Friday, October 5, 2012

Erika's Pattern Patter

As stated in my first Pattern Patter interview, Since I have joined Etsy I have found a wonderful community willing to share knowledge and the vintage pattern love. This month I want to tell the story behind several of their shops as a way to say thank you! If you are looking for sewing inspiration perhaps you will find it in the world of vintage patterns!"

Who are you?  My name is Erika Hajiantoni and I am from Baltimore, MD. I have two etsy shops. My ErikawithaK Vintage shop is where I sell vintage sewing patterns, fabric and buttons. The Vintage Sheet Variety Shop  is where I sell vintage sheets and linens and fat quarters, half yards and bundles of vintage sheet fabric. 

How did you get bit by the pattern collecting bug? 
"I have always loved old things and I am not really sure how that started. I always joke that I come from a family of scavengers and have been going to flea markets, auctions and thrift stores since I was very young. Since I was in high school I've been interested in vintage clothing and accesories and I think it was a natural progression into vintage patterns as I learned how to sew."

Do you sew? Vintage, Modern, or Both? 
"I do sew but not as much as I would like. I learned to sew in college as a costumer's assistant and that is where I learned most of what I know about garment construction. I haven't sewn with vintage patterns as much as with self drafted or modern patterns."
Do you have any sewing tips for those of us who do sew with vintage patterns? 
"I don't always follow this rule, but I would tell sewists to make a muslin. It takes some extra time but it makes your final garment fit much better and avoids the waste of your expensive fabric."

Any tips for finding great vintage patterns to sew with? 
"It depends on how much time and effort you want to put into the search. I find my best patterns at antique malls and auctions but it takes alot of time searching to find them this way, which is ok because it's my job to find them and get them to customers who are looking for them. But obviously, etsy and ebay allow for instant gratification where you can find exactly what you want at any time. Also, reputable sellers will have already checked the patterns for condition and to be sure that all pieces are there, which can help buyers to feel confident when being asked to spend more."

What is your favorite pattern of all time? Why? 
"That is a tough call for me. I really love a 1930s dress pattern that I have in my shop right now. The pattern art is so pretty and it's even in my size, which makes it very hard to sell."

Why did you start an Etsy store? 
"I sort of stumbled into having a pattern shop. I started it soon after my boyfriend and I ended our year as volunteers for the Christian Appalachian Project because I really just needed the money. I started by selling off part of my collection but loved that it allows me to own beautiful things that I love for a little while before passing them on to someone else."

What is your favorite part of the selling process? 
"My favorite part is seeing pictures of what customers make from the patterns and supplies. It doesn't happen as often as I would like but it makes my day when I get a picture of a creation. It is especially gratifying to encourage the creativity of someone else." 

Least Favorite? "My least favorite part of selling on ETSY is figuring out SEO and trying to write my listings so that people find them. It's not intuitive to me at all. "

What is your favorite item in your shop right now? 
"I really like the darts on this dress: 

Which item do you just want to go away? 
"Those don't get relisted! But I can't believe that no one has purchased this fabric:


Thank you Erika for giving us a peek into your life and running a store on Etsy! To see more of Erika's lovelies check out her store which she has graciously given us a coupon for! Use FALL15 until Oct 14th for 15% off purchases. 


Unknown said...

Lovely Erika. I really enjoy these interviews, keep up the good work Emily. BTW, I love that fabric. I'm surprised it hasn't been snatched up either.

EmSewCrazy said...

Thanks Adele! It is good to know people like the interviews. Erika's fabric is pretty cool too!