Papercut pattern of success

03:08, Oct 02 2012
Katie Brown
New line: Former Blenheim woman Katie Brown looks forward to the launch of the spring collection for her online sewing pattern company Papercut Patterns.

Businesswoman and designer Katie Brown, formerly of Blenheim, will be launching a "ballet-inspired" spring collection for her online sewing pattern company Papercut Patterns this month.

The photo shoot for the "ballet-inspired" spring collection took place over the weekend with the help of Blenheim photographer Jody Percy and her friends who tailor-made a wall of white paper flowers for the backdrop.

"It's very pretty and flirty," she said. "It's just what I like at the moment, but I've always lent towards ballet-inspired things."

The 2011 AMP Do Your Thing scholarship recipient started Papercut Patterns in September 2010 after noticing a gap in the market for modern versions of dressmaking patterns.

The fashion and graphic design graduate lit upon the idea while working for a fabric store in Auckland.

"There were lots of young stylish girls wanting to sew, but there was nothing they wanted to make," she said. She now lives in Nelson.


The scholarship had helped grow the business financially, providing the means to buy equipment such as an image format printer which allowed multisizing of patterns, or a pattern that could be made in different sizes, Miss Brown said.

Demand for her patterns came from around the world, but sales in Britain, the United States and Australia were among the highest, she said.

The easy-to-follow patterns are printed on recyclable brown paper and can be hung when cut out, just as you would find in a professional workroom, making customers feel like their own fashion designer.

Her target market is women aged between 15 and 40, with sizes from XXS to L.

Miss Brown also features in the New Zealand Fashion Museum's latest book, Home Sewn, which profiles 10 leading New Zealand designers who share a pattern from one of their collections.

The launch of the book coincided with the pop-up exhibition of the same name in Auckland last month.

The Marlborough Express