Ana Valls is the creative force behind CocoWawa Crafts. She first started sewing to help combat her anxiety but fell heads over heels for the craft, and now runs her own independent sewing pattern company from her London studio. As well as designing as selling easy-to-sew patterns in a wide range of styles and sizes, Ana also teaches others to sew virtually, specialising in showing beginners the basics.
We chatted to her about her passion for the craft, the CocoWawa community, and got her top tips for sewing newbies. Read on to find out more about Ana and her inspiring biz and to get your copy of issue 129 and sew your own version of the Mollie Makes x CocoWawa Crafts Plum dress pattern click here!
How would you describe CocoWawa Crafts’ patterns?
Comfy designs and geometric shapes with a sweet aesthetic and cute distinctive details. I create simple patterns for all sewing levels, and they’re ideal for building up techniques from sewing with jersey to making a dress with a lovely ruffle on the sleeve, like the Plum dress pattern in issue 129 of Mollie Makes.
What do you love most about running your brand?
I love that I’m my own boss, even though I can be quite tough with myself. It’s also incredibly rewarding – and scary! – creating your own designs and seeing people making them and enjoying the process. It brings me so much joy when someone sends me a message or tags me on Instagram wearing a CocoWawa pattern. I also love teaching sewing. It warms my heart seeing a big smile on a beginner’s face when they’ve just made their first project.
Where does your passion for inspiring others to sew come from?
I think it comes from my own experience and knowing how much joy sewing has brought to my life. I started sewing because I was suffering from anxiety, and my therapist told me I needed to find something outside of work that made me smile. And it did! I also know that many people in the sewing and crafting communities have had similar experiences.
What do you love most, designing patterns or teaching?
I like both for different reasons. I love the interaction teaching brings, as it’s incredibly rewarding teaching something you love and seeing the happiness it brings to others. Designing patterns is something I never thought I’d be able to do and I’m still amazed at what my job is now. The only down part is it’s a lonely process as I work by myself – I’d love to have someone to bounce ideas back and forth with.
Inclusivity is really important to you – is this something you always think about when designing?
Yes, and I have to admit it wasn’t when I started. When I launched Marshmallow, my first pattern, I was more focused on the design itself and not so much on the sizes. But, being part of the sewing community and listening to what customers and members of this community had to say, I realised I needed to be part of the change, and it was my responsibility to offer my designs to the widest audience possible. Everybody should have the opportunity to make their own clothes, so at the moment I’m working on the relaunch of two of the most popular CocoWawa patterns in an even wider size range, and hopefully, I’ll do the same for the rest.
Exciting! And do you have any new patterns in the pipeline?
Yes! My new Apricot pattern comes with two options, a pinafore dress and a top. And, it’s available to buy in sizes UK 6-24 and UK 18-36.
Finally, what are your top tips for readers making your Plum dress pattern?
Read the instructions before starting, and check and double check measurements before tracing the pattern and cutting your fabric. If you’re not sure, you can always make a toile version – a test version using muslin or an old sheet. Follow the tutorial on my CocoWawa YouTube channel, and you can always send me an email or contact me through Instagram if you have any doubts. Happy sewing!
For more of Ana’s designs, including her latest Apricot pattern, visit her website. You’ll also find info about her online courses on her website, and you can follow Ana on Instagram for the latest news and inspiration. And, don’t forget to check out her YouTube channel, CocoWawa Crafts.