The Team - CloBird Designs
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CloBird Designs  patterns would be nothing more than an ego trip if I didn’t rely on and value the input of pattern testers! I launched my first pattern, Fiona Folding Wallet, on November 4, 2014 ~ and I’m pleased to say many of these testers have been with me ever since. In addition to my core team below, I also ask for guest testers to assist with each pattern. It’s always great to have new eyes and perspectives.

I can’t even begin to express my gratitude for these amazing, talented, generous and humble individuals. They have enriched my life in ways I never could have imagined when I began this journey.

Crystal

Crystal

I was born and raised in a little town called Stoney Creek Tennessee. My sewing journey began about 4 years ago, my daughter had just turned two. I wanted to make all the pretty frilly dresses!! That ended quickly because sewing clothes is not my forte. So I switch to quilting. I sewed up 3 beautiful quilts but I still felt like something was missing & then I found the CloBird Designs group! Instantly I was inspired to make handbags & accessories. Karis gifted me the opportunity to start testing her amazing patterns. My sewing skills improved tremendously & my friends list grew.

It’s really no secret that The Teagan Trio Clutch is my all time favorite pattern!! The clutch is so versatile & comes with so many options! My personal favorite sewing tool would have to be starch! Starching tames the fabric & the fabric doesn’t shift when rotary cutting. Which makes the cutting process a breeze for me.

I hope to have a shop going soon. In the meantime, you can follow me on Instagram @tayahdesigns and Facebook.

Marlys

Marlys

A little over a year ago, I saw a wallet I just had to try to make. My excursion into the little Fiona Wallet actually was the beginning of a change of life paths for me. Shortly after, Karis asked me to make test items for her designs and that is pretty much how I spend my time these days. Of all the things I love about making a Clobird pattern is the thing Karis always says, “Trust the process”. That is the best tip I could give you when making a Clobird pattern. That and my favorite tool (Wonder tape)!

Of all Clobird patterns my “go to” is the Taylor Tablet Trio. An awesome little cross body bag that holds way more than you would expect. Great for gifts, too.

I hail from Southern California, have a grown son, and a wonderful husband who is finally about to retire. He wants me to teach him how to make bags! I don’t sell my bags, I make them because I enjoy the journey. I’m grateful to Karis for giving a retiree something exciting and wonderful to enjoy and look forward to. Karis and her group of testers have become like family to me.

Maria

Maria

I was born in Spain and currently living in the Middle East. I’ve been sewing since I was very young as my mother was a seamstress. I used to make clothes but gave it up when I discovered how much fun it is to make bags. I now make them for a living and also try to fit in as much testing as possible as its so much fun getting to sew a design that no one has seen except for a few testers.

I love all the bags I make but from the CloBird collection I think it has to be Fallon. I’ve made so many of them I’ve lost count. I don’t have any favourite tools as such but recently bought an industrial iron and love using it.

Apart from making bags I also love patchwork and sold runners and table toppers before I started making bags fulltime. I’d love to get back to that one day.
My daughter studied Textile and Fashion Design at uni and she too makes bags for a living now. We hope to open our own shop one day. I’m also keeping my son involved and he makes the occasional candle holders and home decor items, just hubby left now! LOL

Denny

Denny

I was born and raised in a small town in Southern British Columbia, Canada. Currently I reside in Southern Alberta. From my earliest memories I saw my great grandmothers, grandmother, great aunts and mother creating. Sewing, quilting, crochet, knitting, embroidery – items for decor and practical use. I think I learned to embroider at about 6. I have always done some type of craft. In high school we would go to the local thrift store before school dances and ‘up cycle’ new outfits – long before that was trendy. I started sewing again about 4 years ago after stopping for a few years when I had my boys.

I am a SAHM to 2 very active boys so sewing is my thing. My first CloBird pattern remains my favourite – the Fiona wallet. I have made like 90, so nothing competes with her! I spent a lot of time being afraid of zippers until I found…Wonder Tape – I keep a healthy stockpile around. I love to do yoga and bake and connect my bags to the people they belong with. Dramatic I know, but I believe that the patterns are my canvas, fabrics my paint – each bag I make is unique – I love creating bags and my style has been referred to as ‘eclectic’. You can find my creations on my Etsy shop – www.etsy.com/shop/SewWhatAB.

Gwen

Gwen

Hi everyone, my name is Gwen Lockwood and I live with my loving family in a small town in Southern Alberta, Canada. I have always loved sewing and my passion for this craft started my little bag making business called GML Designs.

A few years ago Karis asked me to be a part of the CloBird testing team and the rest is history. I love being a part of the team – we have all got to know each other; very much like a family. The process of seeing an idea sketched on a piece of paper to the final product is a wonderful experience. When asked my favorite CloBird pattern I’d have to say Savannah – this gorgeous backpack goes with me EVERYWHERE!!! My favorite tool would be Fabri-Tac glue and my best tip would be to use the best materials you can. When you invest the time to make something you want it to last. You can find me at www.facebook.com/gmldesigns or on Instagram.

Linda

Linda

I was born in Missouri but raised in many areas of Washington State & Southern California, as my Daddy was in construction & we moved with the jobs. I couldn’t wait to return to Washington State after High School & have lived in the NW ever since.

I started sewing in High School, making my own clothes. I am self taught…..that’s how I learn, by reading & figuring it out myself. My Mother had a sewing machine….but I don’t remember her doing anything but mending on it. I married young & sewing has been my favorite among many creative outlets…..drawing, painting, Hardanger Embroidery. I started sewing for others & the only formal training I had was a “Stretch & Sew” course from Ann Person in the late 60s. I still love to sew with knits.

A few years ago I discovered Bag Making & now I am annoyed when asked to sew anything else! I love testing bags and treasure the friendships I’ve found in my sewing groups.

