I love to knit. I love to sew. And I love to create beautiful clothes.
For more than 15 years, I built a successful career in the biopharmaceutical industry while pursuing my passion — studying fashion design, pattern making and clothing construction at nights and on weekends. Beginning in 2007, my hand-knit designs received national exposure in leading knitting magazines. Soon after, I developed a line of self-published patterns for hand-knitters under the Jean Kaori brand.
Design aesthetic: Classic and tailored, but relaxed and comfortable enough for on-the-go days.
Most important element of a garment: Fit, fit, fit. If it doesn’t fit, a fancy fabric or a cool design element will not look good.
Favorite things to make: Coats and jackets, like my Hibiscus Coat. Call me crazy, but I just love the intense process of building a structured garment such as a coat or jacket. These projects take hours and hours to complete, but I love it.
Favorite fibers: Natural fibers such as wool, cotton, silk and linen.
Some Random Tidbits About Me:
First crafty project (at least one that I can recall): A crochet afghan for my Ballerina Barbie’s couch. It wasn’t perfect — kind of tweaky and not really rectangular — but I loved it, and I’m sure Barbie did too!
Favorite sewn garment: A Snow White halloween costume that was completely sewn by hand because I didn’t have a sewing machine (I was about 10 years old). While I’m sure all of the seams and hems were completely crooked, I was proud of that costume — I even made the puffy sleeves with cutouts!
Image from here.
Luckily for me, my parents bought me my first sewing machine soon after that!
Favorite knit project: This cabled sweater was a knock off of a design I saw in one of my issues of Vogue magazine. It was in the ’80s (clearly!) and oversized sweaters worn with leggings were the “in” thing. I still have it in my closet — just waiting for the right ’80s moment to hit so I can bring it out again!
Most inspirational person: My grandmother. She was a creative soul who made exquisite clothes, jewelry, home decor — you name it and she had probably made it at some point in her life. I’ll never forget what she used to say to me: “Be careful or you’ll sew your fingers!”