Reap what you sew

Prolific Wunderkind Hannah Vierheilig creates her own designs
Hannah Vierheilig models a coat she designed. Photo by Gabriel Rose.

When I heard about a young Grand Rapids woman who liked to make her own clothing, I never imagined the level of creativity or craftsmanship I would find presented in this wunderkind’s prolific collection. I had to learn more.

Designer Hannah Vierheilig models her tic tac toe jacket. Photo by Gabriel Rose

LE: So, tell me about yourself.

HV: My name is Hannah Vierheilig, I’m 19 years old and I love to sew.

LE: What’s your creative process?

HV: I think my creative process starts with an inspiration or idea and then an inescapable urge to make whatever I have envisioned. Once I have thought out the actual process of making a project, I start with a vision board–  usually, sketching, measuring, remeasuring, and creating pattern pieces.

Hannah Vierheilig. Photo by Gabriel Rose

LE: Do you make your own patterns/design the clothes yourself?

HV: A big part and pride of my work is the fact that I create and design all of the patterns myself. This is also a big step factor in my growth of sewing and clothing design because of the intricacies and challenges that come with pattern making.

LE: At what age did you start sewing/making clothing?

HV: When I first started sewing I was about eight years old and I had taken a sewing elective class where I fell in love with the craft.

Hannah Vierheilig models a pullover she designed. Photo by Gabriel Rose

Hannah Vierheilig models a pullover she designed. Photo by Gabriel Rose.


LE: How did you learn? Did you have any mentors?

HV: My teacher and mentor Mrs. Jo McGavin taught me how to work a sewing machine and the many techniques that go with it. But I am self taught in clothing construction and design. I have watched countless YouTube tutorials and learned even more from my coworkers at my job.

LE: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

HV: I draw inspiration from mainly my emotions when I create my pieces. For example, the tic tac toe jacket came from a place of nostalgia around the holidays when my family was all together and it reminded me of the games I used to play with my siblings and cousins when we were younger.

Skirt and top by Hanna Vierheilig. Photo by Gabriel Rose

LE: Who are your favorite fashion icons, designers or influencers?

HV: Another big inspiration and influence on my designs are my favorite fashion designers- Vivienne Westwood has always been a huge one and Betsy Johnson as well.

Both of these designers really create unique combinations of feminine and masculine elements that I hope to reflect in my work as well.

Hannah models her little black dress. Photo by Gabriel Rose



LE: Do you have a website, pop-up shop or place that people can view or purchase your clothing? Or an Instagram?

HV: More of my work and sewing progression can be viewed on my instagram @hv.stitches.

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