Friday, December 12, 2008

Knitting Contrisstmas Day 13: Cindy Taylor Oates

Cindy, thanks for taking the time to be part of Knitting Contrisstmas! I’m very excited to have you and I know that everyone will really enjoy it. Cindy is the very prolific author of the cutest sewing patterns ever from Taylor Made Designs. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure that I own every pattern you have produced and sewn many of your designs.

For those of you who don't sew I know you will be tempted by Cindy's designs to jump in, and for those of you who do, the temptation should be great indeed! Many of her patterns are easy enough for beginners and wonderfully gift-able for any season!

CO: Thank you so much for asking me to participate in your Knitting Contrisstmas. I got on a little knitting kick a few years ago but found that it made my hands hurt too much so I had to stop.

KC: Well Cindy, we will have to figure out a fix for you then, won't we?

KC: I recently gave the “Cupcake Pincushion” to my Mom----- she was just crazy about it. Do you design your more whimsical things for a particular person in mind?

CO: I really don't design with any one person in mind.

KC: What has been your favorite design this past year?

CO: I think my favorite design this past year would have to be the Cupcake Pincushion. I had a picture in my mind of how the front and back covers would look and they turned out just as I had imagined. I also really love how the ruffled laundry bag turned out. It is in the new Any Season Robe pattern. I am a gal who really loves ruffles.

KC: How about your most popular pattern, or the one that is the longest running??? I have sewn your Pajama Pants so often for gifts, especially for my girls that I long ago had to trace it out again on a sturdy pattern paper.

CO: You are correct that Sew-Easy Pajama Pants has been one of my most popular patterns. I really went back to the basics and tried to gear it to beginner sewers. Another pattern, The Big Shirt, was probably my longest selling pattern. It was published in 1999. It was discontinued earlier this year but I am still getting a lot of requests for it. I am considering revising and reprinting it next year.

KC: How would you define the Cindy Taylor Oates style?

CO: My personal style is casual and comfortable but figure flattering. If you see me at the grocery store I will likely have at least a few random sewing threads and probably some cat hair hanging off my clothes!

KC: What is your favorite thing to do creatively? Do you knit, crochet, quilt or have other endeavors?

CO: I have been sewing and crafting since I was a child so I have probably tried everything at least once. My favorite is still sewing. Oh, and I LOVE to dance. I attend a dance class twice a week and have done so for the past 8 years. If there is music playing at the store...I have to restrain myself and do a little "inner dance" so I don't embarrass myself. My husband and I used to dance a lot when we were first dating. It was the 70's so there was a lot of good music. We have taken a semester of ballroom dance at the local community college but don't put our "skills" to use very often.

KC: I’ve been asking everyone this year if they are a process or product knitter. This translates to you as well. When you sew, do you more enjoy the process of creating the pattern, the stitching itself, or look forward to the completed item?

CO: I can't say that I love creating the pattern but it is part of the process. Honestly, I can't tell you how many times I have been sewing and thought "I just love to sew!". It makes me so happy. Part of the joy comes from stitching on a nice machine. I sew on a Pfaff and it works beautifully. This past summer I was visiting my daughter in Los Angeles; helping her decorate her new apartment. I was making a shower curtain out of a sheet. She has a cheap, frustrating machine and my thoughts were more like "X&$#@*#".

KC: HA! I agree, a good machine does make the whole thing work out so much better. Many times I find that people who are frustrated with sewing get into that bind because their machine is futzy.

KC: You are a designer of much acclaim, do other designers inspire you? If so, who rings your bells?

CO: You are very kind to refer to me as a "designer of much acclaim". There are a lot of wonderful designers in my industry but I am probably most inspired by fabric. Tanya Wheelan designed a beautiful line, Ava Rose, for Freespirit. I used it on three of the robes in the new book Any Season Robe. Sandi Henderson is another newish fabric designer. She has designed two lines for Michael Miller and I love them both.

KC: Is there anything in the world of sewing that you have not done and wish to tackle?

CO: Well, how about an appearance on Martha Stewart? I mean, as long as we're dreaming!

KC: Note to Santa, plant a bug in Martha's ear!

KC: What do you do to feed your inner creative muse?

CO: My inner muse is fed by looking at magazines, catalogs, beautiful fabrics and shopping in regular stores and antique stores. You never really know what will spark an idea or a color combination.

KC: What will you be doing during the holidays 2008?

CO: My husband and I live in Scottsdale, Arizona. Our extended families are in Texas. We have been here for 24 years and have usually traveled to Texas for Christmas. But this year, we are staying home with our two daughters. (Ages 22 and 26). I love to decorate for Christmas so it will be nice to get to enjoy all that effort.

KC: What is coming up for you and Taylor made designs in 2009?

CO: In October of 2009 I will be celebrating 25 years of my business, Taylor Made Designs. I really can't believe it has been that long.

KC: I've been sewing your things for many years as well, we just won't talk about the time span then!

Thank you so much Cindy.......... we will be watching for new wonderful things from you in the future! Happy Holidays!


Melissa Morgan-Oakes said...

I may need a bag pattern from over there!

Red Geranium Cottage said...

I love all of Cindy's patterns. She is the nicest gal.