Meet Steph from the Eli Monster

We get to meet Steph from the Eli Monster. She’s amazingly creative and such a joy to work with. Her happy attitude rubs off on everyone around her. Read on to learn about who inspires her and how she handles criticism!

Stephanie Carton is the creative mind behind The Eli Monster.

Steph, how do you structure your days?

I like to get the kids ready and off to school then do the same for the husband guy.  Once I have the house to myself, I will try to work on a project for the morning and take a break for lunch (although lunch sometimes doesn’t happen at the correct time if I don’t set a timer or alarm).  After lunch, I switch to emails or administrative work until the kids come home from school.  Our town has a 4 day school week so I have to pack everything into those 4 days.

Where and how do you work best?

I work best in a clean sewing room but that rarely happens.  

What tools do you find indispensable when sewing?

A mechanical pencil that has run out of lead is the best tool for turning corners, hands down.

What would you have done differently when you first started sewing if you knew then what you know now?

I’ve been sewing so long that it’s hard to remember what I did/didn’t do when I was starting out.  I think I would have started using really nice fabrics for final projects right away.  If you use cheap fabric or fabric “because it was on sale,” you’re not going to love the final project as much as if you made a conscious choice of materials.  Cheap fabrics are fine for muslins but they won’t hang as well as good quality fabric. 

What’s the best advice you ever received?

It’s just fabric and thread.  You can either fix your mistake or start over, no biggie.

Who are your biggest influences?

I’m really influenced by designers like Cristobal Balenciaga and how he defies gravity with his designs.  They seem to float around the body.  And they aren’t full of frou-frou little details that clutter up a garment.  I try to use some of his techniques and details in my patterns while still making them accessible for today’s lifestyle. 

What is still your biggest challenge?

Staying on task.  I usually have more ideas than time to execute them so I try not to bounce between too many things.  

Steph from The Eli Monster

What are your favorite books or magazines on sewing?

Helen Joseph Armstrong’s Pattern Making for Fashion Design book has been a lifesaver. 

What’s your best advice for handling criticism?

Testing patterns has made me much better at accepting criticism.  The whole thing is set up so a bunch of people are telling you everything that’s wrong with a pattern.  You thank them (because they’re obviously helping you out) and then sit on it for a bit.  Then you can process it without being as involved as you would be right away.

How do you balance work and family demands?

That is super tricky.  When you work from home, work always follows you home and home is always around when you’re trying to work.  Having an actual door on your workspace is helpful because you can close the door, walk away from work and focus on family when you need to do that or close the door and let the kids kill each other and burn the house down when you need to work (just kidding on that last part-they’re old enough now to open the door and let me know there’s a fire…  😉  )  But in all seriousness, making a schedule, sticking to it, and also getting them involved in the process helps a ton.  Now my kids are old enough that they’re off bike riding around town or hanging out with friends that I don’t feel the guilt when I have to work past their school schedule. 

What’s next for you, Steph?

I have a bomber jacket and a t-shirt pattern that I want to work out the details for.  And some spring pants.  My list is super long.

Thanks for taking the time to learn more about Steph!

We’re excited to see all the new patterns you dream up, and yeah we want that bomber jacket. Good luck Steph!

You can check out Steph’s blog and patterns at The Eli Monster. We know she’ll be an amazing designer to follow and watch.

The Sew Fab Giveaway!

As always we have a great Sew Fab Giveaway for you to enter! One lucky winner is going to win a whole bunch of gift certificate goodness, plus an extra little gift from Rachel (the admin of the Sew Fab Sale)! Here’s what the winner will receive…

Three gift certificates totaling $100 from Girl Charlee, PeekabooFabricShop, and Fabric Worm!!! And the winner will also get a Strawberry measuring tape, strawberry buttons and two yards of twill tape for handmade fabric tags!

To enter, use the Rafflecopter widget below, and be sure to leave the required information when asked. Facebook will not allow us to require you to “like” a page in exchange for an entry, but if you visit the page and feel led to “like” it I know the designers and sponsors would greatly appreciate it.

The giveaway is open to all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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