You may know Jen Beeman from her incredible line of Grainline Studio garment and bag patterns. In addition to all of her pattern designing prowess, she is also a talented knitter and seamstress, plant lady extraordinaire, dog mom, and lovely human being. Clearly, we love all things Grainline Studio and Jen! We are so excited to share our admiration with all of you and know you are going to fall in love with her just as much as we have.
Where did you originally learn to design patterns?
I went to college for Fashion Design and focused on pattern making and technical design, so that’s where I learned. I then worked as a patternmaker in town which is where I really mastered fit and honed my skills.
What is your number one priority when you design a new pattern?
It has to be something I want to wear but also I try to think about garments that people would be excited to make multiple times in different fabrics. I love making multiples so I try to inspire that in other people as well.
Do you have a dream pattern that you someday hope to be able to release?
Mmm not really? I feel like the things I’m most excited about I always release. If I’m not excited I can’t expect other people to be!
What does a typical workday look like for you?
I don’t know if there’s a typical one because with any small business you’re doing different things every day, but Jon and I usually get to work between 8 and 8:30 and I usually start the day with a scan of my inbox while brewing a cup of tea. From there every day takes a different path, blog posts, pattern development, sample sewing, excel spreadsheets, it varies so much. Every day is full though, that’s always for certain!
Jen's Chambray Four Winds Quilt
As a business owner, what are the one or two things you always try to be conscious of when making decisions?
I’m always trying to balance giving our customers the best value for their money with staying in business! It’s much more expensive than people realize to produce sewing patterns and we have limits on what and how much we can include with a release and still have it be financially viable. There are so many people involved in the production of our patterns.
Grainline Studio Stowe Bag
What does your creative space look like?
I have to have a clean space. I know people love to chide clean space people with the whole “creative mess” thing but there are few things more stressful to me than trying to create in a mess. I need clean, white, uncluttered space to be able to focus on what I’m doing. I work during the day, we have business hours that I keep to and I try not to take work home. That’s especially important since Jon and I work together; we need a defined separation between work and home. I listen to music when I work, I find podcasts too distracting while I’m trying to concentrate and I don’t really watch TV even at home. Lexi probably wants to kill me sometimes because I often listen to the same things over and over because they’re easy to space out. Basically, I think what I’m describing is a creative version of any other office workplace, haha!
Jen's Pup, Oaty
How long have you been sewing? Do you remember the very first garment you ever made?
My mom taught me to sew a long time ago, I was probably 10 or 11 she thinks. I made a cheeseburger out of her scraps as my first project which was pretty cool! As far as my first garment, I think it was a pajama set I made at the sewing lessons she signed me up for. She still has them somewhere, I should dig them out and check my stitching ;)
What is your current favorite wardrobe staple, and your favorite ways to wear it?
Right now I wear a Hadley almost every day, but my favorite one is a sleeveless linen version from our testing process. I usually layer it with a Driftless Cardigan or one of my knitted cardigans. It’s great because the radiators at work are always blasting and I sit in front of a south-facing window so I can easily shed the cardigans and still look and feel put together for work.
What is your favorite type of plant?
Hmm, that’s a hard one. I really love the Ficus family at home. They’re super hardy and my cat doesn’t try to eat them, which is a win-win situation. At work I can get more adventurous with the plants since Oaty doesn’t care about plants so I don’t have to worry about toxicity. I have a long pothos named Bunny Watson who is one of my favorites. Also, my Hoya kerrii leaf which will never be more than a leaf, but it makes me smile when I see it on my desk.
Thanks for taking the time to introduce yourself, Jen! Click here check out all of the Grainline Studio patterns we currently have.