Kristi Fitzpatrick was alive at her laptop one day aftermost abatement aback she accustomed an email agreeable her to be one of the arising designers featured in the SOCIETY Fashion Week in New York City this accomplished February. She didn’t pay the email abundant attention; it articulate too acceptable to be true.
“I anticipation it was a scam, honestly, that they aloof appetite my money,” said Fitzpatrick, a 1999 alum of Washington Aerial Academy and buyer of George and Ginger Arrangement Company.
Yet as the emails continued, Fitzpatrick accomplished the allurement was legitimate.
“I’m appealing abiding I screamed,” she said, smiling.
And afresh she got bottomward to work. The aftereffect was 15 patterns in a new accumulating that Fitzpatrick, babe of Tim and Barb Meyer, Washington, created aloof for the New York Fashion Week show.
Seeing models — mostly her accompany and not professionals — airing bottomward a aerodrome assuming off her designs was surreal, said Fitzpatrick. It had alone been a little added than two years aback she started the company.
Previously Formed in Civilian Drafting
Fitzpatrick, who drafts all of her own patterns, took her aboriginal drafting classes as a apprentice at Washington Aerial School, although all of that assignment was geared added against automated drawing.
After aerial school, she went to East Central College, area she becoming a amount in drafting and architecture and afresh went to assignment in civilian drafting.
“We did a lot of business for Lowe’s and Walmart,” said Fitzpatrick. “We would get the cast for a architecture and afresh architecture aggregate about it, the avenue curve and allocation . . . all the underground stuff.”
Back in aerial school, Fitzpatrick had approved to apprentice how to sew from her mom, but it didn’t go well, and she didn’t accompany it afterwards that.
Years afterwards aback she took up crocheting, a acquaintance appropriate she try her duke at sewing. A chic offered at a retreat centermost was the absolute jumping off point. Anon afterwards Fitzpatrick was drafting her own accouterment patterns.
“When I started sewing, that was it. It’s all I capital to do afterwards that,” she remarked.
Fitzpatrick was still alive a day job in civilian drafting, but her abridgement of activity for it showed, and anon the aggregation absitively to let her go.
“I was devastated at first,” she said. “It was horrible, but now I appetite to go aback and kiss them. It was absolutely a abundant affair that happened.”
Being accursed gave her the advance to alpha her own company. She called it George and Ginger afterwards her bedmate and son.
George is her husband, Deric’s average name, and Ginger is a advertence to her redheaded son.
The aboriginal arrangement she advised was a covering with a amphitheater brim on it.
New Appearance of Patterns
The patterns that Fitzpatrick sells are not the tissue-paper appearance from decades ago. These are PDFs, a blazon of agenda computer book that can be calmly beheld and printed.
“When you adjustment it online, it is automatically emailed to you,” said Fitzpatrick. “You book it out and band all of the pieces together, so it’s absolutely convenient.”
Her PDF patterns additionally accept abundant layers, so you can baddest to book alone a assertive admeasurement of a pattern, and you can album the arrangement any time you appetite to use it again, said Fitzpatrick.
As aflame as she was to barrage George and Ginger, Fitzpatrick admits she has been afraid a little at how bound the business has grown.
“It affectionate of blew up overnight. It’s been appealing crazy the aftermost two years, I aloof kept architecture and building, business on Facebook,” she said.
Facebook has been key to the company’s success. Fitzpatrick created a George and Ginger Facebook accumulation that now has added than 22,000 members.
“There’s a huge underground bed-making apple on Facebook,” she remarked.
Through the Facebook group, bodies who acquirement Fitzpatrick’s patterns can get answers to any questions or advice with any problems.
“It’s like a chump account group. Bodies ask questions and added bodies bell in,” said Fitzpatrick.
30 to 50 Testers
Fitzpatrick describes her patterns as “a avant-garde aberration on archetypal pieces.”
“I like to do added ‘out-there’ designs than a lot of arrangement designers,” she said, acquainted there’s annihilation basal about her pieces. “I am accepted in the bed-making association for accomplishing these weird, absurd styles.”
That can accomplish them attending complicated to sew, she understands, but with her patterns, they are easy, barter acquaint her.
“Every apprenticeship from alpha to accomplishment is included,” said Fitzpatrick, acquainted her patterns are created with alpha sewers in mind.
“I accept a ton of beginners in my group, and it makes me air-conditioned blessed to apprehend their posts — ‘This is the aboriginal affair I’ve anytime fabricated for myself.’ That’s air-conditioned agitative for me,” she said.
“The accumulation abutment (on her Facebook page) is abundant because addition will aloof column a account and say, ‘Hey, I’m at this point,’ or ‘What do I charge to do next?’ and added bodies bell in or I can comment. It’s like a sew-along.”
It helps too that continued afore a arrangement is anytime appear for sale, Fitzpatrick has had it vetted by 30 to 50 testers — sewers who booty her patterns and accomplish the account in assorted sizes to acquisition any problems. They are testing aggregate from how bright the instructions are to how acceptable the fit is.
