Pellon: Where do you find inspiration for your work?
Erin Erickson: Most of my projects are functional, like purses, dog beds, and gadget cases. They usually fill some kind of need.
P: What does your creative process entail?
EE: Prototypes and a lot of math. I don’t usually make throwaway mockups or muslins. I get a lot of the measurements and design elements down on paper (as best I can, since I can’t really draw) and then I make a real sample. I keep a notebook with very detailed
measurements and design choices so that I can refer to it later and make changes. Then I create digital pattern pieces which I use to make a series of prototypes that I use to revise everything from zipper and pocket placement to interfacing choices. Once I have a prototype I’m completely happy with, I make one or two more samples as I take all of the step-by-step photos while writing the instructions.
P: Why do you enjoy sewing/crafting/quilting?
EE: Sewing allows me to be creative without actually being artistic. I don’t paint or draw or scrapbook. I’m an extremely amateur photograph and that’s about it. Sewing is geometry and math and spatial skills, and it constantly gives me a new problem to solve. We also have an amazing sewing community that’s fun and supportive and a bit geeky in the best possible way.
P: Do you create mainly for satisfaction, gifts, art or another reason?
EE: For function, mostly. I need a tote bag, so I make a tote bag. I actually use all of the bags I’ve made patterns for on a rotating basis.
P: What tips or tricks learned through experience can you share?
EE: Zippers are not scary. Always trim batting and interfacing from your seam allowance. Cut your fusible interfacing smaller than your fabric. Use a longer stitch length when you topstitch. Pull threads to the back and tie off. Use bigger needles. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
P: When and why did you start sewing/quilting/crafting?
EE: I was an overachiever in middle school Home Ec. Most people made a locker caddy, I made three duffle bags. I suppose I never learned to fear zippers? My mom and aunts sewed things like halloween costumes and pillow cases, so I was always surrounded by
it. I got my first sewing machine of my own several years ago with the intention of making fabric harnesses for my Yorkies. I started making bags soon after that, and never really looked back. I was frustrated by zippered bag patterns that didn’t have the most professional looking installations. I had a closet full of zippered fabric purses with fully finished linings. I knew there had to be a way to do it, so I literally sat on the floor of my closet in a pile of bags until I could wrap my head around it. Teaching others would be the tricky part, and my super detailed, overly-photographed PDF patterns were the answer.
P: What inspires you to start a project?
EE: Sometimes a friend or a customer will specifically ask for something and it will spark an idea. Sometimes the dogs need new beds. Most of the time I just go down the never ending list. And I love every minute of it. 🙂
Snooze Dog Bed
Treat your pup right with a comfy custom bed. The cover is removable for easy washing. The project is fun and easy to construct. You’ll want to make one for every room in the house! Puppy model is Sam of Dog Under My Desk fame!Read more
Mustache Dog Bed
Make this cute envelope style dog bed for the pet in your life. This easy to make dog bed has a machine appliqued mustache. The applique can be skipped if you prefer a plain bed.Read more