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My warmest welcome to Heidi from Elegance and Elephants. I’m so, so glad to have her here today. Heidi was the first person ever to invite me to take part in a blog tour. I was more than surprised that someone as amazing as her would even think of me. The more I got to know her since then, the more I felt that Heidi is an extremly nice and modest person. Being in the finals of Project Run and Play, creating all kinds of patterns (dresses, hats, jackets, sweatpants etc.) and sewing the most beautiful kids clothes hasn’t made her arrogant at all. She still is respectful and nice to everybody, no matter if they have 10 or 1000 followers. I’m really happy that I got to know her!
And now let me show you some of my favorites on her blog.


Fedora Hat pattern (so cool!), gorgeous clothes for her children, super cool boy clothes

First things first: Please introduce yourself (who are you, tell us a little bit about your family, which country and maybe city do you live in, are you originally from this country, do you work or are you a stay at home mom, etc.)  My name is Heidi and I live in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada with my husband, Michael, and two children, Tobias and Anja.  I was born and raised in BC, although my parents both immigrated to Canada.  I became a stay-at-home mom after working as a Music teacher.

When did you start and who taught you to sew?  I’ve been sewing for as long as I can remember, taught by my mom when I was a child.  I learned how to sew on a machine when I was in junior high school.

Do you consider yourself a beginner, intermediate or professional sewer?   
Advanced intermediate.

Which three tips would you give a beginner sewer?
1.  Don’t try something too difficult at first.  One technique at a time.
2.  Don’t be afraid to try new techniques.  It took me years to try zippers because I was afraid and then I couldn’t believe how easy they are!
3.  Before investing in new patterns, try out the many free tutorials now available online.  Take advantage of the wonderful online sewing community.

For whom do you sew?  
For my children, although I used to sew for myself and would like to start again.

How often do you sew? 
A day rarely goes by without me sewing something.  It’s a part of my daily routine.

What fabric type(s) do you like most to sew with?  
I have a preference for natural fibres so I typically sew with cottons, linens, and wool blends.  

How do you get inspired?  
I’m inspired by almost anything.  Everywhere I go I see potential designs in everything.

Do you have any real life sewing friends?  
I do have friends that sew, although we never get together to sew specifically.

You blog at Elegance & Elephants. I’m curious to hear a little bit about your blog:
When and why did you start to blog?  
I started blogging in November 2011 after my husband’s persistent encouragement.  He saw my passion for sewing for our children and he thought it was a good idea to share.  He was right!

Is there anything that you would make differently if you started your blog now?  
I think the only thing is I would’ve narrowed the topic of my blog sooner.  I started blogging about everything I made (baking, cooking, sewing, etc.)  but later narrowed it down to just sewing for my children.  This focus is very good for me as I enjoy not feeling the pressure to blog about everything I do.

How often do you blog? How much time do you spend each day/week blogging?  
Typically a couple times a week.  As far as how much time I spend, it depends on the time of year.  If I’m about to release new patterns, it’s very busy, and I spend most of all of my free time on blogging, but there are times, especially in the winter and summer, when I like to take it easy.

Do you plan your sewing, picture taking and blog posts in advance or do you just let things happen?  
A little bit of both.

What are the three sewn (and blogged) items that you are most proud about or that you yourself like most? Show us some pictures (with links)!

Classic Johnny, Signature Look (PR&P Sew Along), Fall Collection
Do you make money with your blog or do you have any sewing related business (e.g. Etsy or dawanda shop; pattern shop)? Do you have tips for someone wanting to start a blog business?  
I started selling patterns last year after reading books about drafting and later taking a couple of online courses.  If someone was interested in selling sewing patterns, I would recommend taking Lauren Dahl’s Pattern Workshop From Sketch to Sale course.  It’s the most comprehensive and applicable course for the aspiring pdf designer, in my opinion.

Taking Pictures and editing these is an important part of blogging. Good pictures are often what makes us want to visit a blog again and again. I’m excited to read what camera you are using and if you have to bribe your kids, too…
What Camera and Objective do you use?
I use a (DSLR) Nikon D5100 with two lenses: 18mm-55mm and 75mm-300mm 

What is your skill level in photography? Did you learn everything yourself or did you take a course or similar?  
This is one area where I really want to improve.  I’ve never taken a course, and it’s been all trial and error.  I recently got a new lens that I’m really thrilled with, so I’m more confident about my photos.

How do you get your kids to cooperate when you want to take pictures?   
I make sure they’re comfortable, from being rested and fed, to trying to have fun with our photo shoots.  I get them talking to me about things or to each other if I’m photographing them together. There’s always a small reward at the end, whether it’s a visit to the playground or a treat.  I’ve started paying my son a small amount for being my assistant (holding my light reflector, carrying props, making funny jokes, etc.) when we’re ‘on-location’ and I’m taking photos of his sister.  They do well when they interacting.

What programme do you use for picture editing and which steps do you normally take to edit your pictures?  
I use Picmonkey and more recently, I’ve started using Photoshop.  I resize and then play around with the photo’s highlight and shadow levels in its histogram.  As I mentioned, I got a new lens, so now I don’t have to edit half as much as I used to.

What would blogging be without other blogs? I’m always on the hunt for new inspiring blogs. And I love to get in contact with people from different countries. Who knows maybe you have some blog favourites that I don’t know about? What are your three favourite sewing blogs to read? Why?
So tough to choose only three, but I’ll try!
Maja is one of my ‘real life’ friends who I have known since college.  We also worked as teachers together and went to the same church before she and her family moved to another part of Canada.  She doesn’t blog regularly, but when she does, her photographs are gorgeous (as are her children), and she is a creative genius when it comes to planning  her kid’s birthday parties.  
Little Kids Grow
Shannon is so passionate about what she does.  I have no idea how she keeps it all together being the homeschooling mother of seven, but she does!  She’s a huge source of inspiration.
Sanae Ishida
Beautiful clothing, clever, well-written posts, and stunning minimalist photography.  I love browsing Sanae’s  blog.

Do you follow any blogs that are written in another language? What are your three favourite ones?
Besides, yours, I like Emma en Mona, and dotta.
My signature tee is one I designed for my Fall 2014 Collection.  It’s called the Hemlock Top and the simplicity of it, with the feminine feature of the flounce at the shoulder, is one of my signatures.  And I love the rich purple colour.  

Thank you for having me here today, Annika.  It’s been a pleasure to share more about me in this awesome series!

Thank you so much, Heidi, for taking part! I really love your family pic and the shots from your new fall collection are simply gorgeous! I loved to learn more about you and your writing!
If you haven’t read all of the old interviews, you can find these here. Plus, come back next week to meet the incredibly cool, talented and somehow geeky Tara from Girl like the Sea.


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