. It was terrifying, a little extreme, and spoiler alert, the best, most life-altering decision I ever made. I gave myself permission to go back to basics and find what really worked for me. Sewing became the centerpiece of my entire life. Every time I threaded a needle or pressed my foot to the pedal, I felt myself making a tangible, tactile connection to my clothes and innate creativity. Sewing felt radical and expressive, a technical skill and a timeless art form rolled into one. I could make anything I wanted to when I sat down to create, and I could make things that no one else in the world could own. Somehow, that became so much more chic than buying the Next Big Thing.

That year, I started with a vintage dress and soon worked my way up to the more complicated stuff. A few months in and it was clear that I was addicted to this act of rebellion against aimless spending, unsustainable manufacturing, and one-size-fits-all design. I had begun to fill my closet with pieces and patterns that were made by me, fit my body perfectly, and spoke to me in a way that the ready-to-wear pieces I used to hoard never did. For the first time, I respected my clothes and they respected me. I tailor-made what fit my body, instead of expecting it to fit into an arbitrary mold created by the fashion industry. Sewing became the positive feedback loop that I couldn’t stop thinking about and the creative outlet that I realized I had been starving for all along.

The hours I spent in front of my sewing machine made it more and more clear that my part-time passion had outgrown my full-time profession. Frustrated that I was contributing to mindless consumption in a bankrupt consumer culture by designing shopping centres for a living – and mindful of the pressing need for chic sewing patterns and clear instructions for the modern sewing movement – I made the decision to launch Closet Case Patterns as a full time business.

These days, I’m a professional sewing enthusiast and advocate that transforms imagination into implementation, breaking down the step-by-step in Plain English to help you create pieces like custom-fit anorak jackets, jeans designed for every body, and figure-flattering swimsuits that make everybody feel great at the pool. Using my love of technical design and talent for drafting, I also create timeless, fashionable patterns that can be customized, personalized, and hacked with your own vision and unique touch.

Like the practice of sewing itself, Closet Case Patterns is an ever-evolving business that blends my own love of craft and community. I hope that through reading my own story, you’re inspired to fearlessly eliminate what no longer serves you – and embrace a lifestyle of personal expression that fits you like a glove.

MY FAVOURITE BLOG POSTS

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MY FAVOURITE
BLOG POSTS

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PRESS

PODCASTS

Seamwork Radio: Talking About Money

While She Naps: Episode #68

Maker Style: Sewing Your Dream Coat

Reyna Lay Designs Podcast

The Sewing Affair Podcast

WRITING

An investigation on the fabric industry in Seamwork Magazine

A history and guide to working with denim in Seamwork Magazine

Black is the New Black: History of a colour in Seamwork Magazine

PRESS & MAGAZINES

Ginger Jeans in Threads Magazine (May 2016)

Carolyn Pajama pattern in Seamwork magazine

Ginger Jeans in Mollie Makes Sewing

“Sew Your Own Swimwear”, Love Sewing Magazine, Issue 17

Three Questions for Mode Montreal

Pattern Picks for Plus Size Sewing, Love Sewing Magazine, Issue 16

Meet The Maker on Kollabora

Made in Montreal: The Bombshell Swimsuit