“It goes on like that until all the adjustments are fabricated and we absolution it,” said Fitzpatrick.
There is a delusion amid a lot of nonsewers that the acumen bodies like to accomplish their own clothes is to save money, but that’s not necessarily the case. Bolt can be pricey.
The absolute account of bed-making your own clothes is accepting a customized fit, said Fitzpatrick.
“All of my patterns accept a acme and basal measurements, and it teaches you in the arrangement how to acclimatize for your admeasurement and your height,” she said.
Fall Fashions in Spring
Fitzpatrick’s allurement to New York Fashion Week was to actualize up to 15 designs, and she did every bit of that.
“I capital to go as big as I could,” she said, acquainted she was one of six included in an arising designers category.
“I had never been to a Fashion Week. Some bodies anticipation maybe I should aloof go and watch a appearance aboriginal but I am just, both feet, jump appropriate in. I had no abstraction what I was doing, but it was great, an alarming experience.”
The George and Ginger appearance was captivated at the Roosevelt Hotel in midtown Manhattan. It was captivated in the morning Sunday, Feb. 11.
There weren’t celebrities in the advanced row, but the appearance was abutting to awash out, and Fitzpatrick said she saw affluence of bodies — apparently buyers — demography photos and authoritative calls during the show.
She hasn’t accustomed any orders or heard annihilation yet. Because her band is patterns, the buyers would be affairs her designs to accept the clothes accumulation produced and awash in food with the George and Ginger label.
The appearance in New York was quick, about 20 account long, said Fitzpatrick. Her models were women of all sizes — from 0 to 20. Abounding were from her Facebook group, and one was a chief from St. Francis Borgia Regional Aerial School, Kaylin Zeltmann.
“I’m all about anatomy positivity with all of my accumulation associates and testers,” said Fitzpatrick. “I alike broadcast my admeasurement blueprint in my patterns to board added additional and added amid sizes.”
In advancing for the show, she put out a archetypal casting alarm in her group. She had associates from as far abroad as Maryland respond, and a few had clay experience, but abounding did not.
“They all absolutely dead it,” said Fitzpatrick. “And I heard so abounding comments afterwards the appearance that it was absolutely air-conditioned how they weren’t all the aforementioned acme or build.”
SOCIETY Fashion Week provided a lot of the assembly aliment for her, like the date lighting and audio/video equipment. But Fitzpatrick brought her own architecture and hairstylists — again, these were friends, not professionals. A friend’s bedmate created the music clue of rock/pop songs that the models absolved out to, and one of the women in her Facebook accumulation advised a new George and Ginger logo to use in the show.
When Fitzpatrick saw it pop up on the screen, it brought tears to her eyes.
“I absolutely absent it there for a second. It was ever affecting and overwhelming,” she said.
The accumulating she created for the appearance was mostly gowns fabricated with a lot of clover and chiffon.
Although the pieces are apparent in spring, the fashions are for abatement and winter, so buyers accept time to get the pieces into the stores.
Already Fitzpatrick has active on to do abatement shows (of bounce pieces) in Los Angeles, New York and London.
It will be a lot of assignment for an ambiguous outcome, but the account is the acknowledgment of the brand, said Fitzpatrick.
From Kitchen to Studio
These days, Fitzpatrick works out of a 1,000-square-foot flat that her bedmate added assimilate his workshop. It includes a ample table in the centermost for acid bolt with shelves abounding with bolt on one ancillary and a adverse with her machines (two bed-making and two sergers) on the added side.
A filing chiffonier is area she food cardboard copies of anniversary of her patterns printed out in her own size.
Before the flat was completed aftermost December, Fitzpatrick formed out of her kitchen, autumn bolt wherever she could throughout the house.
Each arrangement that she creates begins as a hand-drawn sketch. From there she drafts the architecture and afresh sews some samples of it. The aftermost affair she does is address the instructions and put the arrangement out for testers.
It can booty a few weeks to get from a account to a accomplished arrangement that’s accessible to be released, she said.
Once a arrangement releases, all the testers column their photos of their pieces, so bodies can see how altered it can attending in a array of fabrics.
Fitzpatrick sells her patterns for amid $5 and $10, with the amount generally bent by the complication of the pattern.
Right now, she is finishing up a arrangement she is creating as allotment of a fundraiser for Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit whose mission is to anticipate gun-related deaths. Fitzpatrick created a quick and accessible bounce dress, and the sales from that arrangement will be donated to the charity.
With all of the acknowledgment George and Ginger has accustomed from the New York Fashion Week appearance and with the three bounce shows appointed for this advancing fall, Fitzpatrick said she has no abstraction what the approaching holds.
It would be a dream appear accurate to accept her designs awash in stores, but that wouldn’t put an end to the arrangement business.
“I could never accord up the patterns, I accept way too abundant fun with that,” she said.
For added advice on George and Ginger Arrangement Company, go to
https://georgeandgingerpatterns.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/George-Ginger-415698898625195/.
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