Designer of the Week - Little Urchin Designs

This week get to know Michele McDermott of Little Urchine Designs. She lives in Aiken, SC with her husband and three children, Devin- age 10, Liam - age 7, Regan - age 5.

See Michele's current eBay auctions: little_urchin_designs and add Little Urchin Designs to your favorite eBay sellers list: Click Here:

JM: Michele, when did you get started sewing and creating?

MICHELE: I have always been exposed to the art of sewing and designing. My mother and grandmothers have always sewn. I remember always standing out in school because I was one of the few who wore handmade outfits and probably the only one who wore handmade outfits that weren’t cookie cutter. I attempted to learn to sew in middle school and failed miserably, but have always designed. I finally learned in earnest when my children were born. I started with smocking and progressed beyond handsewing.

JM: When did you start selling your designs on eBay and do you sell anywhere else besides eBay?

MICHELE: I began about 3 years ago. I do design and sew for customers locally as well as those whom I’ve met in my travels (cyberspace and physical).

JM: What did you do before eBay?

MICHELE:It's been too long to remember but I’m guessing I just sat around and idly twiddled my thumbs. Seriously, I’ve always enjoyed gardening and home interior decorating and of course, my babies kept me busy.

JM: Do you remember the first outfit you sold on eBay?

MICHELE: The first outfit I sold on Ebay was a collaboration with my mother. What was it and what did it sell for? It was a seersucker cloud print skirt and a Battenburg lace halter. I think it sold for a whopping $19.00.

JM: Where did come up with your name, Little Urchin Designs?

MICHELE:My business name came from something my mother always called me when I was little. I couldn’t stay outside for more than 2 minutes as a child without coming back covered in dirt and mud. My mother used to say that I looked like a little urchin.

JM: Do you belong to any boutique group?

MICHELE: I am so proud to the a member of Jaynes . Fate brought me to this group. I had just left a group that had some issues (to put it kindly) and the next day I was contacted by Wendy (spendystyle) who was in the midst of putting together a new group. I had told myself that I would be very cautious about joining another group but after talking to Wendy, I knew that I belonged there.

JM: Do you have a favorite item to create?

MICHELE: I love the art of appliqué. I really do enjoy taking scrap fabrics and putting them together and coming up with what I consider a piece of art. The time and effort that goes into appliqué is so much more intense. I sometime will be half done with a set and be ready to throw in the towel. I also love to create outfits from scratch. I do not like to use patterns so using my imagination is key.

JM: What do you like about the Jaynes?

MICHELE: Hands down, its the friendship. These girls are so incredible. Friendship comes before anything else. If we all stopped designing and creating tomorrow, I know that we would still be friends and chat away like always.

JM: What is your favorite thing to create?

MICHELE: I don’t know if I have a true favorite. I think it just depends on my mood. Sometimes I feel nostalgic and want to create with soft colors and heirloom linens. Other times, I feel wild and want to see how far I can push the color wheel. I definitely love ruffles, though. There’s just something about a little girl in ruffles that just seems right.

JM: If you could learn some new skills, what would they be?

MICHELE: I would love to design and sell my own fabric. Why are they important to you? Its so frustrating when you know exactly what you want in a fabric and can’t find it to save your life.

JM: If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?

MICHELE: Well, we do travel quite a bit already and have been some fabulous places. I haven’t been to Fiji yet so I guess I’d like to go there. I’d also love to go back to Great Britain and spend a couple of months traveling around from country to country, living like a local.

JM: So what other things do you enjoy besides sewing?

MICHELE:My children have become very involved in Irish dancing. My oldest also plays the Irish fiddle. We spend a good deal of our time traveling from one Irish dance competition to another. I’ve become somewhat of a stage mother. LOL I also have two border collies that I enjoy playing with and my husband and I are movie fanatics.

JM: Anything else you would like to add?

MICHELE:I’m so honored to be asked to be designer of the week. Thank you Amy. I’m so proud of how far Journal Modiste has come in such a short time. It amazes me that the boutique designer world has escalated like it has but I’m glad to be a part of it. I love to watch others discover it for themselves (both customers and new designers). Above all else, I’m having fun. There is nothing more exciting for me than to hear a customer tell me how much their child likes their set or to see pictures from my customers.

Do you have a question that you are dying to ask Michele? Comment about something she said or designed? Post it here and she will answer it!

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| Monday, June 12, 2006 9:06 PM | flag
Congrats Michele! You deserve it. I have three of your beautiful outfits for my daughter, and will be back for more! Take care, Sherry

Alisa (sweet*little*songbird) | Friday, June 9, 2006 4:44 AM | flag
Congrats, Michele! I love your designs! Aiken designers rock...LOL!

| Thursday, June 8, 2006 4:52 PM | flag
Thanks y'all!! I'm feeling really special today. :))

andrea (fleur*lenfant) | Thursday, June 8, 2006 1:35 PM | flag
Hi Michele! Loved learning more about you. Your designs are so gorgeous and original. Great interview. Can't wait to see what you create next :D

Beth (*myroomdesigns*) | Thursday, June 8, 2006 1:01 PM | flag
Michele, your work is lovely - and definitely not cookie cutter! :) Nice to learn more about you!

Pam (blacksheepdesigns) | Thursday, June 8, 2006 5:59 AM | flag
Your designs are fantastic and original, Michele! I enjoyed learning more about you - congrats on the feature!

Lisa (pinklemonadeboutique) | Thursday, June 8, 2006 4:44 AM | flag
I enjoyed reading your interview Michelle, I feel like I know you even better! I always enjoy seeing your creations, you keep it new and fresh all the time, and of course you have the most gorgeous model!

Bethany (ruby_and_ida*s) | Thursday, June 8, 2006 3:55 AM | flag
Congrats Michele on the fab interview! Love your work...soo original and lovely. Esp. like the "twidling my thumbs" comment!lol ALL THE BEST TO YOU.

Some past Little Urchin Designs Designs

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