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Meet the Designer

DHLOGO

Duchess and Hare is really starting to pick up!  We will have our first clothing pattern release this week and we have several more getting ready for testing, so I thought I’d tell you all a little bit about myself.

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I’m Bernadette Reinecke.  You may or may not recognize me from places like The Sewing RabbitDaisies and Dresses, or Violette Field Threads.  I’ve been blogging and sewing for quite a while now, but I tend to keep behind the scenes where I’m most comfortable.  Now that I’ve started my own company, I figured it was time to peek from around the corner and say, “HI!”.

 

I’m a mom of 4, three of which are practically adults men at this point (Who am I kidding, one of them is actually registered to vote!) and the littlest is my model, whom you probably recognize from facebook or Kollabora. I have loved the vintage look since I was a child and I can remember looking through old magazines that I found a garage sale for hours imagining what it was like to dress like the women I saw.  After 3 boys. I was blessed with my beautiful daughter and through the years created many vintage inspired outfits for her.
Duchess and Hare - portrait

I learned to use a sewing machine aaages ago when I was 13.  Before that I was using tube socks to make dresses for my Barbies, or tissue paper to make tutus for My Little Ponies.  I was always drawing or crafting something, probably as early as I learned to hold scissors.  I love sewing because of it’s tactile nature and useful outcome.  I disliked making all of those crafts that just sat on a shelf somewhere taking up space.  Sewing clothing feels pragmatic and I like to try to convince myself that it saves money.  Unfortunately, my overflowing fabric supply closet tells me otherwise, but I like to pretend that is anyway!

I started drafting patterns for my daughter when I noticed that she wasn’t a standard size.  She’s always been tall and slim, so fitting her was difficult.  My very first pattern, I drafted when she was just a few months old!

Duchess and Hare-first up
Both my photography and drafting skills have come a long way.

 

This dress, inspired by Ruffles and Stuff, led to my first blog post at Daisies and Dresses and many more after.  I sewed along with some of the first seasons of Project Run and Play, Knock it Off, Sew Many Books, and even Kids Clothes Week.  I tested sewing patterns and made pieces to fill in the gaps in Little Miss’s closet.  I was busy, but fulfilled.

I enjoyed sharing my projects with everyone that wanted to see them.  I was ecstatic when Jessica over at The Sewing Rabbit asked me to be part of her team!  I had so much fun coming up with tutorials for everyone!  I was sad when the year ended and they moved in a new team, but it freed me up do other things that I enjoyed.

 

The most exciting thing happened when I was contacted by Violette Field Threads and they asked me to design for them.  I released many patterns under their label, including the popular  June, Maisie and Paige.

bigscarf Duchess and Hare - Maisie Pattern for Violette Field Threads Duchess and Hare - Paige Pattern for Violette Field ThreadsI really enjoyed working with the ladies behind Violette Field Threads, but I felt that I needed to better explore the exciting ideas floating around in my head. So, after a year in their employment, I decided to end that chapter and start a new one.

So, here I am now at Duchess and Hare.  Thank you to everyone that has helped and inspired me on my journey to start my own company.  And a special thank you to Violette Field Threads for giving me the confidence that I needed to go out on my own!

I look forward to designing many more patterns and doing many more blog posts and sew alongs.  I hope you will join me along the way.

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