Looks from Liam’s Patterns collection. Images supplied.
Earlier in the year, RUBY released a handful of patterns of their popular styles during the nationwide lockdown with great success. The aptly named Sewing Class initiative saw many of the brand’s fans try their hand at sewing the fun styles and the huge success of the programme has meant sister brand Liam designed by Emily Miller-Sharma (who is also the General Manager for RUBY and Liam) has developed into a full collection of patterns for the new season. So instead of buying a finished piece customers can buy the pattern for the garment and make it themselves. It’s another exciting step forward in circularity and sustainability for the company who have committed to continuously improving the environmental and waste footprint of their business.
“We believe making things gives so much to people. There is a slowness and a very internal process that goes on when you make things with your hands that we think can be a powerful tool for positive mental health outcomes,” says Emily Miller-Sharma. “It also, quite viscerally, shows us just how talented the people who make our clothes are. Empowering and humanising these highly skilled machinists in a way that words on a page can’t. There is also such joy in being able to pass a skill on to another person, and a great way to give a loved one something enduring.”
“Over lockdown I discovered a strong community of sewers through hosting online sewing and patternmaking classes. It was the first time in ages that I got to spend time getting jazzed about different ways to do dart manipulations, or my view on how to (and imo how absolutely not to) add fullness to a skirt. What I loved about it was that the people who joined me seemed just as interested in the minutiae of patternmaking as me and it made me fall in love with my job again, and grateful to feel like I belonged to something positive.”
Every decision in the creation and production of Liam’s Patterns collection was underpinned by the brand’s circular and sustainable values. All fibre used to make the pattern paper, and the card for the envelopes they come in, is waste from (or the by-product of) sawn timber production from Radiata Pine forests in the North Island of New Zealand. The finished product is FSC Certified and 100% recyclable, but the intention is that these patterns get used over and over again.
Liam are also offering free downloadable .pdf patterns to use up any extra fabric or offcuts from the making process. All samples that are seen in the collection images are made from fabric that was already in the workroom from previous samples or ends from fabric rolls. They’ve been styled with pieces already in existence from other collections too.
There are 16 different patterns across three different groups to make it easy for customers to choose something in their skill level: modular, sets and offcuts which cover beginner, intermediate and advanced skill levels. Modular are simple shapes with variations that can be added on to mix things up like the carol bias slip – a slim line bias cut slip that also comes with a variation for narrow fabrics and a fluted hem. Or the glen top – a relaxed fit woven t-shirt shape that can have five different variations of sleeve.
Sets are a shape or design line that can be used across a few different garment types like the anne – a wrap design that can be made as a dress, top, or a blouse with peplum hem. Or the chloe – a relaxed pantsuit style with either a short or long leg and a narrow strap or drop shoulder top. Offcuts are free, downloadable .pdf files to use up offcuts or extra fabric so you can make a pouch or face mask to match your outfit. Emily Miller-Sharma hopes that customers will have as much fun creating and customising their new pieces as she did in the creation of this range of patterns.
The first collection of Liam Patterns arrives in stores and online from Friday 23rd October.