I recently came across this amazing company, Red Creek Handmade through Katie’s lovely Instagram feed. Have I mentioned how much I love Instagram for this very reason? I love finding other creatives and meeting so many brilliantly talented people.
These lovely pieces arrived from Katie in Canada over this past weekend. I was admittedly very excited, kind of like a giddy schoolgirl on the eve of her birthday. I could tell from Katie’s photos that she is very talented and a lover of quality craftsmanship. I loved that after reading her bio, I learned she was also self-taught. I’m still attempting to master sewing and my dolls are an extension of that practice. She truly is an inspiration for me! Beyond the talent, I noticed Katie was very Earth conscious with her fabric choices and the colors are all naturally dyed. Another very important thought in my mind when it comes to purchasing new things. I’m practicing becoming more aware of the way things are made and how it affects our planet, because it really does (if you haven’t seen “The Story of Stuff,” I highly recommend it).
Katie was sweet enough to answer a few questions in order to help you get to know Red Creek Handmade a little more intimately. Thank you Katie! Here is the interview (and then a ridiculous amount of photos because I couldn’t pick which ones were my favorite):
Tell me a bit about the name Red Creek Handmade. What inspired it and what does it mean to you?
The name red creek comes from right here where we live. A small creek runs through the property, red creek, I thought it suited my brand! I love the name, it feels just right. We live in a small rural valley, surrounded by mountains and creeks and rivers and wildlife, I wanted my brand name and logo to honor our surroundings, I think it does 🙂
I love the quality of your fabrics. Are they organic? I noticed some options were naturally dyed too, could you explain a bit about the process?
All of the naturally dyed fabrics are organic linens and cotton/hemp blends. I source these out from a wonderful lady in the states. She lives simply, as we do, and dyes organic fibers in her cozy cabin. I do love having organic, it means so much to me. I also love the hand work of natural dying, the process, the sweat. I love knowing where the color is derived from. There is something immensely special knowing exactly how your garment was made. I otherwise use almost exclusively linens and cottons. I definitely try and stay away from synthetic fibers. I like to keep it clean, ya know!?
Your pieces are all very classic and beautiful, as well as gender-neutral. I really love that in a label and am wondering if you draft all of your patterns yourself? The designs are all so beautiful!
I do draft my own patterns! I am inspired by vintage patterns very much so! I create my patterns using a few “blocks” and go from there. Most pieces come from a restless night of pattern making in my brain. I find I have a lot of sleepless nights lol, always “dreaming” up the next cutest piece. I definitely spend a good amount of time “pinning” for vintage pieces and getting inspired.
You began sewing with quilting, and then after your daughter was born you began to create children’s clothing. What was this transition like? Was it easy to teach yourself to create these pieces? They are all so finely crafted, I would think you’ve been making clothing for many years!
I never imagined I would be making children’s clothing. It started rather organically, whilst making a cute pair of pants off a pattern for June. Friends came calling, needing a pair, and it sort of just snowballed from there! It’s amazing how businesses unravel if you just let them take their course. I pay a great deal of attention to detail (almost to a fault) I love a well made garment. French seams, old ways, great inspection, hand sewing, I could go on and on. I think it’s important to feel a certain connection with a piece, who made it, how it was dyed, how it was cared for, etc. it makes it special to you, which makes you care for it more, and love it and keep it forever. It’s all part of trying to live more sustainably. Buying less, loving more, taking care of what you have.
As a maker myself, I find it challenging to balance work and mothering some days. How do you find your balance? What do you do to maintain productivity?
When red creek first started, June was just a few months old. I did a lot of sewing while she slept and played quietly by herself. When she became mobile (and a complete nut) and I became more busy, I gave up trying to get anything done while she was awake. I finally decided child care was best. My sister watches her a few times a week (she has a son 6 weeks older than June), and I’m able to get some work done. It’s waaaay better this way, I’m way less stressed! I love my hubby more too. Lol! And, we got our neighbor, who cleans house, to come over once a week for an hour to clean. This is very nice! I recommend it for new busy mamas. It’s cheaper than the stress of stressing about it.
Life is challenging! Some days I just want my baby home and I want to quit the business. Most days though, I’m thrilled to have both, I consider myself very lucky. I have tons of support, love and loyal customers. It came quite easy and I’m thankful for that.
And finally, what is your favorite piece from your collection?
My favourite piece currently is the wren jumpsuit. It’ll be listed soon!
I have a sneaky Osage orange jumpsuit plan for October. Cap with ears! Ha, we’ll see how it plays out.
I’m planning to add collared shirts too!
And now onto the photos of these beautiful pieces. I have a very special giveaway starting very very soon and there will be a little bit of Red Creek Handmade love involved. I hope you’re excited!