Heather Who

Heather in her fabulous design

Heather Habig is an expert in her field, which is why we invited her to participate in December’s BF Contributor. She lives in San Francisco, is launching a clothing line in 2013 and offers custom design services. The black & white wool double knit was a perfect choice for her pattern. After seeing her classic-but-bold, perfectly fitted jacket, we had a few questions for Heather. Here’s what she had to tell us:

1. Why did you choose the black and white double knit for your project? What did you love about the fabric? What did you learn about the fabric?

I’m always drawn to fabric and prints that are high-contrast, especially in black and white, and when I saw this fabric I was really excited. The fact that it’s wool and a double knit sounded like fun to work with, and I knew I could get a great-fitting garment out of it.
When I made the pattern for the jacket, and I kept the silhouette relatively simple because of the bold pattern. As I was working with it, I was surprised by how much it was shrinking under the steam iron. I might recommend to someone else using this fabric to buy an extra 1/4 to 1/3 yard – to account for shrink as well as matching the stripes.

2. Was the blue fabric a variation to your usual pattern? Tell us a little bit about this decision.

I thought the bold stripe might get a bit overwhelming, so I decided a solid contrasting color might help calm it down. The turquoise color looked great with the fabric, and I think helps break up all those stripes going across the body. Using it on the under sleeve sounded like a fun “surprise” in the garment. I always like working in a little something special into each design, like an interesting print on an under collar or a contrasting pop color for a lining.

3. Tell us a little about your background and experience.

After 20 years of sewing with store-bought patterns, I decided I wanted to be able to make my own patterns with the idea in the back of my mind of having my own clothing line. I went to Apparel Arts in San Francisco and received my Patternmaking and Design certificate in 2009. Since graduating, I’ve been working with individual clients on custom garments and figuring out how to start my line of women’s ready-to-wear. I am also happily teaching patternmaking at Apparel Arts.

I love clothes, and I know great clothes can make someone look and feel amazing. Everything I do works toward this goal of creating beautiful clothes that make someone look great. When I’m designing a garment, I have the construction process in my mind. The designing and sewing of a garment feel like the same creative process to me. As a teacher, I’m trying to enable students to
bring their design ideas to life by teaching them the patternmaking and sewing “tools” it takes to get there. Ultimately, the goal is always to make something beautiful.

4. What’s new with Heather Who?

I’m currently working on a small line of women’s ready-to-wear that I hope to launch early in 2013. My clothes are vintage-inspired, using classic silhouettes and the best quality fabric. I’m always available for custom sewing projects–I enjoy working with clients to create an amazing garment that they’ll love. Customers can find out more information, and contact me, at www.heather-who.com or www.facebook.com/heatherwhosanfrancisco.

View the entire photo shoot HERE.