Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Guest Blogger: Frog Legs and Ponytails Sewing Patterns

Hello! My name is Mindy Leone and I am the one-woman-show behind the line of Frog Legs and Ponytails Sewing Patterns.




A bit about myself is what the Jolly Jabber requested. So, first off, I’m a mom to two beautiful and delightful little girls. They keep me hopping between their own artistic creations, catching butterflies, and playing in the mud. When I’m not momming, I enjoy working, kayaking, running, spending time outdoors, and fixing up my house. My background is in (get this) public accounting (ha) and real estate. I went to school for accounting, grumpily cranked out tax returns for several years, and then up and quit one day when I couldn’t stand it one second longer.

When I had my first daughter in 2004, I naturally followed in my mom's footsteps of making sweet little dresses for my own little girl. I found Etsy online and bam!, that was that. I started selling a lot of the pillowcase dresses that are really popular on Etsy, adding some boutique touches to mine like self bias tape and fabric ties. I called it the “Caroline” dress after a friend's daughter. Soon I started getting messages asking where I purchased my pattern. It wasn’t a purchased pattern, I just spent hours researching finished dress lengths online and refining my prototypes. My patterns aren’t really rocket science. They are handmade, hand-drafted and tested out on my children, nieces, and friends. I taught myself to use Photoshop and Illustrator to make the instruction booklets. I keep the patterns simple enough that I don’t have to list a technical glossary of sewing terms in the front of my patterns. Just simple instructions, clear photographs, and sweet designs. The fabrics today are so amazing that they make sewing something beautiful really simple.




I just today received a lovely email thank-you from a customer in Australia who has been making clothing with my sewing patterns to sell in order to keep her children in dance class and swimming lessons. Her husband has been out of work and this is the way they make ends meet. This is one of the best things about my work. Getting a pat on the back from a complete stranger makes my day. I don’t prohibit small scale sales of items made with my patterns. I started out making children’s clothing for fun money and at the time I had a rough time finding cute patterns I could make and sell. I want others to enjoy my patterns whether they are sewing for their own little ones or making a go at a small businesses.

The most difficult part of my work has to be focusing on one project at a time! I am definitely a forward-thinker and my brain is moving on to my next project before my hands have the current one complete. I blame the internet for this - there are so many gorgeous ideas out there and I can’t seem to stop stumbling across a constant stream of inspiring photos and blogs. On the sunny side, it keeps the days interesting and the hands busy!

My latest interests have been a late night courtship with my Bernina Artista 630 which I purchased last year (or was it two) and am finally getting some embroidery miles under my belt. On my artistic bucket list is learning more about graphic design, designing a line of fabric, machine embroidery designs, dabbling in screenprinting and other art mediums, and designing a line of women's and children’s swimwear (yes I have a mild swimwear obsession - who doesn’t LOVE summer?).

So that’s me in a nutshell, thank you for spending a few minutes with me. And a special thanks to The Fat Quarter Shop for asking me to post on their awesome blog!

8 comments:

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

I think it's wonderful....working at something you love is most gratifying; I know...congrats; keep it up

mblittle5 said...

Your patterns are really cute. Wish I had a little one to sew for. But OMG, I WANT your studio!!!!

Jenny said...

Wow! I love your determination and generousity in sharing your creative designs. I'm going to head out to your etsy shop and check them out...I'm not a great sewer by any means, though.

Carrie P. said...

A forward thinker! I like that term. That is me too.
Your girls are adorable. Off to visit the link.

pasqueflower said...

Great post. I love Mindy's patterns.

Dawn said...

Very cute patterns! Love that you quit a job you couldn't stand to pursue things you love.

Stevens Family said...

Beautiful dresses. Hoping I add a girl to this boy house. I need frilly dresses!

PrincessTanya said...

I wish you sizes went past 2 as I have 3 girls aged up to 7.
Princess Tanya