Indie pattern companies, sewing pattern companies

Eléonore Klein, pattern designer behind the Parisian pattern brand Deer & Doe

Deer&Doe is the French pattern company that sewers are all talking about, and now translated to English, patterns are being welcomed by sewers to the UK market

We chat to Eléonore Klein, pattern designer behind the Parisian pattern brand Deer&Doe.

Have you always worked in a creative job?
I started sewing when I was studying computer engineering in Toulouse about 7 years ago, and it grew from a hobby into a passion! I graduated in Computer Sciences, and for the next 4 years, I worked as a web developer, growing my sewing skills in my own time. During this time I created a French sewing community called Thread & Needles.

How did you decide to design your own patterns?
Working as a web developer was taking me more and more time and energy, and I slowly started giving up on all the things that I love like sewing, managing my community, and developing my creativity. I wasn’t really happy, and one day I woke up and decided I didn’t want to be like this anymore!

I’ve always wanted to start my own creative business, and I saw a real need for modern, fitted and easy-to-sew patterns among French seamstresses. It was really scary because it was a total career change and I knew it would be lots of hard work. But with the support of my family and the encouragements of my friends, I took the plunge!

How and when did the Deer&Doe pattern label come about?
I knew from the start that I wanted to convey a relaxed, stylish but nature-conscious vibe. I’ve a special thing for forest, and being in the woods gives me such peace and serenity, so naturally I chose a symbol linked to fashion and to nature. And hence the Deer& Doe label came about (and the duality of the name flatters my inner Gemini too).

How many patterns are now in your range?
I started Deer&Doe about two years ago with a small range of 5 patterns, and now have 13 (including one free pattern) which are all available in the online store. I plan to release one new pattern every two months, and host more sew-alongs on the blog.

What is your favourite pattern?
My patterns are like children, I can’t love one more than another! But I can say the two garments that I wear the most at the moment are my Réglisse dress and my Aubépine dress.”

Deer&Doe has just been translated into English. How popular has this been?
Actually, the Deer&Doe patterns were translated into English around January 2013, but I just recently released the English blog with translated tutorials and sew alongs. I’ve been amazed at how welcoming the English-speaking crowd has been since the beginning, and I hope the English blog will be helpful to my clients. A third of the patterns are now sold outside of France, and I hope this number will grow!

Where do you run your business from?
I run Deer&Doe from my home. At first, I was living with my boyfriend in a tiny one bedroom in Paris, but soon it became clear that we needed to move! Now, I live in Toulouse and I’ve my own, spacious home office. I love my new place and I’m slowly decorating it with things I love.

What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on the Centaurée Sew-Along, and developing the next two patterns… but shhh, it’s a secret for the moment!

What is on your wish list for the future?
The beginning of 2014 has already been full of big steps for Deer&Doe. In the future, I’d love to hire an assistant to help me full-time with the blog and with the pattern samples.

Visit the Deer&Doe website and Threads & Needles blog.