Meet the Designer: Whitney Deal
She's educated in fashion design, had a successful career as a wedding dress designer, and has settled into her passion of designing sewing patterns. Whitney Deal, one of Indiesew's newest designers, is a creative force to be reckoned with. But let me back up.
Today we're kicking off our new blog series called Meet the Designer. From time to time, we'll be featuring the lovely ladies who create the sewing patterns you see in our pattern shop. We're taking a peek inside their creative lives, understanding how they came to design sewing patterns. We're showing you where they sew and what inspires them.
So back to Mrs. Deal. I'm smitten with this gal's designs. As I started following her work a few months ago, I fell in love with her watercolor creations. She's a brand new women's sewing pattern designer. And to say she's talented, is an extreme understatement.
Whitney Deal is the designer of the Mercer Tunic (shown above) and the blogger behind Darling Dexter. I had the opportunity to ask Whitney a few questions about her life, her career, and her creative endeavors. Here's what she said.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello! I’m Whitney Deal. I live in northwestern North Carolina in my hometown of Wilkesboro. I’m passionate about sewing and designing. Having the ability to make something from nothing is a feeling I can’t get enough of.
What does your daily life look like?
I have two daughters (2 years old & 9 months old) who are currently out of preschool on summer break so I’m all hands on deck except for during naptime. I try to squeeze in as much time to “make” as possible.
I enjoy painting, quilting, designing repeat surface design patterns, and photography. I have degrees in graphic design and fashion design so I find myself combining those two worlds frequently. I also spend a lot of time sewing for my girls.
How did you learn to sew?
From my mom. She was always sewing when I was young and I eventually became interested in learning when I was in middle school. I didn’t start sewing daily until I was out of college and wanted to start making my own clothing.
How did the evolution to designing your own sewing patterns take place?
I went back to school for fashion at Parsons in NYC. It was an amazing experience but while my classmates were looking at jobs in the industry, I knew I wanted to move back to North Carolina and do my own thing. I launched a collection of wedding and bridesmaid dresses in 2011.
Several collections and two babies later, I couldn’t keep up with demand while simultaneously looking after my girls (and keep my sanity). So I quietly ended that venture with my sights set on sewing pattern design.
How would you sum up your signature style in three words? What inspires your designs?
Simple, sweet, and timeless. In everything I make or design, I strive for it to be something I cherish and love.
So I would say the main inspiration behind my work is for a design to never go out of style or even out of season -- and of course, comfortable.
Let’s see your sewing space!
I have a studio space in the back of my mom’s sewing store. It has an amazing cutting table that came from a garment manufacturing factory. It is by far my favorite element in my sewing space.
If you could only sew with one type of fabric for the rest of your life, which would you choose? Why?
Cotton lawn. It’s silky yet durable and just feels so good to sew with -- as well as wear.
What are your prime sewing hours? When are you most productive/creative?
I love sewing in the mornings when it’s quiet and bright. That doesn’t always happen because of my girls, so when it does, I cherish it.
What’s currently on your cutting table?
I’m trying to finish up my next women’s sewing pattern -- the Glea Dress. It was a wedding blouse from my bridal collection that I’ve reworked into a dress. I’m very close to releasing it.
Thank you Whitney for giving us a glimpse inside your life! You can follow along with Whitney on Instagram, on her blog Darling Dexter, and at her website whitneydeal.com. Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter below to stay in the loop on future designer profiles, new products and deals!
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