A friend from my local Australian Sewing Guild group suggested I take a look at Megan Nielsen, an Australian pattern company. They were about to release a Google Play app with pattern instructions that complemented purchased paper instructions. This sounded like an interesting idea so I took a look and couldn’t find the app in Google Play but saw that there was an iOS app (and as I have everything Apple) downloaded it on to my iPad. First impression wasn’t good. It didn’t rotate to portrait mode. It only worked in landscape mode. Which to me, as a web developer, is a bit of a red flag. What other shortcuts have they made? I took a poke around and saw that to get any real information you had to register and buy patterns. Not being in a state to buy anything I left it at that. Then I kept seeing Megan Nielsen being mentioned in emails from Pattern Review and the Australian Sewing Guild. Then last week I borrowed an old issue of Australian Stitches magazine from the library (Volume 25, No 1) which had a two page spread about Megan Nielsen. So I thought it was time to take a closer look at the company and the person behind it.
Megan Nielsen is the designer and owner behind the brand of the same name. She is based in Perth, Western Australia and started out with creating ready to wear collections, branching out to her own line of patterns after being asked for tutorials to make her designs.
Megan Nielsen Patterns
There are about 27 patterns available when I looked in May 2017. These were patterns for ladies wear, maternity wear and a couple for girls. They also sell “Maker Tees”; an already constructed TShirt that helps women and children trapped in sex slavery. The full story can be read in the blog post “Introducing The Maker Tee”.
All patterns are available as PDF download’s and some as a printed pattern. PDF patterns are $18.00 AUD (ex GST) and emailed immediately after purchase. The pattern itself is either in A0 format to print at a copy shop like Officeworks for around $4.10 AUD per sheet, or in A4 format to print at home. It is recommended that the PDF is saved somewhere safe so you can use it again. Printed patterns are $24.00 AUD (ex GST) that ship from a USA warehouse within 1-3 days of ordering. Delivery time frames for international customers are up to 3 weeks. To deliver 1 pattern to my Adelaide, Australia address was $4.55 AUD.
Each pattern includes all sizes XS to XL and are drafted for a B/C cup with a height of 5’9″. The size chart is found on their FAQ page.
There are some free patterns available so you can get an idea of how the patterns are laid out. You do need to sign up to the newsletter on the Free Patterns page with your email address but you can easily unsubscribe later. By subscribing you receive monthly discounts, new product releases and sales. I took a look at the Free Veronika Skirt pattern and it had really clear sewing instructions with lots of diagrams that would be perfect for beginner sewers.
Megan Nielsen Blog
Other than the shop there is an extensive blog called Design Diary that includes lots of articles with step-by-step sewing instructions, styling ideas, how to change a pattern for a better fit and how to adapt a pattern to create a new look. Some of these articles are for particular Megan Nielsen patterns that are summarized by pattern on the Tutorials page.
The photos and diagrams used on the website and blog are clear, crisp and interesting to the eye, so you can see the designer’s work in action. Each pattern has lots of photos from various angles, that you can zoom in on, so you can get a good understanding of how it will look. It is mobile friendly so the website looked great on my iPhone and iPad. There is a lot of content on the blog to devour and is a valuable resource for sewing in general. The patterns themselves don’t appeal to me which is why I haven’t bought any, but I can see that there would be a market for easy to sew, relaxed garments that are just a bit different to what you can find elsewhere.