Wednesday, April 7, 2010

HOUSE CALLS: Made With Love By Hannah

Hannah Kopacz is the one who makes (with love), striking vintage inspired skirts, dresses, tees and more with a strong Alpine/Central European influence. Think Hansel & Gretel, Heidi and the Sound of Music (remember those outfits Maria made out of curtains?) in terms of the folksy feel of Hannah's designs, and throw in a fairytale element such as a gnome and toadstools and you might get close to envisioning her work. Hannah's shapes are classic (think A-Line wrap skirts), her print designs unique and striking, and colors rich and vibrant.

Based in sunny L.A., Hannah is the creative and active force for all elements of her work and she clearly passionately lives her vision. For today's House Calls, we are going to take a trip to visit her world, a little like Alice going down the rabbit hole, we will experience Hannah's very own wonderland! You will get such a delight from her story and her work. Let's Go!

Describe the work that you do."I screen print fabric and make cute clothes out of it! Mostly skirts. Aside from the pieces made from vintage fabrics, I dye most of the fabric, develop artwork, make screens, print the fabric, draft & grade patterns, cut & sew..."

Hannah, at one of her favorite places, the miniature golf course.

What was the career/education path you took to get to this point? "I learned how to screen print in high school, then I worked at a screen printing shop for a bunch of years. I always loved the screen printing process. When I moved to California (from Massachusetts) I got a great job doing textile/graphic/embroidery design. I really enjoyed it, while I was there I learned alot about designing printed patterns, putting patterns in repeat, all kinds of good stuff. I was able to combine that with my screen printing knowledge to produce the kind of designs I dreamed of!"

Wycinanki Skirt

Where do you get your inspirations? "I am most inspired by cute knick knacks (my Schwarzwalder Skirt and Dutch Treat Skirt are drawings based on some of my knick knacks), miniature golf courses which are really just like a bunch of giant knick knacks, if you ask me. Old kitchen textiles like dish towel, apron and tablecloth prints. I am also quite inspired by traditional folk handicrafts like Hungarian and Romanian embroidery, Wycinanki (Polish Papercut Art) and Scherenschnitte (Germanic Papercut Art) and hex signs, all of which are evident in my prints. I think I could go on and on!"

Vintage Fabric Wallpaper Print Skirt

Describe the creative process in designing and constructing a particular piece. "The clothing styles I make are pretty simple, it's the fabric that takes the most time to print, and I dye most of the colored fabric myself as well. so I like to let the fabric do the talking. I design the print while keeping in mind which style I want to use it on. Usually I will see something that tickles my fancy, like a knick knack or some kind of cute doo-dad that will make me want to sketch out a new design. I'm always thinking of new things I want to make, I have stacks and stacks of 15 years worth...which I keep around in case I suddenly run out of ideas. Sometimes I sketch something and make it into a print right away, sometimes I sketch something and mull it over and revise it for weeks or months before I think it's worthy of making into a print. I do the final tweaking in illustrator before making it into screens."

Hex Sign Skirt and rug made to match!

Where do you create your work? "I have a workroom in my house for designing & sewing and a screen printing shack in the backyard, the Cuckoo Cabin.

Inside Hannah's workroom. And you thought I loved PINK!

Hannah's Screen Print Workshop, the Cuckoo Cabin.

Share with us some of your favourite artisans whose work you admire? "I can't pick favorites, there are so many great things being made out there! I love things made by other people that I don't really know how to do...wood carving, ceramics, embroidery...I love finding old handmade things at the thrift store and wondering about who made them."

Where do you sell your work? "On my website, and I have some things on etsy.

Ribbon Print Skirt

Tree Top Skirts

What/who are the things you love most in your life? "So many things.. playing with my critters, thrift shopping, cruising around in my car on an empty freeway (it happens, even here!) with the music loud, I love my home, I feel lucky to be able to work out of it and spend all of my time here. There really are so many other things, those are just a few that came to mind right now."

Dutch Treat Tee

What would you do in your wildest dreams, if there were no restrictions (like money, or responsibilities!)? "Honestly I would probably be doing the same thing I'm doing now, maybe on a larger scale and in a more beautiful place"

Apple Pickin' Skirt

What is your greatest professional achievement? "I think my business as it is now would be my greatest achievement, making a living making things that I love. And, I love that the things I make make other people happy."

Summer Lovin' Dress

What is new with you and your work? "So many ideas for new prints I want to make! I also want to offer screen printed fat quarters for people to make their own stuff with. I have a cute craft kit I'm putting together, if that goes well I'd like to make more."

Do you have a motto for life? "I always say "I do what I can" and I really do do what I can, and push what I can do, whether it's fixing the car or putting a new roof on the house or making cute stuff."

I am in love with the Apple Pickin' Skirt, it just screams summer to me. Aren't Hannah's creations completely enchanting? I adore the traditional inspiration behind these very unique pieces, and their vintage feel. Pop over to Flickr to lose yourself in the world of Hannah, I promise you will think you have entered into a fairytale world.


  1. The cuckoo cabin is so cute! I love that. Hannah's work is so creative, fun and spunky. Thanks for sharing it with your readers.

  2. I just love her spirit and creativity. Not to mention how cute her work is.


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