I have a close family, with 4 kids, I acquired 3 when I married my Hubby & we had 1 together……I raised & treasure them all. I lost the middle son a few years ago & my Hubby last year. So, most of my time is spent in my yard & sewing. If I have to pick a favorite sewing tool, it would be my hemostats….with Wonder Tape & FabriTac a close second. I have made more Fionas than any other CloBird pattern….but love Sasha/Serena, too. You can see my creations on my FB page: Linda Boothman Creations.

Debbie

Debbie

I’m a Michigan girl – born and raised! When I was in high school, my mom and I took a sewing class together. Those skills didn’t get used much, except for the occasional Halloween costume. When I became an empty-nester, I was looking for a new hobby. It wasn’t long before I found Karis and her wonderful CloBird patterns. I’m honored to be one of her testers! I think my favorite pattern is Savannah (with Fiona a close second!) My best advice is to just keep sewing – the more you do it, the more you will improve! You can follow me on my Facebook page – Fifty Nine Designs.

Laura

Laura

I hail from Southern California but settled in Wyoming to raise my 5 kids. When they were older we moved to the Salt Lake City area. Upon retirement 3 years ago we moved to a wonderful place in NE Texas. It is truly a slice of heaven. We built my sewing space which I call my cabin. I am free to sew all day and all night if I choose! I especially love to test for CloBird because not only is Karis an amazing designer, she makes it FUN and keeps it positive and full of surprises. It’s hard to say which CloBird pattern is my favorite because I love them all. Fiona was the first so I have a special attraction to her. One of my favorite tools is my duck bill scissors. They are great for cutting interfacing out without cutting into your main fabric. It’s a wonderful life!

Amy

I have lived in Kansas, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Florida and currently live in Frederick, MD with my husband, daughter and fur-baby. I started sewing about 3 years ago, planning to make cute outfits for my daughter who was 2 at the time. I soon learned clothing wasn’t my thing and was in sewing limbo until I discovered, and fell immediately in love with, making handbags and wallets. I love that there are no size alterations to make and it feeds my need to have a new purse every few months. For the past 2 years I’ve also been trying my hand at embroidery and have developed a love for it nearly as deep as my love for making bags. I get excited when I can combine both of my passions into one bag.

My favorite CloBird is definitely Savannah, followed closely by Fiona and Clementine. I love the style of Savannah and it’s such an easy bag to carry. Fiona and Clementine are quick sews with incredible end results that are stylish and functional. I’ll always have a soft spot for Valentina too, as that was the bag I made for my first swap.

While I love wonder tape, my favorite tool has to be Facebook user groups. I love that you can get support and ideas from people around the world, anytime of the day. It links you to amazing designers such as Karis and allows you to ‘meet’ incredible people you otherwise never would’ve known.

I currently only make bags for friends and family but I hope to start a small handbag and embroidery business over the summer to allow me to remain a SAHM as my daughter enters kindergarten in the Fall.

Beth

Beth

I’ve always been a crafty type person and a do it yourselfer. Previously, I made beaded and wire wrapped jewelry and had my designs in several boutiques on the Mississippi Gulf Coast before Hurricane Katrina set many of my pieces out to sea. Yet, I inherited my love of sewing from my Mom that designed and made much of my clothing growing up. My first (and only) sewing class was at age 10 where I learned the basics. Since then I’ve researched, read, and watched many tutorials on sewing. I’ve made just about everything including quilts, dresses, costumes, and dog collars, but have really found a love in making purses and accessories. My latest endeavor has been combining embroidery into purse making.

I discovered CloBird Designs on Facebook and fell in love with the Valentina tote. I’ve made all of the CloBird patterns, and Valentina is still my favorite (although I tell Savannah she’s my favorite, too). When Karis asked me to be a tester, I happily agreed! It’s fascinating to watch the process and see all the work that goes into making a sketch become an actual pattern.

My favorite sewing tool isn’t intended for sewing, but I use it that way. I wouldn’t be able to put in zippers with such ease without a glue stick. Yep, a simple, everyday glue stick keeps my zippers in place and machine ready. Sometimes it’s the simple things that make it work.
You can see more of my work at https://etsy.com/shop/LiniCreations or on IG @ LiniCreations.

Madelyn

Madelyn

I’m a native New Yorker currently living in New Jersey. I have three grown kids and three grandkids. I work for the federal government and am retired from the US Army Reserves after 26 years of service. I learned to sew years ago in junior high school. I would make an outfit in shop class, come home, pull out my mom’s sewing machine and make another. I also taught myself to knit and crochet at a young age with the help of library books. This was before the online era and YouTube!

During the years of raising kids I didn’t have a lot of time for my crafts. About 12 years ago I started crafting again – knitting, crocheting, spinning and quilting. Then I discovered bag making. I have always loved bags. I was delighted to be chosen as a tester for CloBird Designs. I am looking forward to retiring so I can spend more time being crafty.

Anna

Anna

I was born and raised in the sunny isle of Singapore. When I was 13, my school spent 4 months teaching us girls how to sew. My interest started then. I remember my first piece was an elastic skirt. However, I never followed up. After I gave birth to my youngest 6 years ago, I took up sewing again and started with girls’ clothes.

On an off chance, Karis was looking for her last 2 testers for her new pattern, the Fiona, and as they say the rest was history. I’m thankful for the chance that Karis gave me when she first started this journey. Through helping her, I have grown as a sewist as well. For that I am extremely grateful for.

When I’m not sewing, I am a full time Mother to 3 lovely kids and a Wife to a wonderful man.

My best tester bag would be the tulip set. But, my favourite pattern would be the Savannah. It goes everywhere with me when I go out daily!

I could never do without my seam ripper because I always am prone to sew wrongly. That’s why I need my trusty seam ripper.