Melissa Pendergast of Bella Sunshine Designs
Featured Pattern Designer

Featured PDF Pattern Designer: Melissa Prendergast of Bella Sunshine Designs

 Let a little light shine on your creativity. – Bella Sunshine Designs.  Perfect tagline for designs that focus on bringing light and joy to life.  Bella Sunshine Designs offer sweet and simple patterns with an added touch of flair. Let’s learn a little bit more of the creator behind these classic patterns with a modern twist.

1. Tell us a little a little about Bella Sunshine Designs, what made you finally decide to take the plunge and go into PDF Pattern Designing? 

I have wanted to be a fashion designer since I was 13. Crisp, clean lines with a  little bit of vintage or retro feel is at the heart of what I like to design. I quit working 5 years ago to raise my family, but I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart. The love to create and the drive to have a successful business was still in me, so I decided to go back to my roots and do the one thing I have always wanted to do which is design clothes. Once I married that idea with my love of sewing, forming Bella Sunshine Designs was as natural as breathing.

2. If you could describe pattern designing in ONE word. What would it be and why?

Relaxing. It’s funny most people don’t describe work, or math for that matter, as relaxing. But once I start drafting, I get in the zone. And the tick, tick, tick of the sewing machine soothes my soul. There will be times when I will be twitching and my husband will tell me to just go make something. The creation part of the process is very calming to me.

3. What’s the most gratifying memory of your designing journey? 

This is really hard to answer as there have been several gratifying moments since I began this journey, but I think the most incredible aspect is when I hear customers talk about my business. Those that have worked with me know that I try my best to not only put out the best product but also provide the best customer service, but those that only know me by being a customer may not have that intimate knowledge of how hard I try to perfect everything. I heard someone say once that they knew the pattern would be amazing because it was produced by Bella Sunshine Designs. Seems like such an insignificant moment, but it meant that all the hard work was paying off and that my brand messaging was coming through to my customers.  It always means more when it comes from a paying customer that doesn’t know you personally. After all, they are the reason why I am in business.

4. Who/what/where inspires you?

A lot of people. In a business sense, my grandmother. She taught me how to sew at the age of 9. I watched her build several successful businesses throughout my years growing up. She has been a successful artist her entire life, and she showed me that you can make a living off of your passion if you work hard and really try to push the boundaries to excel at your craft. The other person would be my husband, John. He is by far the most kind and selfless person I know. He is my biggest support and really is my rock.  I couldn’t do half the things I do without his help behind the scenes.

5. What is one sewing notion or tool that you just can’t live without? 

There are seriously so many. Rotary cutter, maybe? Seam ripper, probably (Although sometimes I wish I didn’t need it so much). I also have a love affair with my Gingher dressmaking scissors. I threaten the life of any person that tries to use them. They cut fabric like a warm knife in butter.

6. Tell us something people might not know about you. 

BSD is not the first business I’ve owned. I opened my first business at the age of 18 selling handmade jewelry. While the jewelry was beautiful, I was a horrible business person at the time and barely sold anything, but I had a lot of fun. Then, when I was 20, I started a professional photography business. When I started, I did it part time while still holding a regular job until eventually I was able to quit the “day job” all together and make a living taking photos full time. I finally got so busy that I was burnt out at not having any weekends where I didn’t have to work. I had this strong urge that it was time to quit the business, so I did. I had no clue what I was going to do next and decided to just take a little time and try to figure it out. The next month I found out I was pregnant with my first child. At that point it all made sense as to why I needed to quit.

7. Are there any exciting news or sneak peeks you would like to share with our readers?

Yes! We have 6 patterns currently in various stages of testing, including 3 designs for women!
And we are gearing up to celebrate our 2nd anniversary.  Here is a sneak peek of the Juliet Dress currently in testing!

8. I know you’re an 80’s baby, so truthfully, how do you feel about Kermit and Ms. Piggy splitting up?

Wait, they broke up?!?! You’ve just ruined my entire childhood. Seriously, though, I live under a rock. I am probably the most un-hip person ever when it comes to pop culture. My husband laughs at me all the time because a song will come on the radio, and I’ll get all excited and talk about how I’ve never heard it. It will have been out for a year. So basically, if you are talking about the latest, coolest actor on the block, there’s a good chance I will have no clue who you are talking about.

Thank you so much Melissa, for spending a little time to share a bit of yourself with us, and SEVEN PATTERNS?! Wow! That’s amazing, can’t wait to see what other pretties Bella Sunshine Designs are cooking up!

You can find Bella Sunshines Designs on:

Website: Bella Sunshine Designs

Facebook: Bella Sunshine Designs PDF Patterns

Instagram: bellasunshinedesigns

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